In a tweet, IndiGo announced that according to a revised policy, web check-ins would be chargeable - inviting fury from netizens nationwide
New Delhi: In a response to a tweet from a passenger, IndiGo airlines announced that as per a revised policy, all web check-ins will be chargeable. Check-in at the airport would be free of cost, Indigo added, saying that this policy would be effective November 14 onwards.
As per our revised policy, all seats will be chargeable for web check-in. Alternatively, you may check-in at the airport for free. Seats will be assigned as per the availability. ~Prabh— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) November 25, 2018
IndiGo wasn't the only one to implement his new rule. Budget airline Spicejet made this change as well, a move that was widely construed as unwarranted. Soon a barrage of online fury poured in - from the top shots of the technical business to corporate honchos, aam admi to even Indian railways – as they all started trolling both the airlines. At a time when the government was promoting digital India, Paytm came as a big boost for propagating digital payments, right after demonetisation. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar was among the first few who questioned this change.
ICYMI. All Indigo web checked-in are charged now. I thought DIY was the way forward for businesses. https://t.co/Cf5DUl0jT3— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) November 25, 2018
Takshashila Institute director Nitin Pai too didn’t hold back.
If you are a regulator, this should make you think “market power”. The reason why Indigo can charge for online checkin, that costs it less than a counter check-in, is because it can.— Nitin Pai (@acorn) November 25, 2018
If you are a regulator, you’ll be concerned that competition among airlines is weakening. https://t.co/y2BTuZe1mB
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien reminded Indigo of a parliamentary report on its misbehaviour, that's pending with the committee.
What’s going on! There is a Parliamentary report presented (in the public domain) slamming Indigo on how they treat customers. And there you go again https://t.co/kbGCivFUqk— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 25, 2018
Comedians started making fun of the airline suggesting that the day is not far when Indigo may charge for using the washroom.
That day is not too far when Indigo will start charging for the loo and for the oxygen mask which falls in case of sudden drop in air pressure.— Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) November 26, 2018
Even the cash-strapped Indian Railways took advantage of the situation. They urged passengers to switch to trains, rather than standing on long queues or paying an extra amount of money for conveniences like web check-in. The ministry shared it on its Facebook page as well.
No need to pay extra charges for Web-Checkins. No long queues for checking in your luggage. Avoid unreasonable tariff & reduce your carbon footprint by travelling on the good old Indian Railways at affordable rates. pic.twitter.com/ks9fVphoLO— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) November 26, 2018
Sensing the public angst against Indigo - which has a domestic market share of nearly 43% - as well as Spicejet, the Ministry of Civil Aviation intervened to promise a 'review'. Speaking to Economic Times, aviation secretary RN Choubey said, “We are looking into the issue. We need to see that whether this charge is within the fare unbundling scheme that the aviation rules in the country allow".
Meanwhile, IndiGo in a statement has made a complete U-turn saying that it has not changed its web check-in policy under which customers can choose their seats online. However, the damage was done for the market leader in the aviation industry. For once, trolling proved to be beneficial and productive!
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Last Updated Nov 27, 2018, 5:58 PM IST