Less than a month after Jet Airways increased charges for excess baggage, the country's largest domestic carrier, on April 1, hiked charges for rebooking or cancelling tickets.
It is the only domestic airline to have increased rebooking charges by Rs200 (from Rs750 to Rs950). A Jet Airways spokesperson confirmed the hike without citing any reason.
Last month, the airline had cited rising jet fuel cost for the increase in its excess baggage charges. It increased the charges from Rs150 per kg of excess baggage to Rs200 per kg. “The revision in excess baggage charges by Jet Airways is on account of the recent increase in aviation turbine fuel prices because baggage weight directly contributes to fuel burn,” said a Jet Airways spokesperson.
Air passengers have opposed the hike in rescheduling and cancellation charges because Jet Airways, along with its low cost subsidiary JetKonnect, cater to more than one-fourth of the domestic fliers in the country.
“Rebooking flights is common for frequent fliers because business meetings keep getting rescheduled. Increasing cancellation charges would discourage people from flying,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president with the Air Passengers' Association of India (APAI).
Reddy added that a meeting of airline CEOs called by the civil aviation ministry on March 6 had concluded that domestic carriers were bleeding solely owing to high jet fuel costs. “They should focus on cutting fuel costs as opposed to burdening passengers by hiking baggage and cancellations charges,” he added.
Already, airfares this summer are likely to be higher than last year.
“The 4.94% increase in service tax will make an economy class ticket expensive by at least Rs200. Worse, fares are already 20% higher than normal owing to reduction in Kingfisher flights,” said a Colaba-based travel agent, requesting anonymity.