NEW DELHI: With airline tickets becoming the hottest online commodity, travel portals and airline websites are virtually going overboard in their bid to give offers to potential travellers, which they simply would not be able to resist.
While the airlines have been offering a reduced fare on round trips, it is the travel portals which have further intensified the competition. It was the portals which recently introduced the ‘opaque fares promotion’ in which a ticket would be offered for a song, without the airline’s name being mentioned. . The Director General of CiviL Aviation(DGCA), however, cracked the whip against the practice, terming it as a violation of the existing rules.
Popular travel portal cleartrip, recently came up with an offer of one-on-one free,in which a traveller get a ticket free for the value of the one purchased. But several complaints were received regarding this, as it remained unclear as to how many people could actually avail the benefits of such an offer. In the latest bid to lure repeat visitors to its site, makemytrip.com has offered a scheme to customers which allows people to book their tickets without the fear of losing money on cancellations. As part of this, the cancellation charge which was recently increased to `950 by airlines like Spicejet and Go Air would be borne by the travel portal. In lieu of this, makemyTrip would issue an e-voucher for the cancellation amount, that can be used for making the next booking on the site.
“We expect that more travellers, especially frequent-fliers, will see the value in booking flights through makemytrip. We regard it as an investment in creating a loyal customer base. The major driver behind this offer is to showcase the value brought by makemytrip to the traveller. We are increasing the stickiness of a product like an air ticket that is basically non-sticky,” said Keyur Joshi, COO & Co-Founder, makemytrip.
Although other airlines like Air India Jet Airways and Kingfisher are game for such an offer, Indigo has refused to be a part of the promotion, citing legal reasons.
“Such an offer is a win-win situation for the airline. It doesn’t stand to lose the cancellation charge as the portal is ready to bear it and the scope for a repeat purchase is increased if the visitor finds our fare viable,” an Air India official said.