Since 2013, when the Government decided to allow Airlines to unbundle the services to allow Airlines to create an ancillary stream of revenue and while decreasing the cost of flights to make flying accessible for more people.
However, thanks to that, Airlines have been making more money from ancillary revenues than actually selling flight seats.
The government is reviewing a move by private airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet to charge for seats booked in advance through the web check-in feature, which has provoked anger among air-travelers.
The Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted it had noted that airlines are now charging for web check-ins for all seats. “We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing network,” said the tweet. Unbundled pricing allows passengers to pay for exactly what they want instead of expensive tickets.
IndiGo, a leading low-cost airline, tweeted on Sunday that “all seats will be chargeable” under its new online check-in policy. However, it later clarified that “the pricing is only for the advance selection of seats” and said, “the airline has neither changed its web check-in policy nor is there any charge for web check-in”.
Check-ins at airports will not be charged, the airline said, adding “If the passengers have no particular preference for seats and would not like to pay for advance seat selection, they can either reserve any free seats available at the time of web check-in or will, of course, be assigned seats at the time of airport check-in.”
Of course, it is opposite of what is true. LCC across the world including Ryan Air, Wizz Air, Air Asia, and many other airlines charge the customer for not doing web check-in as it requires more staff time at the airport and requires more manual intervention vs automation.
Of course, Indigo and SpiceJet thought process is opposite and hence diluting customer experience by creating such nuisance. Although, I can’t blame them for finding new ways to generate revenue. However, SpiceJet being smaller than Indigo is receiving less flak while Indigo is bearing the major brunt of public ire.