Thursday, July 30, 2020

Airlines offer Starbucks coffee, insurance cover, full body checkups to woo fliers

Cash-back, discounts on fares and flying miles are no longer enough to woo passengers, especially when fears around COVID-19 and quarantine regulations have subdued sentiments.

Instead, airlines are now offering discounts on doctor consultation, insurance covers and full body check ups to entice customers to book tickets. There are also special offers for doctors, nurses and the armed forces, in line with the current sentiment in the country, with regards to COVID-19 and the standoff with China.

The offers come even as domestic flights, which resumed on May 25, continue to see capacity utilisation of just up to 30 percent, and loads that hover around the half-way mark.

"We are observing that most of the current demand is for emergency travel. This is borne out by the fact that more than 90 percent of the bookings are for one way trips and more than 80 percent of the bookings are for travel dates within two weeks," Balu Ramachandran, Global Head for the Air Business at Cleartrip, told Moneycontrol.

"Traffic volumes on our website indicate that there is pent up demand for travel, but customers are being cautious due to the pandemic and are placing higher emphasis on safety and flexibility as compared to pricing. Hence, we have offers available on our website," added Ramachandran.

Much of the focus, given the fear of COVID-19, has been on health and safety. GoAir is offering customers online doctor consultation packages with each booking. There are also offers on full body check ups.

SpiceJet has tied up with insurance provider Digit, to offer cover against COVID-19. The cover, with a premium ranging from Rs 443 to Rs 1,564, promises to cover hospital expenses.

To honour the frontline warriors against the virus, IndiGo is offering a 25 percent discount to doctors and nurses. The discount will be offered till December 31, 2020.

“The nurses and doctors will be required to provide valid hospital IDs at the time of check-in as a proof of their identity," the airline had said in a statement.
30/07/20 Prince Mathews Thomas/
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