“We will encourage passengers (by providing discounts) to carry less baggage without charging them for check-in baggage up to 15 kg,” he said.

File photo.

With minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma rejecting airlines’ bid to charge for check-in baggage, the move has been shelved for now, with carriers saying passengers will not have to pay for luggage weighing up to 15 kg.A senior executive of a budget airline, who did not want to be named, said his airline was only looking to “encourage passengers” to travel light, but there were no plans to charge them for check-in luggage.”We will encourage passengers (by providing discounts) to carry less baggage without charging them for check-in baggage up to 15 kg,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Early Saturday, there was confusion over whether airlines would be allowed to levy additional cost on passengers for their check-in baggage after Sharma openly opposed the move.”We have got the proposal from low-cost flights to charge for check-in baggage. We have rejected it and there will be no consideration at the aviation ministry level. We will not want to put this burden on passengers,” the minister told a private TV channel.A senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be named, said Sharma must have spoken against the proposed check-in baggage charge on the basis of some knowledge that he may have possessed.”He must know something on the matter to have spoken against it,” he said.Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also had a similar view.A DGCA executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while the idea was mooted to provide incentives, in the form of discounts, to flyers who travelled with lesser luggage, there was no zero-baggage policy where passengers would be charged for check-in luggage.”We did moot an idea to give discount to those people who travelled with few bags because they were seen as helping airlines reduce carriage weight, resulting in lower fuel consumption, but there was no zero-luggage policy in place,” he said.Sanjeev Kapoor, chief operating officer (COO) of budget carrier SpiceJet, said the airline industry’s move to unbundle the check-in baggage service from fares was as per the DGCA’s March circular.dna is in possession of a copy of the DGCA circular, dated March 24, 2015, that permits unbundling of check-in baggage service.The government note begins by stating that airfares were established by airlines, by including charges for some of the services rendered by them.”On the basis of various feedback received, it is felt that many a times these services provided by airlines may not be required by passengers while travelling. Considering the fact that unbundling of services and charges thereto has the potential to make basic fare more affordable and provides consumers an option of paying for the services which he/she wishes to avail, it has been decided by the government to allow following services to be unbundled and charged separately on opt-in basis,” reads the government circular.It then lists preferential seating, meals, snacks, drinks, airline lounge, check-in baggage, sport equipment and others charges that the airlines could be permitted to unbundle from fares.

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Government blocks airlines move to charge for check-in baggage