When will Go Air fix its web check-in?

I’ve been the purveyor of full-service carriers for the longest time, which is the reason you won’t see me on many no-frills carrier flights most of the time. However, a couple of situations this year saw me go over to GoAir more than once this year. First, I travelled to Srinagar from Mumbai in March this year, and on the way back I was looking for a direct flight. The one I could find fitting my requirements was from GoAir, because it was the only operator apart from Indigo running non-stop flights between SXR and BOM, and fit the time I wanted to fly out.

Another time, I was looking to make Delhi to Mumbai bookings, and the fares on GoAir were way lower than any other carrier. So, having flown with them before, I figured for the price I was paying, it was not going to be bad at all to fly them. What, however foxes me all the time, is their lack of ability to price their ancillary revenue and making it easy for customers to take seat assignments.

Take for example, their flight which I tried checking in for recently. Their check-in opens 72 hours prior to flight, and this is the first check-in that was made on the flight (Sequence no. 1). You will see, almost all the front row seats, emergency exit seats, window seats and aisle seats are blocked. Which means, they want passengers to come to the airport and get these seats assigned to them if they are not willing to pay for them.

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GoAir blocks all Window and Aisle seats to sell them…72% of inventory approx.

If you want to check-in on these seats online, you need to call their call centre, pay them a seat assignment fee, and then they will send you an email to collect the fee via a gateway, and then… you can finally have the seat. Which for most GoAir passengers is too many hoops to jump. Even on a page that they made just a few days ago about seat assignment pricing, there is no mention that you need to call them to get the seats assigned, because their Manage Booking section shows me just an option to print the ticket and nothing else.

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GoAir Ancilliary Pricing

Now, I have no beef with them if they want to monetise their flights. But at least they got to make it easier for us to pick the seats and pay for them. I hate calling up people when stuff can be done online, and this is just one more of those instances where I just take the row 30 rather than call them ahead to book a seat.

Even their chief competition, namely Indigo, and to a smaller extent, SpiceJet understand that all seats on a plane can’t be sold for ancillary revenue. Hence, Indigo only offers the front half of the plane for window and aisle seat sales (after I contested selling 72% of their seats, they stopped), and at the time of check-in, any seats which are not sold via pre-booking are left open for the public to assign it for free. This is India’s most revenue hungry airline by the way.

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Indigo, open seats for sale is not all the window/aisle seats

Like you can see below, these are premium seats, which could be picked for free in the check-in window.

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Indigo allows preferred seat assignment for free within check-in window

I can understand that it would be a herculean task for Air India to get code written to be able to automate their process, so they still ask people to call and book premium seats, but GoAir, you run a profit, and you sure do have the capability to pay a short sum of money and get this implemented, right?

Anyone else had any similar experiences with GoAir on their seat assignments and check-in, or am I alone in my bad experiences with them?

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  1. I totally agree i have same experience regarding booking the flight. This people are greedy of money. Atleast web check in they could have given it for free except the preferred seats. Pathetic just seating to beg money from people by this or means,
    Will never travel by go air.

    Indigo, jet air ways are better than it

  2. Similar experience ; Ontime Performance is horrible for Go Air , they have become like our Indian Railways not bothered about time . Infact I travel regularly to Chennai and almost 10 instances the flight was not on time there was no bad weather condition or technical problem which usually is their excuse given . The funny part is that they announce at airport that there flight is delayed due to late arrival of incoming flight. Now this is known to every one .

    Seat Allotment is the most horrible part only middle seats are available for on line checkin anytime you check, this means Go Air wants their customers to come to their counter request / beg for seat and then they may allot but only after telling that seat choice is only available at a price. If you assume that the aircraft has 180 seats only 10 -15 persons will pay and take seat so the average earning is Rs3000/- ( 15*200) for this meagre amount they have all kind of obstructions.

    Another interesting thing on Go Air all the air hostess are more interested in selling merchandise like sales girls. I think they get a lot of commission on sale of product .

  3. The worst part is the charges they take while blocking window or any other seat. It’s horrible. I have not come across this issue in any other airline. 🙁

  4. Will like to inform one observation regarding Indigo. If you check-in 2 days in advance, the window & aisle seats are chargeable but you can block these seats for free during the last 24 hours prior to departure. That’s the best thing about Indigo. I have done this many times!!

  5. “Hence, Indigo only offers the front half of the plane for window and aisle seat sales”

    Gotta stop you right here AJ. I booked and flew Indigo twice past week and both times, rows 1-27 aisles and windows were on a chargeable basis.

    Only the window/aisle seats in rows 28-30 are being offered without the charges.

    You can check for yourself by making a dummy booking.

  6. I hate GoAir. Their (return) flight out of Patna to Mumbai is hopping flight (via Ranchi) which means, one has to pay twice the amount! Very frustrating. I am forced to pay 600+600 for a Patna Mumbai flight. Secondly, their corp-meal is inedible (usually a gooey soggy sandwich with a mini drink). Lastly, they don’t believe in keeping the customer informed. I remember, we, a group of friends tickets were rebooked on a different flight on a different date and we weren’t even informed. It came as a shock when one of us called their care centre for a copy of our ticket and they couldn’t find us booked on their particular flight!

    • Patna airport’s short runway prevents a non-stop flight to farther destinations, resulting in a hopping flight.

      Agree with the rest of the points regarding GoAir.

  7. I refuse to fly goair. While their on time performance has not been great, we had a different incident that got us to black list goair for any corporate travel.

    We got to the check in counter 60 min before the flight, but they refused to accept our check in luggage because they had already dispatched the baggage cart ahead of schedule, and refused to check us in. Offered to move us to a different subsequent flight!

    After that experience, I pretty much avoid goair.

    Personally: prefer Indigo, Jet. Try to avoid: spicejet, air India, goair, unless there isn’t another option or fare difference is too high.

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