Airlines are facing a bad time in India, The amount of loss faced by these companies in the last quarter expresses the condition in a better way. Jet Airways had registered losses of Rs. 1297 crore in the last quarter, SpiceJet lost Rs. 380 crore, while Indigo reported losses of Rs. 652 crore.
To overcome this loss, IndiGo has announced to start charging for web check-in of all seats as carriers continue to look for ways to make up for higher costs.
Indigo said it has revised its policies since Nov. 14 to make all seats selected online chargeable, according to a series to tweets by the airline. It will cost between Rs 100 and Rs 800 depending on the preference. This isn’t a sudden move as India’s airlines have been charging customers extra amounts to choose premium seats while checking in online.
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. ~Prabh
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 25, 2018
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that it is reviewing charges levied by airlines for web check-ins for all seats. “MoCA 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.
MoCA 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.
— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) November 26, 2018
The major reasons for this are rising fuel prices, a weaker rupee and competitive fares. IndiGo, Jet Airways Ltd. and SpiceJet Ltd., which account for 70 percent of the market, reported a combined net loss before tax of more than Rs 2,600 crore—the highest in three years.
This made Twitter users express their anger and some prominent people including Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ritesh Banglani were quick to share their views.
ICYMI. All Indigo web checked-in are charged now. I thought DIY was the way forward for businesses. https://t.co/Cf5DUl0jT3
— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) November 25, 2018
Indigo clearly missing the wood for the trees. Airport check-in = higher staff cost, flight delays, lower customer satisfaction. Surely the tiny fees from web check-in can't be worth it. https://t.co/uefNL4KTBn
— Ritesh Banglani (@banglani) November 25, 2018
Even MPs got involved. Derek O’Brien said that there was already a Parliamentary report that had slammed Indigo.
What’s going on! There is a Parliamentary report presented (in the public domain) slamming Indigo on how they treat customers. And there you go again https://t.co/kbGCivFUqk
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 25, 2018
And it didn’t take long for the jokes to start:
Hi @IndiGo6E here are some more things you charge on your flights:
Seats: reclining, cushions, arm rests
"Insert credit card to open window blinds, reading lights or call the attendant"
Travel time charge (like @Uber)
Overhead oxygen masks
Priority emergency evacuation https://t.co/Tx0DOM5rws
— vadakkus (@vadakkus) November 25, 2018
Beautiful. As per your revised policy, do you also charge for oxygen masks in case the plane loses altitude quickly? Do let me know so that I can carry my own.
— Harihar Goswami (@harihar_goswami) November 25, 2018
Suggest you start charging Rs 2 per use of toilet.
And co-brand this venture with "Sulabh Shauchalay".
— Mano Sharma (@manoharsh11) November 25, 2018