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Get set for cess on check-in baggage
May, 28th 2008

As the government toys with various permutations and combinations on price hikes, duty cuts and, now, a cess on income-tax to tackle soaring crude prices, airlines are preparing to take action. After American Airlines slapped a $15 charge on each piece of checked-in baggage, airlines in India are planning to follow suit. With crude staying firmly over $130 a barrel, consumers have to be prepared to rework their budgets for fuel, groceries, travel and, perhaps, even income-tax.

Airlines, which have seen an over 40% jump in fuel costs over the past quarter, are now considering a proposal to impose a special levy on checked-in luggage to set off the increase in fuel costs. Apart from hiking fuel surcharge from July 1, major airlines like Jet Airways and Kingfisher are considering a baggage fee-additional payment for your checked-in baggage. This is the first time airlines are planning to charge extra even if you do not have excess baggage.

As of now, airlines allow passengers to check in at least a couple of bags as long as they are within a stipulated weight limit. While full-service airlines allow passengers to check in around 20 kg of baggage, low-cost players allow smaller weights.

Passengers are asked to pay extra only if they have baggage in excess of the weight they are entitled to carry.

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