Booking an air ticket online in India, these days, is a very tricky affair filled with minefields. One wrong move and the thing blows up on you.
Recently I’ve booked travel tickets online for some of my upcoming trips. The first thing to do is to unselect Kingfisher & Air India from the options the online booking sites show. I have no confidence that these airlines would even fly their planes on the day I have to travel. So these two are best avoided. That leaves us with the remaining options – Jet Airways, GoAir, Indigo & SpiceJet.
Jet Airways – I don’t think they focus on a pleasant customer experience as they used to in the past. The service in the airplane is mediocre. The crew ain’t even smiling these days. However, to give them credit, they don’t suddenly jack up the rates from one page to the other when you’re booking tickets on their website. They keep the insurance check-box selected by default. If you forget to unselect it, the Rs. 200/passenger insurance charge gets added to your final amount. The way the website works, if you notice the charges and want to go back and unselect the insurance option, you’ll have to fill up ALL your passenger details again. Not worth it.
GoAir – Mumbai to Delhi roundtrip fares for 2 adults shows up as Rs. 19034 on page one of booking. That page also has an option of purchasing some domestic insurance. Unselect and go to page number two. Voila, they add Rs. 200 as “Services” and the airfare now has a grand total of Rs. 19430. Figure out the math. I couldn’t.
Indigo – Mumbai to Delhi roundrip fares for 2 adults shows up as Rs. 19030 on page one of the booking. These geniuses have clubbed seat selection and meals in a combo package. Unselect the meals and you can’t choose your seats too. What an idea! They magically tack on Rs. 100 per passenger as a convenience fee.
Spicejet – I haven’t had the pleasure of booking anything on this one yet.
I’m sure they’re all thinking overtime too on how to rip off the poor unsuspecting passenger.