• Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Airline Raises Fees for Unaccompanied Minors on UAE-India Flights

In a recent development, Air India Express, India’s low-cost airline carrier, has raised eyebrows by doubling its charges for the service provided to unaccompanied minors. The Minor Service Charges, which are in addition to the ticket prices, have surged from Rs5,000 (approximately Dh221) to Rs10,000 (approximately Dh442).A call center agent from Air India Express confirmed that the service charge for unaccompanied minors now stands at Dh450 one way and that this revision took effect two months ago.

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This abrupt increase has not gone unnoticed, with young passengers and their families expressing their concerns.One such individual is Izin Hash, a 10-year-old Indian child actor and UAE resident, who occasionally travels unaccompanied between India and the UAE. Izin Hash voiced his surprise and disappointment on social media regarding the sudden hike in charges. He mentioned, “This is the second time that I am traveling without my parents. Earlier, the service charge for unaccompanied minors was Rs5,000.

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Now, it has increased to Rs10,000. Also, the fare discount for children between the ages of 5 to 12 has been discontinued.” He praised the service for its assistance to minors like him and complimented the airline staff. The increase in prices came to his attention during his return from an extended summer break last month.Notably, Air India Express introduced additional charges for unaccompanied minors traveling to and from Dubai Airports back in 2018. According to recent Indian media reports, these charges have seen an increase.

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As per Air India’s website, children aged between 5-18 are considered unaccompanied minors when traveling to the UAE, while for other Gulf countries, it applies to children between the ages of 5 and 16.This development occurs within the broader context of changes within Air India, including its acquisition by the Tata Group in 2021 for approximately Rs180 billion (approximately Dh8.8 billion).

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This acquisition marked the return of the airline to the Tata Group, which originally founded it in 1932. Air India is currently undergoing various transformations, such as its merger with the Tata-owned airline group Vistara and the introduction of new uniforms. The increased charges for unaccompanied minors have prompted discussions among passengers and stakeholders, shedding light on the evolving landscape of air travel services.

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