The Shift in Airline Baggage Policies: From 2 Bags to 1 on US India International Flights

Why Airlines Are Limiting Passengers to 1 Bag on International Flights from the USA

International Flights

Airlines worldwide have been altering their baggage policies, with a noticeable shift from allowing two checked bags to just one on international flights from the USA to India. This change has left many travelers frustrated and inconvenienced, particularly those embarking on long-haul journeys who are accustomed to packing more for their trips. At the heart of this shift lies the airline industry's increasing focus on maximizing profits, often at the expense of passenger convenience. Post-COVID-19, airlines have faced significant financial challenges, and in their bid to recover, they have turned to various revenue-boosting strategies, including reducing baggage allowances. This article delves into the reasons behind this policy change, shedding light on the airlines' growing emphasis on their bottom line and the impact on travelers.

Airlines like Etihad, Air India, Emirates, Qatar, BA, and KLM  typically allow two 23kg checked bags, highlighting the need to choose airlines that fit your luggage requirements.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the airline industry hard, grounding fleets and drastically reducing passenger numbers. As international travel resumes, airlines are eager to recoup their losses. Unfortunately, this has led to a surge in ancillary fees, including those for checked baggage. Airlines have become increasingly "greedy," prioritizing their financial recovery over passenger satisfaction. By reducing the free checked baggage allowance, they compel passengers to either pack lighter or pay extra fees, thus boosting their revenues. This shift reflects a broader trend in the industry, where the bottom line has become more important than ever, and every opportunity to increase income is exploited, often to the detriment of the traveler experience.

It appears that many European airlines have updated their policies to allow only one checked bag for Economy passengers - Lufthansa/United have 1 check bag allowance.

Airlines Have Become Greedy

Many passengers feel that airlines have grown greedy, using every opportunity to charge for services that were once included in the ticket price. The reduction in baggage allowance is a prime example. This shift means that travelers, especially those on extended trips, are now forced to either pay extra for an additional bag or make do with less. The added costs can be substantial, turning what might seem like a minor policy change into a significant expense for frequent travelers.

Bottom Line Is More Important

The driving force behind this policy change is clear: the bottom line. Airlines are under immense pressure to improve their financial performance post-pandemic. Reducing the baggage allowance is an effective way to increase revenue, as many passengers will need to check a second bag and pay the associated fee. This strategy not only boosts immediate income but also reduces operational costs, as handling fewer bags means lower expenses in terms of labor and logistics.

After COVID, They Just Want to Make Money

The financial impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry cannot be overstated. With flights canceled, staff furloughed, and fleets grounded, airlines have been desperate to find ways to recover financially. One of the quickest and most effective methods has been to increase ancillary fees, with baggage fees being an easy target. By reducing the free checked baggage allowance from two bags to one, airlines can capitalize on the need for travelers to carry more, thereby generating additional revenue streams. This approach underscores the harsh reality of the current airline industry landscape: making money has taken precedence over passenger comfort and convenience.

Airlines That Charge for Two Checked Bags on International Flights

Several airlines charge for a second checked bag on international flights, especially from the USA. Here are some examples:

  1. American Airlines: Charges for the second checked bag on many international routes.
  2. United Airlines: Implements fees for the second checked bag on several international flights.
  3. Delta Air Lines: Often charges for a second checked bag on international routes, depending on the destination.
  4. JetBlue Airways: Charges for both the first and second checked bags on most international flights.
  5. Spirit Airlines: Charges for all checked bags, including the first and second, on international routes.
  6. Frontier Airlines: Fees apply for all checked bags, including the second one, on international flights.
  7. Norwegian Air: Typically charges for the second checked bag on international flights.
  8. Ryanair: Charges for all checked baggage, including the second bag, on international routes.
  9. WOW Air: Applies fees for the second checked bag on international flights.
  10. Aer Lingus: Charges for the second checked bag on many transatlantic flights.

External Medical Devices at India Airports

Airport Screening for Medical Devices in India

External Medical Devices

Traveling with external medical devices can be daunting, especially when navigating airport security. Understanding the protocols at Indian airports can help ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Whether you have a bone growth stimulator, spinal stimulator, neurostimulator, port, feeding tube, insulin pump, ostomy, or other medical devices, it's crucial to be well-prepared for the screening process. This article provides essential guidelines for travelers with medical devices, helping you navigate security checks with confidence and ease.

