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Hit the road to cut air travel cost

business Updated: Jun 25, 2008 21:40 IST
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Air travel has become more expensive with prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) hitting the roof and airlines increasing their tariff. This means that those who frequently travel by air will have to bear additional expenditure. It is necessary to tackle these expenses by analysing various deals that airlines dole out and looking for alternatives that may be available for an air traveller.

The final fare
The impact of the tariff hike is always on an individual because he ends up paying more for the ticket. There can be rise in different components of the air fair. For example, some airlines might raise base fares while the others may raise the fuel surcharge or some other overheads, keeping the basic fare low.

The final fare is what matters because that is the amount an air traveller has to shell out and it is irrespective if the basic fare is low but the fuel surcharge or some other overhead is high.

Real deal
Airlines often offer attractive deals to their customers. But, one should look beyond the deal figure and understand the total cost he will incur and how it compares with the situation witnessed earlier.

It makes little sense for a person to buy a ticket for Rs 500 and then end up paying Rs 3,500 because you realise that there are a variety of taxes and other costs that are added to the initial figure. The result is that the air travel is as expensive as it would have been without all the attractive schemes the airline is offering.

It is essential to understand these kind of practices so that you can distinguish whether the offer is real or just another smart marketing gimmick.

Cost effectiveness
There is nothing wrong in paying a slightly higher amount on travel when necessary. If there is an urgency to get to some place then it makes sense to travel by air even if the cost has gone up.

In other cases, when taking the rail or road route does not make much difference, abstaining from air travel will result in significant saving.

The use has to be judicious so that ultimately the person ends up getting good value for the amount that they are spending and it meets the target in front of them.