Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Passengers Must Check International Airfare on Airline Websites, Not Search Engines: DGCA on Inflated Prices

A few days after DGCA addressed several social media posts stating airfare on UK-India route is touching as high as Rs 4 Lakh, DGCA has now issued guidelines for international passengers looking to book flights to the UK. India’s civil aviation regulator has suggested passengers travelling on international flights to the check fares from the airline’s websites and not on online search engines. Checking the complaints, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation found out anomalies in search engine results and airlines’ websites.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the DGCA said: “Passengers travelling to international destinations are requested to check the fare preferably from the website of the concerned airline as the meta search engines at times do not reflect the actual point to point fare and do make combinations of multiple Airlines and end up with an exaggerated figure."

Recently, DGCA said that an economy-class ticket on Delhi-London flight has been available for between Rs 1.03 lakh and Rs 1.47 lakh during August. “There are media reports claiming India-UK one-way economy class fares have touched Rs 4 lakh. These reports have no proven basis. The veracity of Shri Sanjeev Gupta’s claim has been thoroughly checked by DGCA," the ministry said on Twitter.

However, this price is also exceptionally high as compared to pre covid-19 prices and so, DGCA asked airlines to disclose their airfares for the India-UK route. The development came after a uproar among the air travellers over high airfares as India-UK flights restart on Sunday after a pause of around three and half months.

According to industry experts, the fares are likely to remain elevated as long as the weekly limit of 30 direct flights between India and UK continues. International fares cannot be regulated as they are driven by demand and supply, sector stakeholders said, adding that the only way to rationalise the prices is to increase the number of flights between the two countries.


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