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Flight bookings - traps and tips

Hot Summer is about to be over and monsoon with a pleasant weather is round the corner. Many of us might be planning to go out for vacation to enjoy this awesome weather fully. When you plan to book flight tickets be cautious of luring cash back offers and other tempting discounts which might make you fall for easy traps of travel sites. This post tells you exactly what you need to be careful about while booking online flight tickets.

  1. Convenience Charges

    When you compare tickets on travel sites like makemytrip, goibibo or cleartrip you might choose an airline thinking you have got a good deal only to know that another Rs 350 are added to the charges as convenience fees just before you make the payment. This comes as a surprise at a time when you don't want to start the whole process of searching the flight and entering the details and thus end up booking it. To make it worse it might be written in such a small font that you might not even notice it. Thus all the discount which made you make a purchase from this site at first might be overshadowed by the additional convenience fees. Below is a comparison of current convenience fees for the popular travel sites/airlines in India. Easemytrip.com deserves a special mention here as it is one of the very few websites which charges zero convenience fees.

    Travel Aggregator Websites Convenience Charges


    Travel Sites Convenience Charge Domestic One way(Rs.) Convenience Charge Domestic Two way(Rs.) Convenience Charge International One way(Rs.) Convenience Charge International Two way(Rs.)
    Goibibo 200 350 250 399
    Makemytrip 200 350 599 699
    Yatra 210 360 399 399
    Cleartrip 200 350 275 399
    Travelguru 210 360 399 399
    Easemytrip 0 0 0 0
    Musafir 200 300 250 350
    Note:
    1. Above data is indicative only and should not be used for any legal purposes
    2. Data given above has been taken directly from respective websites on 27/05/16

    Airlines Convenience Charges

    Airlines Convenience Charge Domestic One way(Rs.) Convenience Charge Domestic Two way(Rs.) Convenience Charge International One way(Rs.) Convenience Charge International Two way(Rs.)
    Indigo 75/150* 150/300* 75/150* 150/300*
    Spicejet 100/150* 200/300* 100/150* 200/300*
    Jetairways 150 300 150 300
    *Depending on mode of payment. Note:
    1. Above data is indicative only and should not be used for any legal purposes
    2. Data given above has been taken directly from respective websites on 27/05/16
  2. Cashback Offers

    Travel sites give attractive cashback offers to lure the travellers but before falling for them try to understand their terms and conditions.These cashback offers make sense if this cashback is to your credit card/debit card or a multi use payment wallet like paytm or mobikwik . But nowadays many of these sites have their own wallets like gocash for goibibo and ecash for yatra. When the cashback is to these wallets be aware that you can redeem it only when you book through this site next time and that needs to be done within the time period of its validity which is usually as less as 3 months. Moreover you might be getting the tickets expensive on this site at that time. In addition some of these cashbacks might have restriction on the usage as well . For example all gocash (goibibo wallet) earned from a deal cannot be used at one go. Thus you would be stuck with the cashback and probably decide not to use it at all and let it go waste. Hence golden rule is check the terms and conditions properly before you decide to avail any offer. You can visit sites like coupondunia.in, grabon.in and couponkosh.com which provide discount coupons and offers with all terms and conditions clearly mentioned.
  3. Cancellation Charges and Non Refundable Tickets

    Cancellation Charges is another parameter which you should know before you decide which ticket needs to be booked. You might have to forgo all your discount and much more in case you need to cancel tickets due to some change in plan/exigency. Below is a comparison of cancellation charges of the top Indian airlines.Thus know details about the kind of ticket and cancellation charges before you zero down on your ticket.

    Travel Sites Cancellation and Amendment Processing Fees

    Travel Sites Cancellation Processing Fees (Rupees) Amendment Processing Fees (Rupees)
    Goibibo D : 250 , I : 500 D : 250 , I : 500
    Makemytrip 250 250
    Yatra D : 300 , I : 1000 D : 300 , I : 1000
    Cleartrip D : 300 , I : 500 D : 300 , I : 500
    Travelguru D : 300 , I : 1000 D : 300 , I : 1000
    Easemytrip D : 250 , I : 750 0
    Musafir 250 250
    Note:
    1. D stands for Domestic, I stands for International
    2. Data given above has been taken directly from respective websites on 27/05/16
    3. Cancellation Processing Fees/Amendment Processing Fees are over and above the same charged by respective airlines.
    4. Data given above has been taken directly from respective websites on 27/05/16

    Airlines Cancellation and Amendment Charges

    Airlines Cancellation Charges(Rupees) Amendment Charges(Rupees) Time in hours before departure by when cancellation needs to be initiated
    Indigo D : 2250, I : 2500 D : 2250, I : 2500 D : 2 , I : 4
    Spicejet D : 2250, I : 2500 D : 2250, I : 2500 D : 2 , I : 4
    Jetairways Variable depending on flight and booking class Variable depending on flight and booking class 1
    Note:
    1. D stands for Domestic, I stands for International
    2. Above data is indicative only and should not be used for any legal purposes
    3. Data given above has been taken directly from respective websites on 27/05/16
    The user should also check whether the ticket is Refundable or not and if it's not ensure to check the airlines' terms and conditions on Non Refundable Tickets as some airlines don't refund a single penny in case of cancellation or amendment of non refundable tickets
  4. Travel Insurance

    Most of the travel websites select travel insurance by default when you tend to book tickets and if you don't uncheck it you are paying for it. Most users don't even realize that the charges they have paid for booking flight tickets includes travel insurance as well. Travel Insurance normally covers for any medical emergency or flight cancellations and stolen baggage during the trip. While it is a personal decision whether you want to have travel insurance for your trip or not it is important that you take an informed decision and not just pay for it because you became a prey to dirty travel sites' tactics.
  5. Choose Payment Options as per offers

    The travel sites tend to tie up with different banks to have lucrative offers on bookings through particular credit cards/debit cards. You can sometimes get a real good deal when making a purchase through a particular card. In addition the various wallets like Paytm, Mobikwik, Payzapp etc also release discount offers valid for a limited period of time which can help you save a lot of money. The thumb rule is try to have multiple payment options with you and use them judiciously to avail maximum discount. For information on which wallet to use to save maximum visit coupon sites like coupondunia.in, couponkosh.com and couponraja.com which provide you all this information at a click of a mouse.

Conclusion

A trip is very important to rejuvenate oneself but don't let the happiness and fun you were to get on the trip be belittled by unnecessary charges which can be easily avoided. Ensure to read the terms and conditions of the discount offers very carefully so that you don't get any surprises. Have a wonderful trip!

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