Air travel is going to get costlier as the government has allowed the airlines to charges passengers for check-in baggage, preferred seats, meals onboard and for using airport lounges. The scheduled airlines can now unbundle certain services and charge for them separately
The goal is is to help airlines offer low base fare for price-sensitive travellers, while also offering choice to service seekers at a price. Such a policy is prevalent in the USA, where separate charges on passengers were levied in the wake of the global economic meltdown. Such services include preferential seating, meals, snacks, drinks (except drinking water) onboard, check-in baggage, use of airline lounges, carrying sports equipment, musical instruments and valuable baggage among others. The decision deals a cruel blow to the plans of people who have already curtailed their budgets for the vacation with high inflation eroding their purchasing power. Domestic carriers have already jacked up fares by 50-60 % since Kingfisher Airlines was grounded in October
Out of the ticket price you pay to the airline, only the base fare component goes to the airlines. The rest goes to the government. The unbundling of services will increase the component of the base fare and boost airline revenue. This is being allowed just when AirAsia, a Tata venture, is preparing to launch its services in India. An ultra-low fare airline, AirAsia charges for everything, including check-in baggage.