This post attempts to compare the change and cancellation policies of airlines in India. The airlines compared were: Air India, Spicejet, Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Indigo and Go Air.
I recently was to travel to Delhi and had to cancel my tickets two days ago due to some personal reasons and was shocked to see the latest cancellation charges.
They are literally daylight robbery!
My itinerary was as follows:
Pune to Delhi via Spicejet (2 people)
Rs. 9,374 (booked via GoIbibo)
Delhi to Pune via Indian Airlines (2 people)
Rs. 10,126 (booked via the Air India website)
I ended up paying the following (insane) cancellation charges:
- Spicejet: Rs. 950 x 2 = Rs. 1,900
- GoIbibo (I booked the Spicejet ticket with them): Rs. 250 x 2 (their cancellation charges) + Rs. 100 (credit card transaction charges) = Rs. 600
- Indian Airlines: Rs. 1,575 x 2 = Rs. 3,150 (the complete base fare)
A couple of years ago, we had cancelled some Spicejet tickets and they were Rs. 750 per ticket.
What really irks me is the way these guys are doing business. I think the bulk of their revenue comes from people cancelling their tickets.
- They haven’t flown me!
- They have 100% sold the ticket to someone else at a super high rate (PNQ – DEL is a very popular route) and made a profit on it. (Last minute tickets are super expensive)
- They have made Rs. 5,650 from me without providing any service.
If this is not day-light robbery, I don’t know what is!
As a result, I did some research and have put up a sheet of airline cancellation charges of all airlines in India – which you should take a look at before making your bookings in case there is a possibility of you changing your plans. This is a google spreadsheet and editable by all – so feel free to make changes incase you find new charges (these change regularly).
Table created on: 26th Aug, 2012 09:31 hours.
These rates might not be the same on the day you are viewing this. For (a possibly updated) excel sheet, see this:
The following airlines had information on their website which I could easily come across (I have over 13 years of web experience and I did web design and usability for a living)
- Jet Airways
- Jet Konnect
- Air India (had to use a google in:site search)
- Air India Express
Following airlines had to be called to learn about the rates:
- Kingfisher (no surprises here)
- KingfisheR Red
Also, what you must definitely do is – NEVER book from these travel websites. Because cancellation is a 50% more expensive affair with these guys having their additional charges. What you should do is use http://ixigo.com which does a fare comparison on the direct airline website and book the tickets from there.
In my experience, 95% of the times, the lowest fares are on the Airline website anyways.