Infographic: Sameer Pawar
In another month or so will begin the yearly exodus of Indian students to foreign shores. The months of August and September are usually when most college and university courses begin in the US. This is also the season when, traditionally, airlines woo students with discounted fares, extra luggage allowances and discounts on other deals and freebies. But given the doldrums the global aviation industry has gone through, we decided to take a look at whether they are still as excited about Indian students or not.
Jet Airways has not made any changes from last year: They offer excess baggage allowance of between 30 kg and 69 kg to select destinations and have discount deals on calling cards, medical insurance, forex rates and the like. However, the number of destinations for excess baggage has increased from last year. This year, there are also a lot of discounts on related deals.
Air India offers a 10 percent discount to students — the Maharaja Scholarship — and also offers excess baggage allowance. The discount rate has remained unchanged from last year, although the permissible weight in excess baggage has doubled, from 10 kg to 23 kg, for some destinations, since last year.
Emirates, notably, had offered special fares — 20 percent to 30 percent less than the regular fares — last year, but this year it is only offering excess baggage allowance.
Cathay Pacific, which did not have any notable offers for students last year, is offering excess baggage allowance this year. Cathay has a host of tie-ups for discounts and deals.
British Airways’ offer remains unchanged over the years, it seems: One extra baggage per student. They also have tie-ups for discounts on calling cards, credit cards and electronics.
(Research: Vijit Nanda)