New Delhi: Facing passengers' fury over additional charges for selecting seats during web check-in, budget carrier Indigo has clarified that the additional charges are only for “advance selection of seats”.
"The airline has neither changed its web check-in policy, nor is there any charge for web check-in", IndiGo said.
"This is to further clarify that IndiGo customers will NOT compulsorily have to pay for the seats. The pricing is only for advance selection of seats. When the customer checks-in at the airport, the seats would be assigned for free. That said, there is no guarantee that the seat of choice for the passenger would be available at the time of airport check-in. Advance selection for a small fee helps consumers reserve the seat of their choice on their flight," it added.
The company said that this is a common practice followed by airlines across the globe. The customers can always obtain the seat at the airport kiosk check-in or counter, though this may not guarantee that they would be assigned the seat of their choice.
The no-frill carrier also clarified that a child passenger above the age of 2 years will be allocated a seat and the same goes for each passenger.
“Further, a convenience fee is collected for operating the online booking system, to help passengers to book tickets online while using a credit/debit card/net banking. Moreover, you may get in touch with the available staff at the counter for assistance.” it added.
While the preferred seat pricing starts as low as Rs 100, there would be some seats that may be available for free depending on the market dynamics for the flight. Thus, there are some seats that are available for free at a certain time period before departure or on certain aircraft type, Indigo said.
If the passengers have no particular preference for seats and would not like to pay for advance seat selection, they can either reserve any free seats available at the time of web check-in or will, of course, be assigned seats at the time of airport check-in, it said.
Indigo also clarified that passenger traveling under corporate booking are entitled to free of cost seats for web check-in.
Responding to a tweet enquiry on check-in charges, Indigo said that web check-in will be chargeable while airport check-in are still free.
As per our revised policy, all seats will be chargeable for web check-in. Alternatively, you may check-in at the airport for free. Seats will be assigned as per the availability. ~Prabh
— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 25, 2018
The revised policy is effective from November 14, Indigo has said. Consequently, passengers choosing for web check-in will have to pay between Rs 100-800 extra, depending upon the position of the seat.
Meanwhile the Civil Aviation Ministry has taken cognisance of the web check-in fees and has tweeted that it is reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework.
MoCA has noted that airlines are now charging for web check-in for all seats. We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework.
— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) November 26, 2018
Earlier, the budget carrier charged only for particular types of seats like a window or aisle seat or seat having extra legroom when passenger opted for online selection.
For web check-in of a first-row seat, a flyers will have to pay Rs 800 extra, while passengers will be charged Rs 600 extra for choosing a non-reclining seat next to the emergency exit and middle seat in the last row will cost Rs 100.