The business of travel is built more for business travel rather than leisure travel. This is the bread and butter of the industry, rather than leisure travellers who plan ahead most of the times to get the cheaper fares.
However, these perks are not always available to everyone. For large businesses, they have the ability to negotiate a contract with airlines directly to get preferred terms, but small businesses don’t have the same outlay or spend, so… they may not get access to the same T&C.
Luckily, airlines have been able to recognise the tremendous power of the SME segment over the years, and have almost all launched specific programs for SMEs. All the programs would need you to verify your organisation via some sort of paperwork to access the benefits. Let’s take a look at these programs and the perks they offer for you.
Jet Airways intends to bring together various small businesses on a SME platform, where they can not just get better rates from the airline, but also get other products and services which they may require from time to time as a small business owner. As a member, the airline offers all empaneled employees of the SME a 10% flat discounts on domestic as well as international travels.
Jet Airways also recently added the ability to add family members of the enrolled members to get the discount of 10%. However, the members need to be verified by a team using an uploaded identification to ensure that everyone is from the same family. We have been using this program for a while to book a lot of our business travel as a small business.
The Indigo SME Program offers unlimited changes to your bookings. You need to have an Income Tax PAN Card to prove you are an SME and not an individual trying to access SME rates. Some of the other benefits of the IndiGo SME program include:
- Complimentary snack (1 food and beverage)
- For travel within India or Nepal, Change Fee will not be charged if change is made to a booking at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. Cancellation fees is INR 1500 or 100% of booking amount if that is lower. No-show charges will be levied if change/cancellation to a Booking is made within 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time.
- For travel to/from an international destination (except Nepal), change fee will not be charged if change is made to a Booking at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure time. A no-show charges will be levied if change to a Booking is made within 4 hours prior to the scheduled departure time. Cancellation is chargeable at INR 2000 or 100% of booking amount if that is lower.
GoAir is putting INR 200 in your pocket with their SME program’s first booking. Here are the other advantages they offer:
- SME Corporate Fares
- Complimentary Meal On-Board
- Zero Cancellation/Re-Scheduling Charge
- No Charge For Seat Selection
Clearly, this is the best of Jet Airways, which has a discount for all members, and IndiGo (free meals) and adds their own perks which are no charges for seat selection and cancellation/rescheduling. However, I’m sure there are nuances, which you only find out after you sign up. If you know something we don’t, let us know!
SpiceJet SME High Flyer Program offers discounted fares (up to 10%) and Zero convenience Charges on every ticket, i.e., you are saving INR 225 (per passenger per route). You also get to earn ‘Spice Points’ after completing every flight. These points act as frequent flyer points and can be used for future bookings.
Clearly, there are benefits to all the programs. IndiGo and GoAir add the free meals to come closer to Jet Airways, but GoAir seems to be adding many more perks to their members as compared to the others. It seems that is an attempt to make-up for their small size. To my surprise, Vistara is still not with an SME program, but I hope they launch one soon.
Have you used an SME program for your SME business? Do share your experience booking Small and Medium Enterprises travel using any of these programs with us.
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