Low-Cost Carriers, IndiGo & SpiceJet, will now charge you a fee to use their online check-in services!
Passengers earlier had to pay a fee for selecting a seat with the 2 airlines however, the budget airliners have announced that they will charge for online check-in services as well, to make up for high cost of operations.
Mumbai-based low-cost carrier GoAir is still offering some seats for free. Full-service airlines like Jet Airways, Vistara don’t charge for seat selection.
IndiGo and SpiceJet’s decision comes at a time when airlines are struggling with rising costs but can’t afford to raise ticket fares due to competition.
Such charges will help to boost ancillary revenue of the airlines. Ancillary revenue consists of charges like baggage fees, seat selection fees, cancellation charges.
Experts said that airlines were free to charge for the online check-in service as aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) has allowed unbundling of services.
The move of the airlines was, however, received with shock and anger from flyers who tagged civil aviation minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu and his deputy Mr. Jayant Sinha on Twitter and urged to stop the practice.
Flyers have said that this will lead to increased congestion at major airports like Delhi and Mumbai as more people will now turn up in airport counters for check-in.
This, in turn, will also increase the burden for airlines at airports forcing them to increase check-in counters and hire more people.
Another major problem that people pointed out was that there will be no guarantee that tickets bought at the same time(Same PNR) will allow passengers to sit together. To get the seats together, one will have to do it through the web check-in. Else, they will have to go for the free seats, which will be allotted as per availability.
However, web check-in for the seats booked for corporate use are still available free of cost.