In an attempt to plug revenue loss of Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has imposed a blanket ban on excess baggage checked in by ministers and civil servants, which is generally carried free by the airlines.
Singh, in a letter to Air India CMD Rohit Nandan, said that the airline should stop the practise of carrying excess baggage without charges immediately on domestic and international flights, a senior official said.
The Minister has said that no such requests should be entertained as the airline needs to generate more revenue, he added, referring to his letter written on Thursday.
World over, excess baggage fee is a form of an ancillary revenue for airlines.
Welcoming the move, airline officials said on an average they used to get around 100 requests for waiver of excess baggage fees on Air India flights from some "important persons".
"Sometimes we are unable to say no to their request," they said, adding this practise would end now "as we can flatly tell them that it is an order and we have to abide by it".
"We would be able to save not only fuel but also earn handsome revenue," the officials said.
It is common practise by the airlines to levy a charge for luggage checked in over and above the free baggage allowance.
Normally, the free baggage allowance is 20 kg for a flier but Air India has been lenient in dealing with special requests, especially by VIPs who fly by the national carrier.
On international routes, an Air India passenger can carry 28 kg checked-in baggage free on a London flight but they have to pay Rs 1,570 per kg for excess baggage.
While on a Delhi-New York flight, the first 56 kg is free after which for any extra weight of upto nine kg, the passenger has to pay a fee of $50, the official said.