As per a report in The Economic Times, IndiGo has revised its policy and passengers travelling on the LCC will be charged between INR 100-800 for seat selection online, depending upon the position of the seat. The check-in at the airport, however, is free of charge.
For the seats in the first-row, travellers will have to shell out INR 800 extra, while a non-reclining seat in row 12, which is next to the emergency exit, will cost an additional INR 600 when selected online. A middle seat in the last row will cost INR 100 more, as per the revised charges.
“As per our revised policy, all seats are chargeable for web check-in. Alternatively, you may check-in at the airport for free. Seats will be assigned as per the availability,” stated IndiGo’s Twitter handle.
Meanwhile, the government has said that it will review IndiGo’s decision to charge for web check-in. “We are reviewing these fees to see whether they fall within the unbundled pricing framework,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said in a statement on Monday morning.
The Gurugram-headquartered airline reported its first quarterly loss at INR 651 crore in July-September period due to high fuel cost and rupee depreciation. (Source: The Economic Times)
IndiGo later clarifies its web check-in procedures
IndiGo confirms that there is no change in the airline’s web check-in practice. Keeping in mind consumer preferences and market demand, IndiGo makes dynamic decisions about pricing for advance seat selection. This segmentation helps us to serve different customer segments as per their requirements. For instance, passengers who would prefer to have extra leg-room seats or would like to be seated together on a flight can make advance reservations and minimise any inconvenience of their preferred seats being not available when they arrive at the airport for check-in.
Similarly, families or friends who would like to be seated together on a flight can make advance reservations and minimize any inconvenience of contiguous seats being not available when they arrive at the airport for check-in. The pricing of different seats is dynamic in nature and may vary based on aircraft type, length of the route, occupancy, days before departure etc.
This is to further clarify that IndiGo customers will NOT compulsorily have to pay for the seats. The pricing is only for the 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.
While the preferred seat pricing starts as low as INR 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 (e.g. 1 day before departure) or on certain aircraft type (e.g., ATR operated flights). 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.
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.