Air India cuts baggage allowance on the Mumbai – New York EWR flight

Air India is the largest operator of non-stop flights between India and the United States. Currently, Air India operates 9x weekly Delhi – San Francisco flights, daily Delhi – Chicago flights, 3x weekly Delhi-Washington flights, daily Delhi – New York JFK flights and daily Mumbai – Newark flights, and also Mumbai – New York JFK flights.

Due to the prolonged closure of Pakistan airspace, Air India took a severe hit. Flights are being rerouted, and some routes have been cancelled altogether temporarily. Air India is losing around INR 5 – 7 crores (USD 0.7-1 million) a day due to this.

Air India Baggage allowance

Air India 777 at Mumbai Airport

In the latest round of changes, Air India has cut to half the baggage allowance for Economy passengers on its daily Mumbai – Newark flight (AI 144/191). Air India used to offer a baggage allowance of 2 bags of 23 kg each for Economy passengers. Now, Air India has limited the allowance to just one bag of 23 kg for Economy passengers for tickets issued from April 1, 2019, onwards.

Air India Baggage allowance

Air India Baggage allowance

Air India Baggage allowance

Air India Baggage allowance

If you are connecting to or from any other destination for the Mumbai – Newark flight, the baggage allowance will still be one bag of 23 kg for the entire journey for Economy passengers. However, Flying Returns members and Star Alliance Gold/Silver members can still carry additional baggage allowance on the Newark flight based on their tier.

Air India Baggage allowance

Air India extra Baggage allowance for Flying Returns club

Business class and First class passengers can still carry two bags of 32 kgs each. This change is only for Air India’s Mumbai to Newark flight pair. Passengers travelling on Air India’s other flights, such as those to Chicago, Washington, JFK and San Francisco can carry two bags of 23 kg each in Economy.

Air India states that they face payload restrictions due to obstructions in flight path in Mumbai for the ultra long haul to the USA. Due to this, the baggage allowance was reduced. They stated that they have had to frequently leave checked bags of this flight behind at Mumbai airport, the better thing was to do this.

Air India currently operates AI 103 from Delhi to Washington via Mumbai due to Pakistan airspace closure. But the baggage allowance hasn’t been changed on this flight. Mumbai – Newark is 7807 miles whereas Mumbai-Washington Dulles is 8003 miles. Maybe the Mumbai – Newark has a higher passenger load factor than Delhi-Washington Dulles via Mumbai. Hence the payload penalty on Delhi – Washington Dulles via Mumbai didn’t have much effect.

Air India Baggage allowance

Mumbai-Newark Source: Flight Radar

Both the routes are operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and currently have a flight time of 16:00 to 16:50 hours each due to the longer route. That’s one long flight on an Air India 777-300ER.

Air India Baggage allowance

Delhi to Washington via Mumbai Source: Flight Radar

Air India slashing baggage allowance on Mumbai – Newark flight may not go down well with passengers. Air India had the edge over other carriers due to a non-stop flight and a generous baggage allowance. Air India is now in line with other carriers especially American and European carriers who offer one bag of 23 kg in Economy on India – USA non-stop/one-stop routes. United also offers a non-stop flight on the same route.

Payload restrictions on Air India’s Mumbai-Newark flight aren’t new. Air India has had to restrict the weight on flights to Newark several times due to weather and also due to hoarding in the flight path near Mumbai airport. Let’s see when will Pakistan airspace finally open up. Will Air India retract this move once the Pakistan airspace is fully open? We don’t know.

Update: From July 1, 2019, Air India has increased the cost for an extra piece (2nd check-in bag) for economy passengers on the Mumbai-Newark route to USD 100 from USD 50.

Air India Baggage allowance

Cost for 2nd check-in bag on Air India flights between Mumbai and Newark

What are your thoughts on this move? How does it impact your choice of Air India as your carrier to the USA 



  1. This is Classic example of how to learn loose business. I am Seriously considering to Cancel my booking of family travel. I do not want to waste 600D for whole trip on extra baggage. I would have got into nicer airlines Wit h that extra money. I did not know this before. So pathetic and they proven it again.

  2. Air India should start immediately to offer 2 bags, each of 23 kg weight for the journey from Newark to Mumbai. Failing which Passangers will travel in other Air Lines who’s fare is lower and luggages are allowed 2 bags from Newark to Mumbai. Air India should consider on sympathetic ground this problem of Passangers and immediately start 2 bags for journey from
    Newark to Mumbai which will helpful to reduce the loss of expenses . Do favor the Air India Passangers immediately.

  3. So unfair….dont understand why only applied to this route, why not applied to the route that is being prolonged (Delhi to Mumbai to USA). It is simply just to rip-off money from people on the most busiest travelled airplane by AI to USA. AI will definitely see less in passenger gradually over the time. How can you travel with one bag on international travel. Not only initial it was $50 but they also increased a lot to $100. It is a huge no for me and my family, will surely consider other airline which allows 2 bags.

  4. Air india copying America is not always solution or innovation …this is a very stupid decision u guys made where you lost your competitive advantage. The reasons r obviously BS …but think about how u impacted customers and see within a year how it impacts loyalty and revenue.

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