Cancelling an air ticket will now cost you Rs 500 more

Nivedita Ganguly
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Jet Airways, SpiceJet hike charge for domestic flights

Not just booking, even cancelling a flight has become costlier. Days after hiking air fares by more than 20 per cent, airlines have increased cancellation charges on domestic flights from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500.

SpiceJet was the first off the block. In a mail to travel partners, the airline said: “The fee for changes and cancellation has been revised to Rs 1,500 per person, per sector. This is applicable for all domestic bookings, irrespective of origin of sale or travel date. The changes have been updated on our Web site at all applicable places.”

Shortly thereafter, Jet Airways, too, told travel agents that it was raising its cancellation fee from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500.

“Jet has informed us that the cancellation fee will be increased from September 10. We are yet to receive instructions from other airlines,” said Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer,

Industry sources think other airlines will follow suit.

SpiceJet has also reduced the free baggage allowance on its flights from 20 kg to 15 kg, effective September 9, said online travel agents.

Other carriers, such as Jet Airways and IndiGo, had reduced the free baggage allowance to 15 kg in June.

The cancellation fee and fare hikes come on the heels of the 6.9 per cent jump in the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) last week.

Industry players expect the higher airfares to dent demand in the October-December peak travel season.

“Families travel at this time to their hometowns or take a vacation. Paying 25 per cent more for four tickets (assuming that is the average family size) is a stiff cost to be factored in,” said Vikram Malhi, General Manager, South and South-East Asia, Expedia.

(This article was published on September 7, 2013)
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