Airline passengers demand reduction in cancellation charges

Ministry of Civil Aviation, airfare, reduction in cancellation fees, airline, passenger poll

India is the third largest air-travel market in the world and is witnessing a constant double-digit growth, with each passing year.

With airlines offering extraordinarily low fares, people’s preference is shifting towards them and they don’t mind booking tickets three to six months in advance. But, these low fares come with strict cancellation charges and limited baggage allowance in many cases.

According to a survey by leading community social media platform, LocalCircles, most consumers in India want the airline cancellation charges to be 20% of airfare.

On the other hand, 57 percent citizens want excess baggage charges to be reduced to Rs 100 per kilo.

The survey which got more than 14,000 responses, asked citizens what should the airline ticket cancellation charges per segment be if the cancellation is done two hours prior to departure.

Around 26% respondents said it should be 30% of the airfare, while 47% said it should be 20% of the airfare.

23% people said the cancellation should be flat Rs 1500 and only four percent said it should be the same as what it is now, i.e. Rs 2000 – Rs 3000 per segment.

Airlines offer very low fares through advance purchase but, these fares are non-refundable.

So, in case a person needs to cancel his/her ticket due to an unforeseen circumstance, they end up paying a majority of the ticket price as the cancellation fee.

Another poll asked citizens what a reasonable charge for excess baggage on domestic flights was.

Around 18% said it should be Rs 150/kg, 57% said Rs 100/kg was good and 10% said they were fine with Rs 220 – Rs 350/kg, which is the current rate.

However, 15% respondents polled not sure.

Many consumers have complained that the excess baggage fee charged at the airline counters is way too much for their liking and must be reduced and capped at a certain amount.

They are expecting that the Ministry of Civil Aviation will take a note of the citizen demands and act on it.

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