New Delhi: Budget airline SpiceJet Ltd on Friday increased its fee on excess checked-in baggage by as much as 185%, two days after the Delhi high court put aside a government order capping such fee.

SpiceJet has increased its charges to Rs1425 from Rs500 for 5 kg of excess baggage above the free 15 kg currently allowed per passenger, according to the airline’s website.

All private airlines typically follow each other on such pricing as it increase their ancillary revenues.

SpiceJet, which earns 12% of its revenue from such services which includes seat selection, inflight sales among others, declined to comment on the steep increase.

InterGlobe Aviation Pvt Ltd-run IndiGo, Vistara, Jet Airways India Ltd and GoAir, did not respond to emails seeking comment on whether they are processing similar increases.

State-run Air India Ltd allows 25 kg of free baggage per passenger. “We give 25 kg free against 15 kg of others. There is no question of increasing the fee as we have concern for our passengers," Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani said.

Air India, he said, will launch a new advertising campaign to educate passengers about the additional benefits the airline provides.

SpiceJet increased its charges after the Delhi high court on Wednesday set aside a Rs100 per kg cap fixed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for excess checked-in baggage of 15-20 kg.

The circular came into effect from 1 July last year as the Delhi high court had not stayed it or deferred the date of implementation.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) led by IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, GoAir had challenged the aviation ministry’s order in court.

During Wednesday’s hearing, P.S. Patwalia, additional solicitor general, speaking on behalf of the centre, said “Under Section 5A of the Aircraft Act, 1934, the centre has power to issue directions with regards to regulating tariffs passed by individual airlines. Also, under various circulars issued by the centre from time to time, they can interfere if they find airlines indulging in predatory or oligopolistic practices."

The FIA, in its plea, contended that the DGCA did not have the power to fix a uniform price and sought quashing of the price fixation circular.

Consumer group Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) has slammed the baggage increase.

“This is ridiculous. On what basis are they increasing these charges? In some cases this may cost as much as the ticket price," APAI President D Sudhakara Reddy said, adding that the group will consider going to the court against the increase.

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