Beating unbundled flight costs
Which airline is cheapest if you have 20kg of luggage, want to sit with your family, don’t want to queue up for your baggage, or all of them at once. Finding a budget carrier just
Budget travellers were supposed to benefit from unbundling of prices through a reduction in ticket prices. Not like anyone’s surprised, but a month later we’re left with the same old prices and a lot more to pay for, including baggage over 15kg on most airlines and up to Rs500 for a seat with extra legroom. From now on, if you wish to sit in the same row as your family on any budget Indian carrier, you will have to shell out an extra fee for every two of three seats because aisle and window seats have become chargeable. Some carriers have also reduced their free luggage allowance to 15kg from 20kg, so you need don’t just go booking the cheapest flight if you require the ‘additional’ services. Find out which budget carrier is the cheapest for which additional service.
If you have over 15kg, but under 20kg, of baggage
Pick: Spice Jet or Go Airways
Why: These two budget carriers continue to offer the full 20kg of free luggage allowance per person, while the others have dropped it to 15kg.
Don’t pick: Indigo, Jet Airways, including Jet Konnect, and Air India, including Air India Express
Why: Free luggage allowance of all these airlines has been dropped to 15kg. You got to pay for every extra kilogram at varying rates.
If you want to sit with your family
Pick: Air India or Air India Express
Why: The national carrier has decided to defer any charges for preferential seats as of now. However these charges might be enforced once there is clarity regarding the directive from the aviation ministry. While you aren’t still guaranteed a window seat here, you will at least certainly be seated with your family at no extra cost.
Don’t pick: Indigo, Go Airways, Spice Jet, Jet Airways and Jet Konnect
Why: These airlines have decided to charge for all window and aisle seats, so only the middle seats are free. If you wish to be guaranteed a seat with your family, expect to pay Rs200 for selecting these seats on Indigo, Spice Jet or Go Air, and Rs250 on Jet Airways, including Jet Konnect.
If you want your luggage delivered to you
Why: With its Indigo Fast Forward package, you can have your baggage delivered to you at just Rs200.
Don’t pick: Spice Jet, GoAir, Jet Airways and Air India
Why: The Spice Jet Max package (Rs500) does not give you the freedom to choose only priority baggage delivery, which means you’ll need to opt for the whole package even if you don’t want all the services. Jet Airways, on the other hand, only provides this service if you are a Jet Privilege Gold member or if you booked a Jet Premiere ticket.
If you want all of the above
Pick: Spice Jet
Why: With their baggage allowance tagged at 20kg and their Spice Jet Max package for Rs500, you’ll get all of the above services, including a meal, a seat of your choice and priority check-in.
Don’t pick: Indigo, Go Airways, Jet Airways and Air India
Why: None of these airlines give you a combined deal, so there’s no chance they’ll match up with the Spice Jet offer.