Monday, September 07, 2009

1 month or 2 days before flight, fares are same

Bangalore: If you book two days in advance or one month in advance your air fares are the same. Even on trunk routes, the fares for immediate travel are at rock bottom.
A Bangalore-Delhi return ticket on SpiceJet for travel between September 7 and 8, inclusive of taxes and airport charges, is Rs 6,318. Of the total, the basic fare is only Rs 1,400. For the same price, SpiceJet is offering a Bangalore-Delhi return ticket for travel between October 7 and 8.
Similarly, a Mumbai-Delhi return ticket on IndiGo, for travel between September 7 and 8, costs Rs 5,150. The basic fare is Rs 392. For travel on October 7, the ticket price is the same. So, whatever happened to the mantra of book early, pay less? "Since loads are soft, airlines are offering their lowest fares even two days prior to travel in order to fill up seats," says Gopinath Nair, CEO of Travel Tours.
Traditionally, as per the revenue yield management system, airlines have multiple fare classes, of which the lowest fare is sold almost three months prior to travel. As the date of travel draws nearer and seats begin to fill up, air fares automatically go up.
Says a Chennai-based travel agent, "Many airlines have a new policy of promoting low fares 2 to 3 days prior to travel."
Capt G R Gopinath, the father of low-cost aviation in India, believes that the addition of more low-fare seats by Jet Airways Konnect and Kingfisher Red has also put a lot of pressure on existing air fares.
07/09/09 Anshul Dhamija/Times of India