I have been a frequent flyer for the past few years and I love the experience of travelling in an airplane. IndiGo has been the airlines I always choose to travel in, because of its great service quality.
What upset me and many other flyers in India is that web check-in is now a paid service
Web check-in saves the day for so many people when they are late, gets kids window seats to see clouds and saves the hassle of standing in long queues for oldies. But now, you pay for the ticket, and shell out extra if you want to sit on a seat of your choice.
Reasons For This Scheme
It is not a new thing. Many airlines around the world follow this scheme of extra pay for selection of seats during web check-in and is a general way of miscellaneous revenue generation.
In the past few years, the Indian aviation sector has seen almost a 20% growth in the domestic flyer count, and about 7.3% hike in jet/aviation fuel prices.
The former calls for a chance of generating more revenue. The latter calls for compensating it with the extra charge on web check-in.
Web Check-In Fares At IndiGo
Prices for seats in row 1,12 and 13 will be Rs. 600, in row 2 to 10 will be Rs. 300, and in row 11 and 14 to 20 will be Rs. 200 each. These fares have already been updated on the web check-in portals. Only the middle seats in rows 14 to 20 and all seats in row 21 to 30 will be free of any selection charges.
So now if I want to watch the clouds from an airplane window while I travel, I will need to pay for that also, during web check-in!
“This is a usual practice followed by most airlines globally and in India. We are continuously evaluating consumer preferences and making pricing adjustments as per consumer demand”, said an IndiGo representative.
For tall people like me, leg space is a priority and that is also something that Indigo is asking passengers to pay for – extra leg-room seats cost more than the regular ones in web check-in.
Will Other Airlines Follow Suit?
Most international airline operators follow this and now, because the domestic carrier IndiGo has implemented it, other low-cost carriers are expected to follow suit. Within the next quarter, over 10 domestic airlines are expected to make web check-in chargeable.
Jet Airways has already implemented it on most of its provisioned seats like extra leg-room ones, window seats, and first/last row seats. IndiGo’s approach on the same is aimed at reaching the level of business growth of a global airline.
In one way this scheme is upsetting for passengers, but many airlines are bleeding to bankruptcy due to serious cost overheads, increased passenger count, and lesser yearly turnovers.
For them, it is a good way to at least pay pilots and other staff members, some of whom haven’t been payed for months.
A better way of generating more revenue would be a simple hike in the travel fares.
People will buy tickets anyway and a hike there would not cause inconvenience like it would by making web check-ins chargeable.
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