Flying between India and North America is not easy on the pocket these days. With fuel prices pushing fares up, airlines, too, are being forced to reduce passenger amenities and offers to sustain operations. And now, passengers considering flying Lufthansa on these routes will have to part with significantly more cash for carrying more than one check-in bag.
Lufthansa reduces baggage allowance
While travelers from India flying to North America have multiple options (non-stop and single-stop connections) for airlines, the same can’t be said about baggage allowance. The departure terminals of major Indian airports often bear witness to heavy luggage carts for flights to the US and Canada, but a new Lufthansa policy now calls for an extra charge for a second check-in bag.
Lufthansa will now charge all economy passengers flying between India and North America for a second check-in bag. Photo: Airbus
From August 1st, the German carrier will start charging extra to passengers flying between India and North America for a second check-in bag for economy seats. However, those who have booked the flight on or before July 31st are exempt from this rule.
From now on, an economy passenger on Lufthansa will have to pay an additional €200 online or €250 at the airport for every additional bag. For a return trip, that adds up to an additional €400 to €500 on top of the ticket price.
A leading travel agent in India shared Lufthansa’s communication with The Times of India, which said,
“Effective August 1, 2022, Lufthansa Group’s check-in free baggage policy has been aligned with our Atlantic Joint Venture Partners, United Airlines and Air Canada. On all routes between India and North America (US, Canada, Mexico, etc.) Lufthansa group together with its partners will offer one piece of free check-in baggage in economy class.”
The new policy is applicable to all bookings made from August 1st. Photo: Boeing
The decision to trim baggage allowance is most likely rooted in the current fuel price surge and the financial challenges resulting from that.
A significant portion of revenue for passenger flights comes from the cargo they carry. By charging for a second check-in bag to economy passengers, Lufthansa is hoping to free up the cargo space on its planes to generate the much-needed extra cash these days.
Air India still quite generous
When it comes to a generous baggage allowance for flights between India and North America, Air India is right there on the top. Post-COVID, passengers’ preference for non-stop flights has certainly increased, but for Air India, in particular, its generous baggage policy is also a factor for the popularity of its US and Canada flights.
A quick comparison of fares and the baggage policies of various players vying for passengers on the India-North America sector makes it clear why many travelers prefer to fly Air India, despite the issues with its services. Here are the economy fares and baggage allowance for a one-way ticket from New Delhi (DEL) to Chicago (ORD) for September 30th:
- Air India: $870 (Two 23kg check-in bags allowed)
- United Airlines: $1,317 (One 23kg check-in bag allowed)
- Lufthansa: $1,756 (One 23kg check-in bag allowed)
Air India, however, does face competition from Middle East carriers. For instance, for the same ticket (DEL-ORD, September 30th), Emirates is offering an economy seat for $853 along with two free 23kg check-in bags.
But given the current fuel prices, it remains to be seen if Lufthansa is an exception or if more carriers will also follow in its footsteps.
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Source: The Times of India