Low-cost airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet have effectively started charging for their online check-in service under a newly revised policy that came into effect from November 14, 2018.
In an attempt to make up for higher costs, the airlines drew up protests from flyers across the country.
However, check-ins at airports will be free and passengers can use self-check-in kiosks at airports to select the ‘free’ seats. Such charges will help to boost ancillary revenue, charges like baggage fees, seat selection fees, cancellation charges, of the airlines.
MoCA has noted that airlines are now charging for web check-in for all seats. We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework.
? Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) November 26, 2018
In a statement from the aviation ministry, on Monday, said, “We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework.” Director General of Civil Aviation B S Bhullar said he is examining the issue “on priority in light of our regulations.
The new policy came to light after a passenger raised the issue on Twitter.
? Salil (@sa_lil) November 25, 2018
“As per our revised policy, all seats will be chargeable for web check-in. Alternatively, you may check-in at the airport for free. Seats will be assigned as per the availability,” Indigo’s official handle tweeted.
IndiGo’s lowest seat fee is Rs 100 and SpiceJet’s Rs 99. Earlier, passengers paid extra fees for select seats, like along the aisle, window-facing or with additional legroom, if they checked in online.
The online check-in process begins 48 hours prior to and continues up to 2 hours before the flight’s departure.
? Sunil Sagar (@SunilPallathSag) November 26, 2018
“Avoid long queues at the airport and travel hassle-free with Web Check-in. Passengers flying domestic sectors can web check-in at any time up to 1 hour prior to the scheduled departure time,” a statement on the airline’s website read.
Also, commuters belonging to armed forces personnel, senior citizen category, unaccompanied minor or who have made a group booking cannot avail the service. While mobile boarding passes are becoming common, IndiGo requires you to carry a printout of your boarding card.
Amid high fuel cost and rupee depreciation, Indigo, headquartered in Gurugram, reported its first quarterly loss at Rs 651 crore in July-September period.