Informing Airport Security

Before the screening process begins, inform the airport security officer if you have an external medical device attached to your body and where it is located. Devices such as bone growth stimulators, spinal stimulators, neurostimulators, ports, feeding tubes, insulin pumps, and ostomies require special attention. Providing the officer with medical documentation describing your condition can facilitate the process and ensure you receive the appropriate handling and care.

X-Ray and Screening Procedures

If your medical device can be safely disconnected, submit it for X-ray screening. Consult with the device manufacturer to determine whether it can pass through the X-ray, metal detector, or advanced imaging technology used for screening. This step is crucial to ensure the device's functionality is not compromised.

For devices that cannot be disconnected, additional screening may be required. Devices in sensitive areas are subject to careful and gentle inspection by security officers. Communicating clearly and providing necessary documentation can help ensure a thorough yet respectful screening process.

Additional Tips

  • Carry Medical Documentation: Always travel with documentation from your healthcare provider detailing your medical condition and the necessity of the device.
  • Consult with the Device Manufacturer: Before traveling, check with the manufacturer for any specific travel-related guidelines or precautions.
  • Arrive Early: Allow extra time at the airport to accommodate any additional screening procedures that may be necessary.
Not sure if contacting Indian domestic airlines like Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, or SpiceJet will provide information about external medical devices? TSA: External Medical Devices

Navigating airport security with external medical devices doesn't have to be stressful. By being well-informed and prepared, you can ensure a smoother journey and focus on your travel plans with peace of mind.

Do India Airlines Reimburse for Damaged Baggage?

Do airlines compensate for damaged luggage in India?

damaged baggage

Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but dealing with damaged baggage can quickly turn a dream trip into a nightmare. If you're flying with an Indian airline and find your luggage damaged upon arrival, you might wonder about your rights and the compensation process. This article will guide you through what to expect, how to claim compensation, and the limits of that compensation.

Do Airlines Have to Compensate You if They Lose Your Luggage?

Yes, airlines are generally required to compensate passengers if their luggage is lost or damaged. Indian airlines are part of the Montreal Convention, which sets the framework for international air travel and passenger rights, including compensation for lost or damaged baggage.

What Compensation is Available Under the Montreal Convention?

Under the Montreal Convention, passengers are entitled to full compensation for lost or damaged baggage up to a certain limit. As of the current standards, this limit is approximately 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is a mix of currency values established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This amount translates to around $1,600 USD, but it can vary with exchange rates.

Airlines' Responsibilities for Damaged Baggage

When your baggage is damaged during transportation, airlines are responsible for either repairing the luggage or reimbursing you for its value. This responsibility covers damage that occurs while the bag is under the airline's control. The amount of compensation is typically calculated based on the current value of the suitcase. Most airlines will reimburse between 10% and 30% of the purchase price per year since the bag was bought. If the luggage can be repaired, the airline may choose to cover the repair costs instead.

Limits of Compensation

The compensation limits for damaged baggage are defined by the Montreal Convention. While the maximum reimbursement is around $1,600 USD, the exact amount can vary. Airlines might also apply depreciation to the value of the luggage, reducing the payout based on the age of the bag. It's important to note that there are maximum liability limits, and passengers should check with their specific airline for detailed policies.

How to Claim Damaged Baggage with Major Indian Airlines

Claiming with Air India

  1. Report Immediately: Report the damage at the Air India baggage service desk at the airport.
  2. Fill Out a Form: Complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) form.
  3. Submit Supporting Documents: Provide receipts, photographs of the damage, and any other required documents.
  4. Follow Up: Keep in touch with Air India's customer service for updates on your claim.

Claiming with IndiGo

  1. Report Damage: Report the damage at the IndiGo baggage service desk at the airport.
  2. Documentation: Fill out a damage report and provide any necessary documentation.
  3. Wait for Assessment: IndiGo will assess the damage and decide on repair or compensation.
  4. Receive Compensation: If approved, you will receive reimbursement or your luggage will be repaired.

How to Get Money for Damaged Luggage

Standard Claim Process

  1. Immediate Reporting: Report the damage as soon as you notice it.
  2. Complete Forms: Fill out any necessary forms provided by the airline.
  3. Provide Evidence: Submit receipts, photos, and any other supporting documents.
  4. Follow Up: Keep in touch with the airline for the status of your claim.

If the Airline Won't Compensate

  1. AirSewa: If the airline is uncooperative, you can raise a complaint with AirSewa, a platform by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in India.
  2. Consumer Courts: Another option is to file a case in the Consumer Courts of India for unresolved disputes.

