NEW DELHI (TIP): Flight tickets booked online or through agents will soon get cheaper as the Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained them from charging transaction fee ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 350 per passengers. A bench comprising Justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur ordered implementation of a circular issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on December 17, 2012, abolishing collection of transaction fee. The order came on a petition filed by one T G N Kumar who had challenged the levying of user development fee by airlines from passengers. The bench said henceforth, no airline would charge transaction fee in any form. The bench also found it strange that the base fare for airlines for flights having identical origin and destination points varied considerably and directed the DGCA to examine the issue.
It also asked the government to investigate whether the airlines had adopted an unfair practice. DGCA had informed the Court that under Section 135 of the Aircraft Rules, airlines were allowed to make reasonable profits. This meant that the variation in ticket price could only be with regard to profit component with other components such as base fare, taxes, passenger service fare, airport development fare, and user development fare, etc remaining constant. In case the airlines altered with the above contents, it was open to the DGCA to carry out prosecution under Schedule VI of the Rules.