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DGCA asks foreign airlines not to charge for second bag

Aviation regulator DGCA has asked foreign airlines, particularly those from the US and Europe, not to impose hefty charges on passengers for checking in a second bag and revert to the earlier practice of allowing two bags within a weight limit for free.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2011 19:25 IST

Aviation regulator DGCA has asked foreign airlines, particularly those from the US and Europe, not to impose hefty charges on passengers for checking in a second bag and revert to the earlier practice of allowing two bags within a weight limit for free.

The matter has been taken up by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with the foreign carriers which have been imposing very high fee on the second checked-in bag.

"Passengers face a terrible time when they reach the airport and find that they have to pay as high as $300 (almost Rs 14,000) extra for additional check-in baggages.

"We have written to the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) asking foreign airlines to stop this practice. The matter is being taken up under the existing air service agreements India has with other countries (whose airlines have started levying the fee)," DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan told PTI here.

The foreign carriers have been asked to revert to the earlier practice of allowing two bags within a weight limit for free and respond to the letter within a week.

American carriers had last year started charging hefty amounts from passengers for checking in an additional bag, which was soon adopted by some European airlines as well.

Indian carriers do not charge anything for two checked-in baggages with a limit of 23 kg for economy class passengers.

A return trip with two check-in bags hence costs double the amount, which is close to price of the ticket itself.

While foreign airlines say this charge for an additional checked-in baggage was imposed during the 2008 economic crisis, official sources said there was no reason why it should continue three years later.

In another passenger-friendly move, DGCA has issued a circular asking all domestic carriers, including the no-frill ones, to provide drinking water to all passengers on flight, Bhushan said.

The move came in the wake of complaints that some Indian carriers were charging money for a bottle of water.