New DGCA Pay Per Use To Make Air Fares Cheaper

New DGCA circular asks airlines to list base fares with seven chargeable services which the passengers can opt for in case they require them.

By Sam
New Update
Mumbai Airport Exterior

Air Fares will become transparent with the new DGCA rules

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Aviation regulator, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has introduced a new directive that could impact flight ticket prices, making air fares more cheaper for some passengers while increasing costs for others. Under the new rules, airlines will need to give a break up of all charges, so that passengers don't pay for services they either don't use or opt out from them.

Airlines typically include charges for certain services in their ticket prices. However, based on feedback, these services are often not needed by many passengers. DGCA now wants airlines to remove these extra charges and allow travellers to choose the services they want. Thanks to this, the base fare for flight tickets could become cheaper.

Baggage Belt
Services like check in baggage will be an opt in feature

The DGCA issues the new circular from April 23, 2024 which states that these extra services should be optional. Passengers should be able to opt-in to them instead of having to opt-out. By using an opt-in process, passengers can choose which extra services they want when book their flight. However, in the opt-out process, all services are included by default unless passengers specifically decline them. An opt-in process is thus more transparent in its pricing and allows passengers to get the chapest fare without opting for any extra services. 

DGCA has given a list of services that airlines can now offer on an opt-in basis. According to the circular, the DGCA listed seven services that, if removed from the ticket cost, could lower the base fare.

These 7 services are:

1. Preferential seating
2. Meal/snack/drink charges (except drinking water)
3. Charges for airline lounges
4. Check-in baggage
5. Sports equipment charges
6. Musical instrument carriage

7. Fees for declaring valuable baggage with higher liability limits

Mumbai Airport
If passengers dont opt correctly, there could be longer queues at check in counters

The DGCA circular says that airlines can offer both free baggage allowance and "Zero baggage allowance. However, should  passenger opt for a no-check in bagage option and carries a check in baggage to the airport, airlines can charge them for it. The new rules say that these charges need to be reasonable and the passenger should know in advance about these charges while they are booking the ticket.

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