Enjoying the escalators and autowalks at airports? You are being charged for it

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Enjoying the escalators and autowalks at airports? You are being charged for it
Representative imagePixabay
  • An unknown charge ‘cute fee’ levied by Indigo is getting viral on social media.
  • The users misunderstood the fee with adjective acronym ‘cute’ instead
  • CUTE actually stands for Common User Terminal Equipment. It is generally charged by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for using escalators, autowalks, metal detectors and other equipment at airports.
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Recently, a Twitter user posted a screenshot of his Indigo flight ticket which included an unknown charge — cute fee. This has gone viral on social media and become a subject to the next set of jokes and memes.


“I know I’m getting cuter with age but never thought ⁦ @IndiGo6E⁩ would start charging me for it,” user said in his tweet.

The users misunderstood the fee with adjective acronym ‘cute’ instead

What is a cute fee?


CUTE actually stands for Common User Terminal Equipment. It is generally charged by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for using escalators, autowalks, metal detectors and other equipment at airports.

“Please know that the CUTE charges are levied at select airports for the usage of Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) services,” Indigo clarified on another user’s tweet.
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One of the users commented that these charges were not levied earlier when the government had owned airports. A large number of modernized airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and more are run by private operators like Adani, GMR and others who have built them on a BOT or build and operate models that allows them to earn revenue over the lifetime.


Cute is also commonly known as passenger ‘handling fee’ charges and levied on resources which make it easier for both passengers and staff members to operate. According to media reports, CUTE also allows passengers to check in from any counter regardless of the airline they are traveling with.

It is a software solution that enables different airlines to operate their respective applications on a common check-in platform.

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