Additional Tips

  • Replacement Over Compensation: Instead of asking for monetary compensation, request a replacement bag of equivalent value.
  • Travel Insurance: Check if your travel insurance  or baggage Insurance covers damaged luggage.
  • Credit Card Benefits: Some credit cards offer baggage insurance as part of their benefits.

Dealing with damaged baggage can be frustrating, but knowing your rights and the process can make it easier. Always report damage immediately, provide necessary documentation, and don't hesitate to use platforms like AirSewa or consumer courts if needed. With these steps, you can ensure you're properly compensated for any inconvenience caused by damaged luggage.

Check back often for updates and more tips to make your travel smoother and stress-free!

Lost or Damaged Bags in India Flights 

Liquids Rule at Indian Airports: Breast Milk, Formula, and Juice

Are Breast Milk, Formula, and Juice Exempt from the Liquids Rule at Indian Airports?

Baby Food

Traveling with infants and young children involves extra preparation, especially when it comes to carrying essential items like breast milk, formula, and juice. Understanding the security regulations at Indian airports can significantly ease the travel experience for parents. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in many countries has specific exemptions for these items, but how do Indian airports handle them? This article delves into the regulations surrounding the transport of breast milk, formula, and juice at Indian airports, ensuring you have the information you need for a smooth journey.

Liquids Rule at Indian Airports

In general, Indian airports follow the 100ml rule for liquids in carry-on baggage. However, there are exceptions for baby food, including breast milk, formula, and juice. These exemptions are designed to ensure that parents can carry the necessary nourishment for their infants without undue hassle.

Air India

Air India allows parents to carry baby food, including breast milk, formula, and juice, in reasonable quantities beyond the 100ml limit. It is advisable to inform the airline staff and security personnel during the security check to avoid any misunderstandings.

IndiGo

IndiGo also permits the carriage of baby food, including breast milk and formula, beyond the standard liquid restrictions. Parents are encouraged to declare these items at the security checkpoint and may need to undergo additional screening.

Vistara

Vistara supports the needs of traveling families by allowing breast milk, formula, and juice in quantities exceeding 100ml. As with other airlines, it’s best to inform the security staff and airline crew in advance.

SpiceJet

SpiceJet provides similar exemptions for baby food. Passengers should notify security personnel about carrying breast milk, formula, or juice to ensure a smooth screening process.

Tips for Traveling with Baby Food

  1. Declare Items: Always inform the security personnel about the baby food you are carrying to avoid any delays or issues.
  2. Pack Smartly: Keep all baby food items in a separate bag for easy inspection.
  3. Documentation: Carry a letter from a pediatrician if necessary, explaining the need for these items.
  4. Check Airline Policies: Although most airlines have similar policies, it’s always good to check with your specific airline for any unique requirements.

Understanding the exemptions for breast milk, formula, and juice at Indian airports can significantly ease the stress of traveling with young children. Airlines like Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, and SpiceJet accommodate these needs, allowing parents to carry necessary baby food beyond the standard liquid restrictions. By following the tips and guidelines provided, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey through Indian airports.

Travelling to India With desktop PC

Can I carry my desktop in flight in India?

Desktop

Traveling to India with your desktop PC? Whether you're relocating, traveling for work, or simply can't bear to part with your high-performance machine, bringing your workstation can be a daunting task. This article will guide you through the nuances of carrying your monitor, CPU, and PC to India, exploring the various types of desktop PCs and the brands that make them.

Even if your carry-on baggage meets regulations and you have a confirmation letter, there's no guarantee you'll be allowed to bring it on board.

It's important to declare your desktop computer to customs authorities upon arrival in India. You may need to complete a customs declaration form, detailing the item's value and the purpose of bringing it into the country.

Additionally, we'll cover any restrictions you may face and the potential customs duties on used desktop computers.

Can You Carry the Monitor, CPU, and PC to India?

Yes, you can carry your monitor, CPU, and PC to India, but there are specific guidelines and restrictions to follow. Understanding these can make your journey smoother and avoid any unpleasant surprises at customs.

Desktop PC Restrictions

When traveling with a desktop PC, it's crucial to be aware of the airline's baggage policies and the regulations of the destination country. Desktop PCs typically include:

  • CPU Restrictions: Ensure your CPU is packed securely to prevent damage. Airlines might require it to be in checked luggage due to its size.
  • PC Restrictions: As with the CPU, desktop PCs must be packed properly. It's advisable to use the original packaging or a well-padded box to ensure safety during transit.

