India’s aviation market is working through the growing pains of unbundled fares, but if the U.S. is any indicator, airlines and passengers will likely never find common ground on the issue.
The [Indian] government is planning to prescribe dos and don’ts to the airlines on its policy of unbundling airfares, which allows separate charges for preferred seats, extra baggage, meals-on-board and other such services. In its present shape, the policy has left both airlines and passengers dissatisfied.
To begin with, the government has now decided to tell all airlines to charge only a fixed percentage of the total seats in an aircraft, after passengers protested budget carrier IndiGo’s move of charging for all seats.
“The way airlines are behaving is the principle of an immature market…We will ask airlines to fix a percentage of seats, 15-20%, to be charged,” a senior official from civil aviation ministry said.
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Photo credit: IndiGo started charging preferential seating on all seats after India allowed unbundling for the first time. Shashi Bellamkonda / Flickr