Domestic flights: Airlines allowed to return to their own check-in baggage policies


NEW DELHI: Airlines are now free to implement their own check-in baggage policies. When domestic flights were allowed to restart on May 25 after a two-month lockdown suspension, the aviation ministry had asked airlines to allow one check-in bag of up to 20 kg per passenger.
Before domestic flights were suspended on March 25, Air India used to allow check-in bag of up to 20 kg and private airlines — with some limiting number of bags also — to 15 kg per passenger.
With domestic aviation picking up since the restart, the ministry has allowed airlines to return to their own baggage policy for domestic flights. “The matter with regard to check-in baggage has been reviewed based on inputs received from stakeholders. Considering the convenience of passengers, it has been decided to (allow)… baggage limitation as per airlines’ policies,” says an order issued by aviation ministry joint secretary Usha Padhee.
Most airlines are likely to return to their piece concept (allowing one piece without extra charge and pay for subsequent checked in baggage) and 15 kg of weight limit. One hand bag is allowed.
All Indian airlines are struggling to survive and in recent weeks the government has been lifting restrictions imposed while resuming domestic flights as traffic picks up in a bid to reopen revenue streams for them. The ministry recently allowed resumption of onboard meals on both domestic (only pre-packed snacks) and international (hot meals also permitted) flights. This meant budget airlines were allowed to sell meals and beverages.
With airlines allowed to return to their check-in baggage policy, passengers may need to pay to check-in bags weighing more than 15 kg.
Now the only two government-imposed limitations on airlines are — operating 60% of the originally allowed domestic schedule and having fare domestic range in place till November 24.

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