Checking in more than 15 kg on domestic flights could now blow a big hole in your pocket.
The Delhi high court on Wednesday set aside a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order that capped excess baggage charge at Rs 100 per kg for each extra kilo between 15 kg and 20 kg.
While airlines were earlier free to charge any amount as excess baggage charge beyond 20 kg, they can now go back to their old fee of up to Rs 350 per kg beyond 15 kg itself. For flyers, it could mean shelling out up to Rs 250 more per kg in the 15-20 kg band.
About two years back, all Indian carriers — except Air India — had reduced free check-in baggage allowance for economy class domestic flyers from 20 kg to 15 kg. They then started charging anywhere up to Rs 350 per kg for each kilo beyond 15 kg. After getting complaints from passengers, the DGCA last summer directed airlines not to charge more than Rs 100 per kg for extra baggage between 15 and 20 kg. Beyond 20 kg, they were free to charge any amount per kg as excess baggage charge.
On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court set aside the aviation regulator’s order capping excess baggage charge at Rs 100 per kg in the 15-20 kg band. The court said DGCA had no power to fix such tariff for excess checked-in baggage. The Federation of Indian Airlines, which has carriers like IndiGo, Jet, GoAir, and SpiceJet as members, challenged this order.