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New Government Rules: Will Flight Tickets Get Cheaper or Costlier?

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Flying getting expensive? New rules may change flight ticket prices in India. Here's what you need to know about unbundled services, child seating, and how to save money on your next trip!

Planning a trip? New guidelines from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could affect how much you pay for your flight ticket. Here's a breakdown of what's changing and how it might impact your wallet.

Unbundling Services: Pay Only for What You Use

Imagine you're booking a flight. In the past, the ticket price might have included things you didn't necessarily need, like pre-booked meals or airport lounge access. Now, airlines may offer these services as "add-ons" that you can choose to pay for separately. This is called "unbundling."

Here's what this means for you:

Potentially Lower Base Fares

By removing unnecessary extras from the base ticket price, airlines could offer lower starting costs. This could be good news for budget-conscious travellers.

More Control Over Your Spending

You get to decide which services you want to pay for. Don't need a window seat or a fancy meal? You can skip those options and save money.

Important Note: Unbundling doesn't guarantee cheaper flights overall. Airlines might adjust their pricing strategies based on these new guidelines.

What Services Can Be Unbundled?

The DGCA has listed some services that airlines might offer as separate charges:

  • Preferential seating (like window or aisle seats)
  • Meals, snacks, and drinks (except water)
  • Airport lounge access
  • Check-in baggage allowance
  • Fees for sports equipment or musical instruments
  • Special declaration for valuable baggage

New Rule for Children's Seats

The DGCA also introduced a rule requiring airlines to seat children under 12 years old with a parent or guardian travelling on the same booking. This could potentially affect ticket prices in two ways:

Limited "Free" Seat Selection 

Airlines might restrict free seat selection for other passengers to ensure children can sit with their parents. This could make it harder to choose your preferred seat for free.

Increased Child Fares

Airlines might include the cost of seating a child with a parent in the base fare or make child fares more expensive.

What Does This Mean for You?

The impact of these new rules on flight ticket prices isn't entirely clear yet. Here's what you can expect:

More Choice

You'll have more control over what services you pay for, potentially leading to lower overall costs if you're a budget traveller.

Potential Price Shifts

Airlines might adjust their pricing strategies, so it's important to compare options carefully before booking

Planning for Children's Seats

Be prepared that choosing specific seats for your family might incur additional charges.

Tips for Saving Money on Flights

Here are some tips to help you find the best deals on flights even with these new rules:

Compare Prices Across Airlines

Don't just stick with one airline. Look at different options and compare base fares and add-on costs.

Consider Budget Airlines

Budget airlines often offer lower base fares and might be a good option if you don't need many extras.

Be Flexible with Travel Dates

If you're flexible with your travel dates, you might be able to find cheaper flights during off-peak times.

Book in Advance

Generally, booking your flight in advance can help you score better deals.

By staying informed and planning carefully, you can take advantage of the new guidelines and potentially save money on your next flight!