Flight Plan

Taking a big load off your mind!

Ashwini Phadnis | Updated on July 24, 2019 Published on July 23, 2019

Services that help fliers carry excess baggage without any hassle are coming in

 

If there is one area in which both the public and private sectors think alike, it is how to help fliers carry excess baggage without paying huge amounts or facing the inconvenience of getting their heavy bags to the airport.

Making welcome moves in this regard, the Airports Authority of India-operated Indore Airport and private company Carter X at Hyderabad airport have started unique services for flyers.

In June this year, Indore Airport tied up with DTDC to help passengers transport their excess baggage at a fraction of what it would cost as excess check-in bags on flights.

The idea of offering such a facility came up as the airport staff noticed that passengers often tried to check in bags that weighed more than the allowed limit. Passengers would often plead with the airline staff and sometimes fights also broke out. On average, domestic airlines allow 15 kg of check-in baggage and 7 kg hand luggage.

Aryama Sanyal, Indore’s Airport Director, says the new facility is aimed at providing passenger convenience and to avoid the discomfort of paying a lot for excess baggage.

“The response is very good. Recently, the MP cricket board transported 500 kg sports gear through this counter to Bengaluru. Every day, four to five passengers use it,” Sanyal says.

Carter X has taken this service a step further in Hyderabad as it provides pick-up and delivery of your bags either from a hotel or your home to the airport and also in the return direction.

Ramya Reddy N, a co-promoter of Carter X, thought of this idea when, on a cycling trip in South-East Asia, she found that her bags reached even before she did at every place that she halted overnight. The service started off in Hyderabad. “You can travel any airline and we will be able to help you pick up and deliver your bags from your house to the airport and from the airport anywhere in South India,” says Harshavardhan N, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Carter X. The company also collects bags from anywhere in South India, including Kakinada, Nellore, Visakhapatnam in AP and destinations in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Currently Carter X is operational at Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports.

Safety steps

To ensure that the bags reach the destination in the condition that they were picked up in, they are photographed before they are picked up, weighed and then packed in tamper-proof covers. “Each bag is barcoded. Even if the cover is torn off and replaced, the barcode cannot be replaced,” Harshavardhan points out.

Carter X is now looking at expanding to other metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai within the next one year.

Both Indore airport and Carter X realise that to be successful they have to be competitively priced. Hence, at Indore airport, the rates charged by DTDC vary from ₹150 for 500 gm to ₹1,000 for 5 kg, going up to ₹3,750 for 25 kg. Carter X charges ₹599 for check-in sized bags and for cabin-size bags it charges ₹299. In comparison, the SpiceJet website shows that it charges ₹250 per kg from passengers who want to carry more on board their domestic flights. On international flights, the rates are ₹450 per kg. These rates are available only if the bags are pre-booked and are subject to a ceiling of 5 kg. The IndiGo website shows that if a passenger pre-books for 3 kg additional weight he will have to pay ₹1,000 while at the airport he will be charged ₹400 per kg.

“₹599 is a very competitive price. We launched at ₹299 irrespective of the bag. About five months back we increased it to ₹599. We do not intend to increase these prices for the next one or two years,” says Harshavardhan.

Published on July 23, 2019
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