Types of Desktop PCs

  1. Small Form Factor PC: Compact and easier to transport, making it ideal for travelers.
  2. Tower PC: Larger and more powerful, but bulkier to carry.
  3. All-in-One: Integrates the monitor and CPU, saving space and reducing the number of items to carry.
  4. Mini PC: Ultra-compact, offering portability with decent performance.
  5. Gaming PC: High-performance, often larger and heavier, requiring careful packing.

When traveling with a desktop, whether it’s an Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, or an Apple iMac, it's essential to know the regulations. Each of these brands offers unique features, but transporting them involves similar steps. Securely pack your desktop to prevent damage. If you own an Apple iMac, its all-in-one design can simplify packing. Brands like Asus, Acer, and HP provide various form factors, from compact to full-sized towers. Lenovo and Dell desktops are known for their durability, while MSI desktops are popular among gamers. Always check with your airline and customs for specific guidelines.

Do I Have to Pay Customs on Used Desktop Computer While Traveling to India?

Customs duties may apply when bringing a desktop PC to India, even if it is used. The exact amount can vary based on the item's value, age, and condition. It's advisable to check the latest customs regulations on the official Indian customs website or consult with the airline to get accurate information.

Carrying a desktop PC to India involves understanding the types of PCs, their restrictions, and potential customs duties. Proper preparation and awareness of the regulations can ensure a hassle-free experience, allowing you to bring your essential tech with you.

 

How to Pack a Desktop PC for Traveling

Traveling with a desktop PC requires careful packing to ensure that your valuable equipment arrives safely. Follow these steps to pack your desktop PC properly:

Materials Needed

  • Original packaging (if available)
  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Anti-static bags
  • Packing tape
  • Foam padding or packing peanuts
  • Zip ties or Velcro straps

Steps to Pack Your Desktop PC

  1. Back Up Data: Before packing, ensure you have backed up all important data to avoid data loss in case of any mishaps.

  2. Turn Off and Unplug: Shut down your desktop PC and unplug all cables and peripherals.

  3. Remove and Pack Components Separately:

    • Graphics Card and Other Expansion Cards: If you have a high-end graphics card or other expansion cards, remove them and pack them in anti-static bags. Use bubble wrap to add an extra layer of protection.
    • Hard Drives and SSDs: If possible, remove hard drives and SSDs and pack them separately in anti-static bags.
  4. Secure Internal Components: If you cannot remove components, secure them with foam padding inside the case to prevent movement.

  5. Wrap the Desktop Tower: Wrap the desktop tower in bubble wrap, ensuring all sides are well-covered. Secure the bubble wrap with tape.

  6. Pack the Tower in a Box: Place the wrapped tower in a sturdy cardboard box. Fill any gaps with packing peanuts or foam padding to prevent movement.

  7. Monitor Packing: If you are also traveling with a monitor:

    • Screen Protection: Place a soft cloth over the screen to prevent scratches.
    • Bubble Wrap: Wrap the monitor in bubble wrap and secure it with tape.
    • Boxing: Place the wrapped monitor in a separate box, filling gaps with foam or packing peanuts.
  8. Pack Cables and Peripherals: Use zip ties or Velcro straps to bundle cables neatly. Pack them in a separate box or in the same box as the desktop if space allows.

  9. Label the Boxes: Clearly label the boxes as "Fragile" and "This Side Up" to ensure careful handling.

Tips for Safe Transport

  • Use Original Packaging: If available, the original packaging offers the best protection.
  • Avoid Overpacking: Do not overfill the box to avoid crushing the contents.
  • Consider Insurance: If shipping, consider purchasing insurance for your desktop PC.
  • Check Airline Guidelines: If flying, check with your airline for specific guidelines on carrying electronics.

By following these steps, you can ensure your desktop PC is well-protected and arrives safely at your destination.

Traveling to India With a MacBook

Bringing Your MacBook to India: What to Know

MacBook

Traveling to India with a MacBook is generally straightforward, but there are important guidelines and regulations to be aware of to ensure a hassle-free journey. Whether you're a business traveler, a student, or a tourist, carrying your MacBook can help you stay connected and productive. This article addresses the key points you need to know about traveling with a MacBook to India, including security checks, customs regulations, and specific model restrictions.

