Are airfare discounts real?
Are you really getting a good deal by opting for heavily discounted air fares? Or is it just a marketing gimmick for airlines to boost their ratings?
There have been a string of ruthless airfare price cuts of late, all very attractive to the flyer. Some domestic airlines had announced promotions last week with prices reduced by as much as 75%. But are they as feasible and real as they are enticing?
According to a report by The Economic Times, industry insiders feel that such schemes are deceptive and misleading. They say that only specific routes get the benefit of such discounts which are not offered on all seats either.
Discount only on base fare
Most of these offers have just the base airfare discounted. This means that even though the discount may be advertised as a “50% off” or something similar, you won’t actually be paying half price for the tickets. This is because, for example, of the total ticket price of Rs6,498 (for a one-way flight from Mumbai to Bengaluru on Monday, March 31, 2014), the base fare comes to Rs3,450, while the rest of the charges including fuel surcharge and added taxes come out to be Rs3,048. So you’d be getting a discount only on part of your ticket price.
Discount on limited seats
The Economic Times report highlights the fact that airlines have adopted a “bucket pricing” strategy, wherein cheapest tickets are available in the fewest numbers. This beats the point of cheap tickets, from a consumer standpoint, and merely plays into the hands of the airlines, for ratings and such, through clever advertising.