Monday, August 07, 2017

How to get the best rate: Options to land the cheapest flight ticket

For years, airline travellers have had a standard strategy for planned travel. Buy tickets months in advance, and especially during sale season and get the best rate. In fact, some would simply buy tickets during the sale season even if they had no concrete plan to travel. They could, of course, cancel it later.

Entry of a number of new players and the need to hold on to market shares for existing players has queered the pitch for consumers. And, things are no longer so simple. Now, there’s a possibility that you might get a cheaper ticket 20 days or, sometimes even a week before your travel, instead of two-three months before it.

The launch of new airlines and stable oil prices have changed the way airlines sell tickets. Explains John Nair, head, business travel, Cox & Kings: “In the past two years, airlines such as AirAsia, Vistara, Tru Jet and Air Costa have come into the market. Earlier, there were limited players. With the exit of Kingfisher, only a few airlines remained, and there was stability. To corner market share, the new entrants introduced predatory pricing and forced established players to follow suit. All this has led to volatility in fares even for last-minute travel.”
07/08/17 Tinesh Bhasin/Business Standard