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Air India will reduce free baggage from 20 to 15 kg

Air India will lower the free baggage allowance from 20 to 15 kg on the domestic sector and start charging a flat rate of Rs 200-250 per kilo on excess baggage from next week, airline sources said Monday. This follows a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) circular last week allowing airlines to charge fees for 'unbundled services' like check-in baggage, preferential seats, meals, snacks or drinks (barring drinking water) and sports and musical instruments on their domestic flights.

Air India passengers would from next week be allowed to carry only 15 kg of free check-in baggage and pay a flat rate of about Rs 200-250 per kg on excess weight, the sources said. The excess baggage charges currently vary between Rs 150-400 per kg, depending on the sector.

There would be no charge for hand baggage of up to 7 kg, they said, adding that registered frequent flyers would be allowed to carry up to 20 kg of check-in baggage as is prevalent now.

The national carrier is also contemplating levying charges for preferred seats but no decision has been arrived at as yet, they said, adding, that there would be no charge on this count for business class passengers. The business class passengers are in any case allowed to carry 30 kgs of baggage free.

There would be no change in the rules for international flights, the sources said. While no-frill carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet charge for preferential seating and food on board, Jet Airways was also considering going in for the same. But no formal decision has been announced so far.

The Air Passengers' Association of India and travel agents' bodies have opposed the government's decision to unbundle these services and levy extra charges for them.
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