Airlines are slashing ticket prices but cancellation charges are up 50-100%

Airlines in India, especially budget carriers, have once again been slashing ticket prices ahead of the lean season but some have raised cancellation prices by 50%-100%.

Earlier this week, budget carrier IndiGo began offering air tickets starting from Rs 1,178. This was followed by discounts from other airlines too. GoAir, Vistara, AirAsia, Air India and SpiceJet have all huge discounts to get passengers on board. In the last week of March, GoAir announced fares starting from Rs 1,299 for passengers travelling between June 23 and October 31. This was the second discount offered in the week. The first offer had fares starting from Rs 999. Full service carrier Vistara too offered 20% discount on premium economy and business class, while state-run Air India also participated in the price cut.Even Jet Airways slashed fares up to 50 per ent on domestic and international flights.

 Airlines are slashing ticket prices but cancellation charges are up 50-100%

Representational image. Reuters

But get this: IndiGo has revised its cancellation policy and imposed a higher fees on passengers who cancel their tickets 2-48 hours before departure. For instance, those cancelling tickets more than 2 to 48 hours before departure have to pay Rs 2,250, up 50% from the earlier Rs 1,500. A person cancelling 2-7 days prior will have to shell out Rs 2,000, and a person who opts out 7-30 days before will have to pay Rs 1,500. Only customers who cancel 30 days or before, are charged Rs 1,250, as much as 20% lower than earlier. Those who cancel less than 2 hours before departure won't get any refund. ( Read the details here)

Jet Airways too has  revised its cancellation charges from a flat Rs 1,050 on all domestic flights to penalties ranging from Rs 200 to Rs2,000. Higher the fare, the lower will be the cancellation charge.

The lowest economy fare tickets will be non-refundable. The tickets priced a little more than the cheapest would attract a cancellation charge of Rs 2,000; the upper economy Rs 1,000; and premium class tickets the lowest penalty of Rs 250 to Rs 500.  Before this change, the airline was charging Rs 5,000 for cancelling an international journey ticket and Rs. 3,000 for changing the journey date. For the domestic sector, the fee for cancelling or changing the date of journey stood at Rs 1,750.

The move is sure to  impact booking patterns, as customers will now book air tickets after being doubly sure about their travel plans.

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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2015 11:58:13 IST