DGCA approves SpiceJet's 'zero baggage' fare discount scheme

Civil aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved SpiceJet's new scheme, which offers a discount of Rs200 in fares to passengers booking flights with only one handbag and no check-in baggage.

At present all domestic private carriers allow a flyer to carry up to 15 kg of check-in baggage without any cost.

Under the scheme announced by no-frills airline SpiceJet, all passengers travelling without check-in baggage will be able to avail of a discount of Rs200 at the time of booking their air tickets.

The scheme also provides for a penalty in case the flier availing of the discount turns up with check-in baggage, which would be Rs400, including a Rs200 penalty, ie the discount of Rs200 and a penalty of a like amount.

''Passengers will get a discount of Rs 200 if they travel without check-in baggage. But if the passenger reports for the flight with check-in baggage, he will have to pay Rs 400 at the airport,'' reports quoted a senior official in the DGCA as saying.

SpiceJet is reported to have sought permission to charge a penalty of Rs750 per passenger but the government did not approve the levy and instead allowed the airline to charge Rs400 on such fliers.

SpiceJet rolled out the scheme, which offers a Rs200 discount to every passenger who books a flight with only one handbag and no check-in baggage, in June 2015. The offer, which came with a rider that those who book tickets at discounted fares and later decides to check-in with baggage would have to pay a fine of Rs500 for up to 10 kg and Rs750 for up to 15 kg baggage.

The 'zero baggage' scheme was expected to attract a lot of corporate travellers who usually travel light with only cabin baggage. But, the scheme failed, as all domestic private carriers allow a flyer to carry up to 15 kg of check-in baggage without any cost.

The free check-in baggage ceiling for the fliers of Air India is up to 23 kg.