Courier firms get air luggage pie

Flyers using services for extra luggage.

Hyderabad: Air passengers carrying excess baggage are approaching courier services for avoiding huge additional charges from flight operators and to get the baggage at their door steps. Domestic flights are allowing 15 to 25 kg luggage along with passengers and charging more from Rs 160 to Rs 250 per kg for additional baggage by offering various packages that allow certain limits of weight like 0-5kg, 5-10kg etc. To avoid payment of huge amounts for lesser weight, passengers are increasingly relying on couriers, which are collecting from Rs 135 to Rs 160 per kg for airmail. They deliver the consignment in 12-24 hours. For express delivery via roadways, they charge Rs 50 to Rs 75 per kg, and deliver the parcels in three to four days.

Indigo is allowing 7+15 kg of baggage with specific dimensions for economy passengers and Jet Airways 15 kg, whereas Air India is permitting 25 kg of baggage facility apart from personal items like handbag, laptop etc. The tariff for economy class travellers towards the additional baggage varies with different flight operators. Air India is charging them in four categories – Below 5 kg, 5-10 kg, 10-15 kg and 15-20 kg. It charges Rs 1,190 per piece for weight below 5 kg, followed by Rs 2,390 (5-10 kg), Rs 3,580 (10-15 kg) and Rs 4,770 for economy class passengers inclusive of all taxes.

Jet Airways is charging Rs 100 per kg luggage of 15 to 20 kg, apart from Rs 1,000 as additional charge at the check-in. Indigo Airlines is charging Rs 500 for 5kg, Rs 2,000 for 10kg, Rs 3,500 for 15 kg and Rs 8,000 for 30kg for domestic passengers. Due to the heavy charges, air travellers are approaching courier services. A few courier services are displaying advertisements stating that they provide rapid transport services.

Ramnarayan Dwivedi, a techie from city, said he frequently travels to New Delhi. The excess luggage charges are more with Air India and other flight operators. “If I take some excess luggage like books and gifts weighing two to three kg, I need to pay more money to flight operators than I could with courier services. In such circumstances, I prefer courier services offering Rs 135 to Rs 160 per kg for airmail, for which I should pay below Rs 500 for my parcels.”

The advantage with the luggage transportation by flight operators, he said, “is that we can collect it at the airport soon after the flight reaches. The advantage with the courier services is they deliver at our doorsteps. Courier services deliver consignments in 12 to 24 hours.” Vijaya, an executive from Gati courier services, said they charge Rs 130 to Rs 160 per kg by air from Hyderabad. An executive from Professional couriers said they charge Rs 70 per kg via roadways transportation and Rs 135 by air from Hyderabad to Delhi. Bluedart executive Kishore said they charge based on the cost of the consignment and weight. “We charge Rs 200 to Rs 260 per kg for domestic destinations,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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