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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Low cost air travel : Cheaper than Rajdhani

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I had to book ticket for my annual trip home in May. The search started with comparing fares and offers in three sites : Yatra.com, Cleartrip.com and MakeMyTrip.com. You get a fair idea of cheapest fair available. MakeMyTrip.com shows fares without taxes. Indiatimes.com is useless for this as their fare is highest. You can see and compare yourself.

The best offer was on Cleartrip.com. There was a 20% cash back on Air Sahara tickets if paid by SBI Credit Card. I grabbed it immediately as the tickets were costing me only Rs.2200/- a piece. The only catch is that I had booked tickets almost 60 days in advance, same as that of train.

Out of curiosity, I decided to check reservation availability in Rajdhani Express for the same day. To my surprise 3 AC was already into waiting list and 2 AC has hardly 5 seats left for the day I would be traveling. Now the surprise is that a 3AC ticket would cost Rs.1875/- and a 2AC would cost Rs.2600/-. Further you would be traveling for 28 hours at least. Why people are still traveling by train ? Is it ignorance! Or the liability of carrying tones of luggage for free creating problems for those who travel light.

Even though I had gone to many places from Delhi in last year or so, I somehow did not get an opportunity to fly low cost. Most of these trips being official, I could choose not to fly low cost. But last week I had to look for cheapest way to fly between Delhi and Guwahati. This time I found that Yatra.com had the best fare deal. With an assured 5% cash back on basic fare if paid by ICICI Credit Card, I got tickets @Rs.2650/- one way by IndiGo Airlines. It was cheaper than the IndiGo Airlines own site which was selling @ Rs.2724/-.

My experience of flying IndiGo was not much different than those from ones like Jet. Only difference was that no food or beverages or cooling towel were provided on your boarding. One does not really need those apparent luxuries. IndiGo provided free drinking water. The flights were on time. Aircrafts were new. IndiGo probably has the best buses for ground transfers. The JCBL designed Tata buses are bound to catch one’s attention.

These fares of Rs.2200/- or Rs.2700/- are against full fare of almost Rs.14000/-. Flying has really become cheap and affordable to almost everybody. A little of planning and research will ensure that you travel almost at the same price as that of train (at least Rajdhani) or even cheaper. I have seen that many people assume that Deccan is the cheapest airline. But this is not true. Both Air Sahara and IndiGo, or even Spicejets turns out to be cheaper in most cases. Many travelers have smarted. That is why I found that the IndiGo flights were full on both my inward and outward trips.

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posted by Rupankar Mahanta at 5:30 PM

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8 Comments:

At April 27, 2007 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried Travelguru? They have a 30% cashback offer on Jet, Kingfisher and Indian Airlines. They also have some of the cheapest fares.

 
At April 27, 2007 11:16 AM, Anonymous Usha said...

If undecided on date for travel and looking for the cheapest fare of the month, you should give a shot to the Cleartrip Calendar. Its pretty neat..

 
At April 27, 2007 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about ezeego1.com they

 
At April 30, 2007 2:28 PM, Anonymous Geeta Eral said...

Hi Rups,

Thanks for posting about this. Indeed, low cost airlines have made traveling a lot more affordable as you say.

We note your concern about Makemytrip website showing airfares exclusive of taxes. Feedback from customers like you goes a long way for us in improving our services.

I'm pleased to tell you that the Makemytrip website is slated to undergo a revision aimed at enhancing both appearance and functionality. The issue you pointed out will be resolved then.

Looking forward to make your trip in the future.

Geeta Eral
Manager - Customer Delight
Makemytrip.com
Email: Geeta.Eral@Makemytrip.com

 
At July 08, 2007 3:28 AM, Anonymous Cheap Air Travel Search said...

Readers - You should try http://www.iXiGO.com

We are currently the most comprehensive (14 Airlines, 3 OTAs) and most unbiased travel search engine in the Indian market.

We can confidently claim to have the cheapest fares on any given sector on any given date since between the airlines and OTAs we show fares from, we are bound to found the cheapest options for you within a few seconds.

We show all prices with taxes included, and we dont claim to sell any 99 Rs. tickets because we want consumers to know the absolute price that hits their pockets.

Finally - try it once, and tell us if any other portal can match our prices, speed or usability, for flights.

 
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