Air India offering Spot booking fares at train prices (but doesn’t work!)

Air India has come up with a new promotion for last minute travel, which went into effect a couple of days back, and is exclusively bookable with the airline and not other OTAs.

Basically, Air India is offering to compete with the trains (1 AC class fares no less!), and offering one-way tickets, bookable within 4 hours of the flight, on certain routes. The routes are as follows, along with the prices. The reverse trips are also on the same price, ballpark.

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Here is what you need to do, in case you want to get on one of these train fares flights. You need to book within 4 hours of departure, and after the search for the fare goes through, pick the right flight (within 4 hours out), and use the promocode SPOT on the second page to reprice the ticket. While this may not be useful in all situations, it may be good to know in some cases. When I looked out for an example, most metro routes were already selling at prices cheaper than these prices being quotes. For instance, BOM – DEL at about INR 3500 while this SPOT fare tries to sell it at INR 4800.

Having said that, execution is flawed in this case! Here is a Delhi – Kolkata flight which is going for INR 12,000 per pax at the lowest fare right now in Q class, for a flight about 4 hours out.

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At 4 hours out, the fare still remains 12,110 with the SPOT promocode, which did not bring the substantial savings it promised by bringing the fare to about INR 5000. I tried a few times to be honest!

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You can book these fares at the Air India booking office, in the city or at the airport, within 4 hours of the flight. You can also book on the website, when you use the promotion code SPOT, in the promocode box (if it works!). The promotion is valid only for booking and travel till September 30, 2016, and you get booked into fare class V. If you want a business class upgrade, you can also get a seat in business class with the upgrade vouchers or revenue upgrades. Here are all the details on the Air India website.

Bottomline

With these fares, the airline is clearly taking the fight to the railway network, even though on a smaller scale (by competing only with the 1A fares). It is a good to know, and one could perhaps save some good money in a situation where they need to travel last minute and fares may be high. In my case, it did not work out really!

What are your experiences with the SPOT fares of Air India?

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