Kerala floods: Airlines respond to Suhel Seth's tweet about flight fares going up, say prices capped following DGCA guidelines

A tweet by Suhel Seth slammed airlines for hiking fares of their flights to and from Thiruvananthapuram during Kerala floods. However, airline sources speaking to Firstpost said, all airlines have capped their fares following the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)’s guidelines.

Airlines have been requested to cap the maximum fare around Rs 10,000 on longer routes and around Rs 8,000 on shorter routes to or from Kerala and nearby airports, an ANI report said.

Raising the issue of Seth's tweet, sources also said that the tweet has to be seen beyond what he has posted on his Twitter handle. There is a misconception because of certain screenshots that are shared by people on WhatsApp, an airline source told Firstpost.

“What were the search words for the booking made by the customer? Was it for a direct flight? Sometimes, flights can have two or more stopovers and this will be factored into the fare,” the sources said. In reality, if you do a comparison, there won’t be a equity of fares at all, they said. It depends on the frequency of flights to the city, what time is the flight (depending on the number of flights and the numbers into a city), etc.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

At Firstpost, we did a check on ticket fares on the websites of Jet Airways, Spice Jet and Vistara: all the airlines mentioned by Suhel Seth in his tweet.

SpiceJet tickets for 20 August, 2018 from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi is priced at Rs 18,854; Jet Airways has no tickets till Saturday, 25 August, 2018. There is the premier ticket (business class) available on this day at Rs 51,910.

Jet Airways has no tickets available from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi till Saturday. There are no economy tickets available for Saturday, too but they have a premier ticket (business class) priced at Rs 51,910. Vistara flights to/from Delhi for economy class is priced at Rs 10,458.

Jet Airways, for instance, has 156 seats in its economy class and 12 for business class on its flights. The 156 tickets in the economy class are further divided into 10 classes and ticket prices go up depends on how many are left closer to the date of departure.

Vistara does not fly to Thiruvananthapuram. However, this time it has made special arrangements to fly in and out of Thiruvananthapuram due to the flood conditions in Kerala, a spokesperson for the airline said. It flew its first flight into Thiruvananthapuram from 16 August.

Due to the floods in Kerala which have caused the closure of Cochin International Airport (COK) until 1400 hours of 26 August, 2018, Vistara will be operating all its Kochi fights to and from Thiruvananthapuram. These flights include those to/from Delhi and Chennai with economy class fares capped at Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,500 respectively, the airline said in a statement.

Options for customers who were/are booked on Vistara flights to and from Kochi, between 16 August and 26 August (both dates inclusive) are as below:

    1. Customers can be rebooked, if they so request, to fly to/from TRV instead of COK on a first-come-first-serve basis, without any fare difference or fee payable.
    2. Customers can cancel their bookings and get a full refund for COK flights up to and including 26 August, 2018 without any cancel fee payable.
      SCHEDULE OF FLIGHTS FROM 19 AUGUST 2018 – 26 AUGUST 2018: FLIGHTS BETWEEN DEL (DELHI) AND TRV (THIRUVANANTHAPURAM)
      Period Day of week Flight No. Origin Destination STD STA
      19 Aug - 26 Aug All days UK 841 DEL TRV 6:00 9:20
      19 Aug - 26 Aug All days UK 842 TRV DEL 10:00 13:25
      19 Aug - 26 Aug All days UK 843 DEL TRV 14:05 17:25
      19 Aug - 26 Aug All days UK 844 TRV DEL 18:05 21:30

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 14:27 PM

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