Air India increases free baggage allowance

Goes against worldwide trend to charge ever more for baggage.

Air India will now allow economy class passengers to check-in up to 25kg of baggage on domestic flights, 10kg more than the limit which every other domestic carrier allows in India.

Air India said that passengers travelling in economy class on domestic sectors will “now get an enhanced free check-in baggage allowance of 25 kg making it the only airline in the country to do so”.

At present, economy class passengers can carry up to 20 kg of free check-in baggage.

In addition to this, Air India (AI) is also giving infants a free baggage allowance of 10kg.

The offer is valid from 12 August to 7 February. Passengers who booked before 12 August will also get the extra free allowance.

Air India said that the free baggage allowance of the international sector will be applicable for passengers travelling on Air India’s domestic sectors and connecting to Air India’s international sectors and vice versa.

Passengers travelling on Air India’s regional airline Alliance Air to connect to its flights and vice versa will also be eligible for this offer. “However, this offer will not be available for passengers travelling exclusively on Alliance Air flights,” the statement said.

The December quarter is considered the peak season for domestic airlines because of festivals and holidays falling in the period.

This is the time when most airlines are reducing their baggage capacity.

In June, the Indian Government rejected a proposal by domestic airlines to charge passengers to check-in baggage.

Three airlines, SpiceJet, Indigo and AirAsia, went to DCGA, the Indian aviation regulator, to ask to introduce a ‘zero baggage fares’, where passengers having no check in luggage would be given a discount on the ticket.

The Indian Government ruled against as it in reality a charge for baggage, presented as a discount for zero baggage.

The moves in India are quite different to what is currently happening in the UK.

Airlines continue to charge ever more for services that were traditionally part of the fare, especially for baggage. So naturally passengers are opting to travel with hand baggage only.

But the airlines have now started to cut back on the cabin baggage allowance and to give no assurance that passengers will be able to take their cabin baggage with them in the cabin. Unless they pay a much higher fare.

In the case of British Airways, they do not even allow passengers to select a seat at check-in if they only have hand baggage.

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