In some good news for flyers, the Delhi High Court has put a stay on the extra Rs 100 fee that was charged by private airlines for the excess checked-in baggage. The decision was taken by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday morning where it set aside the extra charge that was fixed by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). According to a report by PTI, the announcement was made by Justice Vibhu Bakhru who has now set aside the DGCA’s June 10, 2016, circular according to which private airlines had been allowed to charge Rs 100 per extra per kg if the weight came in at between 15-20 kg.
However, this doesn’t mean that the passengers can carry extra luggage for free over and above the 20 kg cap. They will still have to pay a fee ranging from Rs 220 to Rs 350 which was charged by the private airlines earlier. However, after a circular was released by the Director General of Civil Aviation last year, the rates had changed. The circular had come to effect from July 1 last year as the court had not stayed it or deferred the date of implementation.
Back then, the court had said that the amounts charged by the private airlines will be restored if the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) succeeded in its plea challenging the circular. The plea was filed by advocate Gaurav Sarin on behalf of FIA.
In this plea, the FIA had said that the DGCA did not have the jurisdiction to fix tariff as this power laid with the airlines and the fares were determined by the market forces. It had said that the DGCA can interfere only when there are specific instances of discriminatory practices and such circulars cannot be issued in a general manner.
As per the current policies, all the domestic carriers allow the passengers a free check-in of up to 15 kgs. Air India is the only carrier that allows free baggage up to 23 kg. The DGCA in its circular had said that the airlines would be free to charge any fee beyond 20 kgs of excess baggage.