New Delhi: Passengers on full-service airline Vistara will get to check in 5 kg more baggage in all classes if they book tickets through its website, Tata SIA Airlines Ltd that runs the airline said.
All domestic airlines currently offer 15 kg of free checked-in baggage. The next 5 kg is charged at about Rs1,400, going up to about Rs8,000 for 30 kg. Only state-run Air India offers 25 kg free baggage irrespective of how the ticket is booked.
Vistara will also allow one free change or cancellation within 24 hours of booking (as long as travel is at least seven days in the future), complimentary fast-track priority handling at the airport at dedicated counters (for check-in, baggage, and boarding), and double air miles or points earned on flights.
Charges for cancellation and name change can be as high as Rs3,500.
“Booking directly with Vistara offers customers a number of advantages, such as lower fees, assured communications and notifications regarding their travel, the ability to pre-select their seats, along with exclusive offers such as upgrades at attractive rates and other ancillary products and services to help customers enhance their journey," Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategy and commercial officer, Vistara said in a statement.
Vistara flies to 21 cities with about 100 daily flights operated by 16 Airbus A320 planes. It plans to go international next year. It has about 3.7% of the domestic market share.
A spokesperson of Jet Airways (India) Ltd said passengers can get 20% off on baggage while booking through the airline website.
InterGlobe Aviation Pvt Ltd-run IndiGo, SpiceJet, AirAsia India and GoAir, did not offer comments.
Most private airlines hiked baggage fees in August after the Delhi high court set aside a Rs100 per kg cap fixed by the aviation ministry for excess checked-in baggage of 15-20 kg. The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) led by IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir had challenged the aviation ministry’s decision in court.
Consumer group Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) welcomed the move.
“This is a welcome initiative by Vistara. We are certain others will follow this gesture to the passengers," Sudhakara Reddy, head of APAI said, “I think there is a need for more competition on many sectors which will help passengers. Some airlines are charging passengers for extra hand baggage also."