Spicejet: India’s best answer for International visitors with lots of luggage
If you visit India and have lots of luggage – as much as you were allowed on your international flight into India, the domestic airlines will take you to the cleaners for any domestic connections. In the good old days, major Indian airlines like Jet Airways, Air India and Kingfisher (ok, Kingfisher is not ‘major’ any more), allowed you the international allowance on the domestic legs as long as you could show an international itinerary within 24 hours of the flight. That is not true anymore. Almost all the airlines in India now allow the international baggage allowance on domestic legs ONLY if you are flying them on the International flight AND the international and domestic flights are on the same PNR! This is a big problem. The domestic baggage allowance in India is only one 20kg bag. If you fly in with two 32 kg bags (allowed if you are a Star Alliance Gold), you will be paying Rs. 200 per kg for the extra 44 kg or Rs. 8,800 ($158 USD). The key word in my statement is ‘almost’. The only exception here is Spicejet. They will allow international baggage allowance on any airlines itinerary, as long as the international leg is within 24 hours of the domestic leg (and of course, the international and domestic legs connect at a common city). Here is a link to this policy on their website, for your reference.
Spicejet was a life saver for me on my last trip to India. I came in on business class and had three bags! Spicejet took care of me – no questions asked. All I had to do was show my international itinerary. Being aware of this policy, I actually booked my connection on Spicejet, despite there being better timed and cheaper options available. I still saved myself a few hundred dollars. This is a good example of how this policy earner Spicejet some additional business. I think other airlines are hurting themselves by forcing international passengers to pay for extra baggage.
One cautionary note I will make, while Spicejet accepts international baggage allowances for checked bags, they still restrict you to one carry-on. This is not a Spicejet policy but a security policy by the government of India. So, remember to check-in your second carry-on bag. In India, it is one carry-on, period! Not one carry-on and a purse or laptop bag.
Anyone have a different experience with Spicejet or any other Indian airline regarding baggage and international connections? Share with us by leaving a comment below.