The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in a fresh order issued on on Thursday permitted airlines to decide baggage limitations for domestic passenger flights. This will allow airlines to increase their ancillary revenue.
After domestic passenger flights resumed on May 25 following a two-month gap due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry had had allowed only one check-in baggage and one hand baggage per passenger.
This also means that airlines can now reset the check-in luggage limit back to 15 kg. This was increased to 20 kg, when domestic flights resumed on May 25.
In an order dated September 23, 2020, the ministry said: “baggage limitation would be as per airlines’ policies”. “The matter with regard to check-in baggage has been reviewed based on the feedback/inputs received from the concerned stakeholders,” the ministry noted.
Currently, airlines are permitted to operate not more than 60 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
Vistara, which allows passengers to carry anywhere between 15 kg and 40 kg according to the cabin class, said it would bring in the changes from September 28. “In response to the latest advisory issued by the government regarding check-in baggage, we shall be restoring the pre-COVID baggage allowance effective 28 September,” an airline spokesperson said.
Meanwhile,the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to clarify by Friday the modalities of refund of air tickets to be made to the passengers and travel agents in view of cancellation of flights during the COVID-19 induced lockdown period.
The top court asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit by September 25, with regard to issues relating to modalities of ticket refunds on which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta conceded that the instant affidavit is poorly drafted.