The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday decided to review a move by low-cost air carrier IndiGo to charge for web check-in services under a revised policy that came into effect from November 14. Taking to Twitter, the ministry said, “Taking note of low-cost air carriers’ decision to charge fees for online check-in services, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday announced to review the fees to ensure they fall within the ‘unbundled pricing framework’.
Indigo’s new policy came to light when a passenger raised the issue on Twitter. “Hi @IndiGo6E. So one can’t do a web check-in without selecting a seat, and all seats selection is against a fee. Are you effectively charging for a web check-in now?” one user Salil had posted on the micro-blogging site.
Following this, the airline tweeted, “As per our revised policy, all seats will be chargeable for web check-in. Alternatively, you may check-in at the airport for free. Seats will be assigned as per the availability.”
Earlier, IndiGo passengers were able to choose certain seats, including aisle seats, free of cost while making the selection online. Now, the airline is charging for every seat selection made through the web.
Grappling with spiralling operational costs, airlines have been looking at ways to increase their revenues from ancillary services. IndiGo reported a loss at Rs 651 crore in the three months ended September, mainly impacted by high fuel cost and rupee depreciation.
It could not be immediately be ascertained whether other budget carriers have also revised their policies for web check-in.