To put an end to the rampant misuse of discretionary powers that benefit a select few, aviation minister Ajit Singh has directed Air India (AI) to completely ban allowing free excess baggage on both its domestic and international flights.
“Every extra kilo of baggage that is allowed free is lost revenue for AI. Plus, the heavier the aircraft, more the fuel burn,” a senior official said.
Sources said the matter came to the minister’s notice when his office started receiving requests, almost on a daily basis, for allowing free excess baggage. Inquiries have revealed the same was the case with senior officialsas well. All carriers, including AI, charge passengers who carry baggage that exceeds a particular limit, which varies from airline to airline.
“While the usual practice is to charge for excess baggage, officials did have the discretion to wave off these charges. That has been stopped now,” the
official said. “It was revealed that these discretionary powers were being widely misused,” he said.
While economy class passengers are allowed 25 kg of baggage on domestic flights of AI, for business class passengers the limit is 35 kg. On international routes economy, business and first class passengers are allowed 20, 30 and 40 kg respectively.