The ministry of civil aviation has said that airlines can’t charge extra money from passengers who obtain their boarding passes at airport counters for domestic flights. In a statement issued on Thursday.
The ministry said that charging extra for a printed boarding pass at the airport is not in accordance with instructions issued by the ministry in the matter as per Rule 135 of the Aircraft Rules.
The ministry further asked the airlines to not charge any additional amount for airport-issued boarding passes. The statement issued by the ministry says:
“It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Civil Aviation that Airlines are charging additional amounts for issuing boarding passes from the passengers seeking check-in at airport counters. Such additional amount is not in accordance with the instructions given in the aforesaid Order or as per extant provisions of Aircraft Rules, 1937.
It is notable that in order to encourage web check-ins by passengers, certain low-cost airlines are charging extra amounts for issuing boarding passes in airports. More web check-ins help the airlines to reduce queues at boarding counters at the airports. Two major airlines, IndiGo and SpiceJet are charging Rs 200 extra for such boarding passes.
The ministry also referred to its earlier asking airlines to encourage web check-in during the Covid-19 pandemic, clarifying that the ministry never talked about charging extra for airport boarding passes. When flights resumed after the lockdown, the ministry had advised the airlines to make provisions for web check-ins and encourage the same, to avoid crowding at airports.
Along with that, the ministry had also asked to minimise or avoid penal charges for non-web-check-in passengers. The ministry in the statement said: “The undersigned is directed to refer to the Order no. AV.29017/5/2020-DT dated 21.05.2020, enclosing therewith general instructions to be followed by passengers and Specific Operating Guidelines for major stakeholders for recommencement of domestic air travel for passengers w.e.f. 25.05.2020 inter-alia indicating that passengers have to ensure that they make a web check-in and generate Boarding Pass. Further, it is also requested to refer to the letter of even reference dated 09.05.2022 advising airlines to encourage, facilitate and guide the air passengers for making timely web check-in and bag tag printing and minimize/avoid penal charge on non-web-check-in traveling passengers.”
The instruction to stop extra charge on airport issued boarding passes came after union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said in May that he will look into the matter. The matter of the additional charge had triggered a massive outrage when a social media user had narrated how SpiceJet was charging Rs 200 for issuing boarding passes at the counter.
Responding to the controversy, Scindia had said that he agrees that this is unreasonable, and said he will examine the issue as soon as possible.