Airline carriers like IndiGo and Jet Airways are planning to charge flyers who opt for the web check-in facility, reports stated on Monday. It was reported that Indigo has made it compulsory for flyers to choose a seat during web check-in. The seats, some of which used to be free of cost, now will be available against a fee ranging between Rs 100 to Rs 800, depending upon the flyer's preference.
After a user pointed out on Saturday that he was not able to check in without selecting a seat, all of which are against a fee, IndiGo responded, “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.” Currently, customers only pay for premium and window seats for most airlines and for excess baggage, as applicable.
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. ~Prabh— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 25, 2018
Other than getting a preferred seat, web check-in is also necessary to ensure that the passenger gets to travel on a particular ticket as airlines are allowed to oversell their tickets and avoid the airline “bumping” you.
Taking cognisance of the reports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that it will review the prices set by private airlines to customers availing the web check-in facility.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “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.”
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
A report in The Times of India suggested that IndiGo, which has a 43% market share in the domestic aviation circuit, will prompt other carriers to take a similar move.
“Based on consumer preferences, we have made some changes in pricing for an advance selection of seats. While different prices for the different category were always there, we have further refined the price categories based on the consumer preferences observed. This is a usual practice followed by most airlines globally and in India. We are continuously evaluating consumer preferences and making price adjustments as per consumer demand,” an Indigo spokesperson told TOI.
Previously, the Ministry of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had intervened and stalled a proposal by airlines to increase cancellation and baggage fees in November 2017.