AirAsia India plans slew of fees, gets thundered by DGCA

AirAsia India is all set to launch next week, and while they are keeping all their cards very close to their chest, it seems the regulator DGCA does not like some of their plans, because they were not informed in advance.

Like I wrote last week, Air Asia went down the path followed by SpiceJet in their INR 5 tickets during the launch sale last Friday. How did they turn out different than the other low-fare carriers in India? They plan to charge for everything which is their model across the rest of Asia where they operate. Here is a screen grab of their charges which they want to put out.

airasiafees

How is it different? For one, Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir offer 15 Kgs of Baggage allowance for free on all tickets and charge above this limit. Air Asia has included a modest INR 199 charge on this as well if you buy the “low-fare”, provided you book it ahead of arriving at the airport.

Further, from how I can infer the chart, they would like to charge you for processing your refund as well, and a booking charge extra if you want to use the call centre.

It seems these moves have not gone very well with the regulator DGCA, who wants sanity around here. As per them, all unbundled charges need to be first approved by the regulator and then charged, which is not what Air Asia India apparently did and heard from the regulator for rubbing them in the wrong. Anyhow, if you book a ticket with Air Asia now, you will see that they have reduced those charges for the first 15 kg of checked baggage to INR 0 and offering it free for the time being. My advice is to check for the checked bag charges when you book your ticket.

airasia.

What is surprising however, is that Air Asia charged INR 5 + taxes for initial tickets and the DGCA did not say a thing, while they were all over SpiceJet to make sure they don’t offer rock bottom prices on tickets.

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