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Ministry to review fees charged for web check-in

Taking a note of certain airlines effectively charging for web check-in on their flights, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said it would review the fees to see whether they fall within the framework for unbundled pricing. Low-cost carriers globally charge their passengers for selecting seats while checking in from the web. However, most of them provide with an option for skipping seat selection that allows the passenger to conduct the check-in without making an additional payment.

“Ministry of Civil Aviation has noted that airlines are now charging for web check-in for all seats. We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework,” the ministry said in a tweet on Monday. On Sunday, responding to a customer on Twitter, India’s largest airline IndiGo said: “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”.

The revised policy has been effective since November 14, the airline added. The lowest priced seat on an IndiGo flight costs Rs 100, while on SpiceJet it is Rs 99. Prior to the change in policy, IndiGo passengers needed to pay only for certain seats while doing a web check-in such as those with extra legroom and those on the windows or the aisles in certain rows. While on Twitter, IndiGo said that “all seats will be chargeable for web check-in” as per its revised policy, the airline’s page for web check-in on its portal says: “Certain seats may be charged”.

IndiGo’s rival SpiceJet on its website says: “For preferential seating, SpiceJet offers advanced seat assignment at the time of booking or after booking by paying an additional fee. In additional, passenger can also select seats at the time of web check-in with or without any charge”.

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