Most people I know love travelling heavy, and this is true for a lot of us in India. However, this has an impact on everything that is related to an airlines operation. Bags take time to load and unload, apart from the fact that they reduce the airlines capability to put cargo in the luggage holds. One of the first steps to reduce the long standing baggage allowance given in India was made in 2013. Since then baggage allowances at most carriers are at 15 kgs, except for Air India which now offers 25 Kgs again.
To circumvent the lower limit, it seems people have started to bring their luggage into the cabin a lot more. There have been a number of times that I’ve walked into a plane, and someone else has already taken my overhead bin space, and I’m usually seated in the front rows, so this means everything is full all the way through the back.
Again, this has impact on pushback times and sometimes people travel with 3 bags or more in the cabin. Till so far, Jet Airways was lenient about this, however that will change tomorrow onwards.
For a recap, here is the official Jet Airways cabin bag policy:
- Always carry a single cabin bag per guest.
- Your cabin bag weight should not exceed 7 kgs.
- An infant carrying basket is allowed per infant traveling within India.
- JetPrivilege Platinum, Gold members and Premiere guests will be entitled to cabin baggage allowance of 10kgs + 1 laptop across all Jet Airways flights within India.
In addition to the free cabin baggage allowance, the following articles, may be carried inside the aircraft (subject to security regulations):
- An overcoat wrap or blanket
- An umbrella or walking stick
- A lady’s handbag, pocketbook or purse
- Reading material for the flight
- A small camera and/or a pair of binoculars
- Infant’s carrying basket
- Infant food for consumption on the flight
- A fully collapsible invalid’s wheelchair and/or a pair of crutches and / or braces or other prosthetic device for the guest’s use provided that the guest is dependent upon them.
- A laptop
With effect from July 15, 2016, the airline is going to introduce a new charge of INR 900 per excess cabin baggage. Which means, while you can carry a 7-10 kg cabin bag which fits the weight and size dimensions (baggage sizers/contours are installed!) and a small laptop bag/handbag which can go under the seat in front of you.
Besides that, every extra bag to be brought in the cabin will be accepted if there is space in the cabin, and charges will be collected at the gate. This is valid for flights originating from the following airports: Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru & Hyderabad. For connecting journeys, a single charge will be payable. When you are connecting from a non-metro airport, then you may be asked to pay this charge at your connecting airport.
Is it a good move?
As per the airline, quoted in the papers, this move is more as a deterrent rather than a revenue generator.
Some guests carry hand baggage over and above limit, resulting in lack of storage in the overhead compartments in the aircraft. This leads to boarding delays, causes inconvenience to other guests and affects the airline’s on-time performance. Jet Airways will therefore ensure adherence to the carriage of cabin baggage policy for the convenience of all guests,” a Jet spokesman said.
I would like to see an implementation before I would call an opinion on this. I don’t imagine the airline to have all bags put through the contours at the boarding gate, but this will see the need for more gate agents to scan and tag bags, just like it happens at many an international airlines. Currently, I see only one-two people manning a flight, scanning boarding passes and coordinating with other staff at the gate. Indian travellers also have the tendency to crowd out the gate, so, I’m wondering if boarding discipline would be enforced as well or not.
What is your view on the new charges imposed by Jet Airways? Fair deal, eh?