Despite the government nixing the budget carriers’ proposal to charge for check-in baggage, SpiceJet on Tuesday offered a discount for "Zero bag" passengers on its domestic flights.
The airline, however, said that those who book tickets at discounted fares but later decide to check-in luggage would have to pay a fee of Rs 500 for up to 10 kg and Rs 750 for up to 15 kg baggage.
Last week, MoS for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had asked aviation regulator DGCA not to accept a plea by three no-frills carriers – IndiGo, AirAsia India and SpiceJet – to charge from their passengers for check-in baggage.
The government is not in favour of putting this burden on the passengers.
This was contested by the airline on the grounds that such a provision is already in place since March this year.
At present, a flyer is allowed to carry up to 15 kg check-in baggage without any cost.
Under the new fare, passengers with hand baggage only and who book tickets at least 30 days in advance, will pay Rs 200 less than the normal SpiceSaver fare per one-way flight. For a round trip the discount can be as high as Rs 1000, the release said.
Hand-baggage allowance, however, remains the same as before. This allows a passenger to carry one handbag of up to seven kg per passenger and a standard-sized shoulder laptop bag or ladies purse, it said.
"Travellers with check-in baggage can still check in their 15 kg baggage for free using our normal SpiceSaver and other fares," the airline said.
"With the introduction of this fare, we are passing on the savings of carrying less weight to the most price sensitive passengers who have hand baggage only, and are incentivizing more passengers to book early and travel light," SpiceJet chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor said on the latest discount offer.
"Historically travellers with no check-in luggage have indirectly subsidised those passengers who have luggage to check-in," he added.
Turning down the airlines application on the issue, Mahesh Sharma had said such a move would be an additional burden on the passengers.
"We have got the proposal from low-cost airlines 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," Sharma had said.