Fly-wise, Fly cheap. Seriously.

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Make My Trip’s Challenge. Unfortunately, they couldn’t offer the lowest, as they promise.

TheFlyingEngineer Update: A kind Spicejet FO pointed me out to Akbar Travels, which offer truly low airfares! Please do check out the last screenshot right at the bottom of this short article. Akbar travels’ low airfares, which are the lowest for all airlines and all flights that I searched for Mar 30 2013, are definitely worth a note!

MakeMy Trip dot com is strong in its advertising. It claims to bring you the cheapest fares, if not, it will pay you double the difference in fare. I wanted to see which method, and which site got me the cheapest of tickets. (and see the screenshots below: MakMyTrip couldn’t stand up to their own test).

I tried these five sites: Indigo, Spicejet, MakeMyTrip, Ixigo, Goibibo and Cleartrip. Why these six? The first two to see how much the “Major Low Cost" airlines charge, and the last four as these are very “well branded".

I set my departure date as 30th March, 2013, for a one-way flight from Delhi to Bangalore. Cheapest was my only criteria, not the flight time, time of flight, or OTPs, and I relied on the airline / website to filter my results as lowest fare first.

Here are what you should know:

1. The flight fare of Indigo and Spicejet are the same, for the date in consideration in this case.

2. Indigo charges INR 100 as “Covenience Fee" per passenger when booking through their website. Spicejet charges none, making a Spicejet ticket cheaper (in the event that both competitor’s fare prices pre-“convenience fees” are the same)

3. MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Ixigo/Arzoo*, and Goibibo charge a convenience fee of INR 125 per passenger. So if you’re booking a ticket early, through any of these sites, then you’ll stand to lose INR 25 when booking an Indigo flight, and INR 125 when booking a Spicejet flight!

4. Arzoo did the best job. *Now, a search on Ixibo led me to Arzoo, and Arzoo gave me by far the cheapest flight: Spicejet, INR 4017. With the “Conveninece fee" of INR 125, this came up to 4,142, which is still a good INR 1,068 cheaper than the lowest you can expect from Indigo!

Look at all my screenshots below. Read the captions carefully. So when booking a flight, search everywhere, and know that those “promise-you-the-lowest” sites may actually prove to be costlier than the airline’s parent site! Moral: Search well before buying.

As for MakeMyTrip, I wonder what they now have to say about the “lowest airfare challenge": Here’s proof that they’re not always the lowest!

Indigo’s airfare, which is priced the same as Spicejet’s, is costlier by INR 100 when booking through their website, due to the “convenience fee” that they charge.

Spicejet’s fares are priced as much as Indigo’s, but the convenience fee of INR 100 isn’t charged. This makes their fare the lower than the competition’s.

The Best Make My Trip could get me (from Indigo and Spicejet) was INR 5110, INR 1 costlier than Go Air’s fare. But add their convenience fee of INR 125, and you have INR 5235 to shell out. Even if you would have purchased Spicejet’s you’d have to pay the same: this is what all the websites charge: INR 125 on domestic!

ClearTrip couldn’t do any better than the other sites.

Ready to pay! NO, I didn’t purchase the ticket!

 

I don’t know how Ixigo managed it, but they had the lowest of all fares! INR 4017 + INR 125 Convenience fee = INR 4142. Compare this with Make My trip’s lowest. (below)

Make My Trip’s lowest could not beat Ixigo’s. Wonder what I can do to benefit from the lost challenge!

GoIbibo didn’t do any better than the others.

Akbar Travels, which was brought to my notice today, had the lowest steady airfares on offer!

5 thoughts on “Fly-wise, Fly cheap. Seriously.”

  1. Thanks for the reviews about the travel agencies. My family is planning to travel next summer and I think it’s wise to find good deals as early as now. So based on what I’ve read, Akbar travels offer the lowest steady airfare. I visited their website and found out that it was true, but have you tried availing their services? How was it?

  2. Your research is flawed. The price you see on Arzoo will change back to Rs. 5110 once you click on book. I have seen this happen multiple times on other travel websites too. There’s no way any travel website can offer more than Rs. 100 lower fare than the airline website (unless they are running special promotion). I have been booking air tickets for myself since last 5 years and always compare all the websites before making the purchase.

    • “Flawed” is a harsh word, as my “research” just emphasises on searching well before purchasing a ticket. And I’m certain you’d agree with the 3 points I’ve listed.

      Well, I clicked on book and it still held good! (See the snapshot above the Ixigo listing). I’m not denying that it was a system error: maybe it was. I’ve put down what I’ve found.

      • Hey.. My apologies. I didnt want to sound harsh.
        Its just that I have seen that fares on all websites are almost same (+/- Rs 100) unless there’s a special promotion by airline or the travel website.

        I once had an experience wherein the fare quoted on travel website was lower than airline website by over Rs 1000. I booked the ticket and later found out I was charged the full fare as per airlines’s website. When contacted they said it was some system error and I would be charged the full fare. I had saved the screenshots of page and after much fight I got the difference back. But it was much of a hassle.

        So from my experience, is it really worth to spend time on searching on all websites and then deciding where to book just to save Rs. 100? I just use one travel portal (usually cleartrip) to seek out all flight options and then book the lowest fare or most convenient one on airline’s website directly (unless the travel portal is running any promotion).

        But thanks for reviewing Akbar Travels. I have never used the website, but will probably give it a try next time. 🙂

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