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 per cent of airfare.
On the other hand, 57 per cent 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.
26 per cent respondents said it should be 30 per cent of the airfare, while 47 per cent said it should be 20 per cent of the airfare.
23 per cent people said the cancellation should be flat Rs 1500 and only four per cent 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 make the fares 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.
18 per cent said it should be Rs 150 per kg, 57 per cent said Rs 100 per kg was good and 10 per cent said they were fine with Rs 220 – Rs 350 per kg, which is the current rate.
However, 15 per cent respondents were not sure about it.
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.