A parliamentary panel has questioned the top managements of all major private airlines in the country over an “exorbitant rise” in the excess luggage charge and asked them to submit a report comparing their fees with those of their foreign counterparts.
During a meeting recently, the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, suggested the government draft a comprehensive policy on baggage charges and that the airlines should not be allowed to set the free-of-cost luggage carry limit.
All private airlines allow only up to 15 kgs of luggage on domestic flights free of cost, while the state-owned Air India allows up to 25 kgs.
The panel called the top managements of all major private airlines — Indigo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Air Asia and Vistara — to brief the members over their recent decision to hike baggage charges and also dynamic pricing of air tickets.
Some private airlines recently increased the excess baggage charges by 33 per cent, a member of the panel said.
In the meeting, Spicejet was represented by its CMD Ajay Singh, Indigo by its COO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer and Jet Airways by its CEO Vinay Dube. Air Asia CEO Captain Manish Uppal and Vistara CEO Leslie Thng also attended the meeting.
The members questioned them over the “exorbitant rise” in the excess luggage charges and asked them to submit a report comparing the charges in India and with those in other countries, said a source who was present in the meeting.
Some members even suggested that 15kgs is too less a baggage limit and the airlines should increase this, the source added.
There have been persisting concerns about steep fluctuations in air ticket prices during festival seasons and calamities. The airfares went up during the recent floods in Kerala.
Against this backdrop, some members had already recommended airfares be linked with inflation rather than being determined on the basis of demand.
The members had also suggested that the government should look at linking airfares with inflation instead of dynamic pricing system and also cap the ticket prices.