To plug revenue loss of Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has imposed a blanket ban on excess baggage checked in by ministers and civil servants, which is generally carried free by the airlines.
Singh, in a letter to Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan, said that the airline should put an end to the practise of carrying excess baggage without charges immediately on domestic and international flights, a senior Air India official said.
No such requests should be entertained as the airline needs to generate more revenue, he said.
World over, excess baggage fee is a form of an ancillary revenue for airlines.
Welcoming the move, airline officials said on an average they used to get around 100 requests for waiver of excess baggage fees on Air India flights from ‘important persons’.
“Sometimes we are unable to say no to their request,” they said, adding this practise would end now “as we can flatly tell them that it is an order and we have to abide by it”.
“We would be able to save not only fuel but also earn some revenue,” the officials said.
Normally, the free baggage allowance is 20 kg for a flier but Air India has been lenient in dealing with special requests, especially by VIPs who fly by the national carrier.
On international routes, an Air India passenger can carry 28 kg checked-in baggage free on a London flight but they have to pay Rs 1,570 per kg for excess baggage.
While on a New Delhi-New York flight, the first 56 kg is free after which for any extra weight of upto nine kg, the passenger has to pay a fee of $50, the Air India official said.