Budget airlines self-defeating booking early for cheap flight tickets

I thought Indigo Airlines was among the best Indian airline, their strong commitment to be on time not being the only reason.

A low-cost airline, which kept it fair and simple, but one which did not compromise by operating midnight flights per se and also operated internationally to Dubai in the UAE, where I am based. That was until the first week of July when they joined in with Jet Airways and SpiceJet in effecting a steep hike in the cancellation and rescheduling charges.

I would not have known sooner had I not happened to come across a situation when I had to reschedule the dates of a flight for the first time in my life for return family tickets booked for Mumbai – Guwahati for travel in August (24 to 30).
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This is July and I booked the tickets in May. I decided on rescheduling on July 4 (more than 50 days to the date of journey); Ironically, the news became public on July 5.

If economics governed the steep hike, the extra details of my individual case can be deemed unnecessary. But that is where it does not make sense.

To give the airline the benefit of doubt, they are operating on tight budgets and anything to guard the margins is a fair business practice for them.

Understandably also,a last-minute change deprives the airline to recoup the damage caused by a possible empty seat. In the era of instant online booking, anything more than a week must presumably a good time enough for passengers to reschedule the booking without any inconvenience to either party.

And one fails to decipher what could be the extra cost in rescheduling (not cancelling) a flight well in advance? Surely a second automatically generated e-ticket does not cost much.

And at what cost?

From the consumer/passenger’s perspective here is a case of bagging a cheap flight deal only because he took the initiative to plan in advance. Now if he had to tweak just a bit, he is left with nothing but heartburn.

There goes the fun to plan in advance. And if you do book it, you better suffer and be at the mercy of the airlines. That is the message coming across.

PS: Indigo and Spicejet in one bracket and Jet Airways in the normal category – it indeed looks like cartelisation on an unpopular issue, as Air Passengers Association of India president Sudhakar Reddy points out.
I also cancelled my ticket as a mark of protest.

What do you think. Vote and let me know.


Thanks for sharing.

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