For the first time in India, fliers will now have a chance to bid, and win air tickets to travel at fares much cheaper than standard market rates.
Ajay Singh-promoted SpiceJet has bought fare bidding — a popular practice followed by many top airlines in the US and Europe — to India. The budget carrier has launched SpiceBid, wherein passengers can bid for tickets two days prior to the travel date.
For example, passengers travelling on Sunday can bid for the tickets till Friday midnight. HT found that on Thursday the bidding price for a Delhi-Goa ticket for Saturday on SpiceBid was Rs 3,000 while the cheapest fare available on top travel portals for the sector was for Rs 4,490. Similarly, the fare difference for tickets to destinations like Mumbai and Ahmedabad was up to Rs 2,000.
“If you qualify, you will be notified a day prior to the flight schedule otherwise the amount paid would be refunded to your credit card account,” said a SpiceJet official.
Experts say the the bidding process is interesting since it is done on the spot fares.
“What’s interesting is that the bidding is for spot fares, which are the costliest,” said Subhash Goyal, chairman, STIC Travel Group.
“Once a customer enters the destination he is travelling to, he will be asked to quote a fare that is equivalent or higher to start the bidding. The website would provide a suggested bid that would help in quoting the fare. Tickets will be issued and sent on the email of the qualified participants,” the official added.