Follow Us:

IndiGo web check-in fee for seats not compulsory, airline says after backlash

A day after announcing that it was making web check-in a paid service, IndiGo, India’s largest airline operator by market share, made a slight change in its decision.

SNS | New Delhi |

A day after announcing that it was making web check-in a paid service, IndiGo, India’s largest airline operator by market share, made a slight change in its decision.

The low-cost airline operator had on Sunday shocked customers with a notification stating that all seats selected via web check-in would be available against a payment. The new statement came hours after the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted that it was reviewing the fees announced by IndiGo for web check-in.

The Gurgaon-headquartered company explained its policy stating that the charges were only for “advance selection of seats”.

According to NDTV, IndiGo said its decision was in line with the common practice followed by airlines across the world.

“IndiGo customers will NOT compulsorily have to pay for the seats. The pricing is only for advance selection of seats. When the customer checks in at the airport, the seats would be assigned for free. That said, there is no guarantee that the seat of choice for the passenger would be available at the time of airport check-in,” IndiGo reportedly said in its statement.

The airline operator explained that the advance selection for a small fee helped consumers reserve the seat of their choice on their flight. The company said it makes dynamic decisions about pricing for advance seat selection “keeping in mind consumer preferences and market demand”. It said pricing might vary depending on aircraft type, length of route, occupancy and days before departure.

According to a report in The Times of India, IndiGo said in its statement charges start for as low as Rs 100. Seats will be assigned for free to customers at airport check-in.

PTI reported that for web check-in of a first-row seat, a passenger will have to pay as much as Rs 800 extra, while a non-reclining seat next to the emergency exit will cost an additional Rs 600 when selected online.

On Sunday, people on Twitter had criticised IndiGo’s “revised seat policy”, which it said had been effective since 14 November, 2018”, with some tweeting that they would not fly with IndiGo.

 

 

 

Taking note of the matter, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday, 26 November, said it was reviewing the decision to see if it fell “within the unbundled pricing framework”.

“MoCA has noted that airlines are now charging for web check-in for all seats.  We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework,” read the tweet.