I’m slightly foxed and I have no answers since last evening so I am crowdsourcing this one to ask and tell if my assumption is true or is this just fluke. Last evening I was trying to book a flight for my brother on one of his upcoming trips. We picked a flight, and decided to go with SpiceJet since that worked best for his schedule at that point of time. Here is what the fare looked like online.
Of course, what they were not showing here was the convenience fee of Rs. 125 which is now another tack for all credit card fees being passed on to customers, which would have made the total cost of this ticket to Rs. 4,973. This convenience fee does not get included in the ticket cost at Jet Airways, SpiceJet or other carriers as well and the pop-up only turns up last minute as far as I remember.
Since my brother earned one of the vouchers from SpiceJet for Rs. 1,001, we wanted to redeem that amount against this flight. For this, I needed to call up SpiceJet and use the phone booking service. So, I was surprised when the phone agent told me the cost of the ticket to be Rs. 4,812 instead of Rs. 4,848. I asked for the voucher to be applied, and then I was told a balance of Rs. 3,811 was payable. I enquired if any other booking fee was applicable, and I was categorically informed none was. So I went ahead and paid the rest of the amount via a secure IVRS system. Once done, the ticket was issued. Here are how the charges looked like:
So, you see, the convenience charges were there, but it was cheaper to book on the phone as compared to booking online. The base fare+ fuel surcharge was Rs. 3,586 on the phone instead of the Rs. 3,770 showing online.
Does anyone have a clue on what happened here? Is it not cheaper for an airline to operate an automated system (a-la website, phone apps) and offer their best pricing there, rather than offer a better price by calling in and using human resources to book the ticket?
Do share your experiences in the comments section below.
This incident makes me make a note to self, that I should also work the phones the next time before making a flight reservation.
- Another new Jet Airways convenience fee now in place!
- Travelled SpiceJet 10/Nov through 13/Nov? Hope you got your 1,001 voucher