Can I carry two Macbooks to India?

You can bring one Macbook (laptop) to India for personal use under the duty-free allowance. However, if you want to bring a second Macbook for personal use and the total value of your items (including the second macbook) exceeds the standard duty-free allowance, you will need to pay Customs Duty.

Is a MacBook Allowed on Flights in India?

Yes, MacBooks are allowed on flights in India. You can carry your MacBook in your carry-on luggage, and it is advisable to keep it with you rather than checking it in to avoid damage or loss. During security checks, you will be required to remove your MacBook from your bag and place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening. This is a standard procedure to ensure that electronic devices do not pose any security threats.

Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk.

To check if your laptop is affected, visit Apple's recall page and enter the serial number. You can find the serial number by clicking the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the menu bar and selecting "About This Mac."

List of airlines that have now banned the MacBook Pro

Can I take a new MacBook to India?

Travelers are generally allowed to bring one MacBook as part of their personal luggage without incurring customs duty. However, if you carry more than one, the additional units may be subject to customs duty. It's always wise to check the latest regulations with Indian Customs to avoid surprises.

If you are carrying one MacBook, there is no need to declare it at Customs. But if you are carrying two, you must declare the second one and pay customs duty.

Are Unboxed MacBooks Subject to Taxes in India?

Yes, unboxed MacBooks can be subject to taxes in India. Customs officials may inspect your unboxed MacBook to determine its value and assess if it exceeds the duty-free allowance. It's advisable to carry proof of purchase and be prepared to declare it if required.

What Models of MacBooks Are Banned?

While most MacBooks are permitted, certain models have faced bans or restrictions due to safety concerns. For instance, in 2019, Apple recalled specific MacBook Pro units sold between September 2015 and February 2017 because of battery overheating issues. These models were subject to flight bans by several airlines until the batteries were replaced.

To ensure compliance, check if your MacBook model has any known issues or recalls before your trip. If your device is among the recalled models, have the battery replaced or seek an alternative device for your travels.

Traveling to India with a MacBook is generally trouble-free, provided you adhere to airline and security regulations. Always check for any specific bans or recalls related to your MacBook model to avoid any inconveniences. Keeping your MacBook in your carry-on luggage and being prepared for security screenings will help ensure a smooth travel experience.

Can I Bring an Apple Watch from the USA to India?

Bringing an Apple Watch from the USA to India: What You Need to Know

Apple Watch

Bringing an Apple Watch from the USA to India is a common query among travelers. Watches are generally exempt from customs duty in India if they are for personal use and do not exceed the duty-free allowance. However, if you bring in multiple watches, especially luxury ones for commercial purposes, you will need to deal with customs officials and pay the required taxes.

Customs and import laws do not differentiate between Apple and non-Apple products.

All carry-ons are scanned in a X-ray machine after passing through immigration counters, but before claiming your checked baggage.

Will Apple Watch Cellular from the USA Work in India?

The Apple Watch Cellular model from the USA can work in India, but compatibility depends on the carrier and the specific bands supported by the watch. It's essential to check with Indian telecom providers to ensure your Apple Watch Cellular model is compatible with their networks.

How Much Custom Duty in India for Apple Watch?

If the value of the Apple Watch exceeds the duty-free allowance, it will be subject to customs duty. The import duty rate for an Apple Watch under HS Code 91029990 can vary. It's advisable to check the latest customs duty rates from the Indian Customs website or consult with customs officials for accurate information.

Apple Watches

Can I Travel Internationally with an Apple Watch?

Yes, you can travel internationally with an Apple Watch. It's a portable device and does not require special permissions for travel. Ensure your Apple Watch is in your carry-on luggage to avoid damage or loss during the journey.

Can You Carry an Apple Watch in an Unopened Box? How Much is the Duty?

You can carry an Apple Watch in an unopened box as long as the total value does not exceed the duty-free allowance. If it does exceed the allowance, customs duty will apply. The exact duty rate will depend on the current regulations and the watch's value.

An unopened box of any electronics, including laptops or an Apple Watch, often poses issues at customs.

Indian Customs do not have specific regulations for watches. You can carry a sealed box of watches, provided their total value does not exceed the duty-free allowance. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, always check with Indian Customs before traveling.

The Shift in Airline Baggage Policies: From 2 Bags to 1 on US India International Flights

Why Airlines Are Limiting Passengers to 1 Bag on International Flights from the USA Airlines worldwide have been altering their baggage ...