The much hyped ongoing discount war of airlines has been dubbed a gimmick by city residents, as many have failed to get discounted tickets despite repeated online attempts.
As part of the 'Super Summer Sale' launched on February 24, SpiceJet is offering 75% discount on the base fare for tickets booked for travel between April 1 and June 30. The booking is open till tomorrow. Rivals IndiGo and Go Air have also announced similar fare cuts.
Kamaljit Cheema from city-based Grand travel planners said the fare war was nothing short of a gimmick. "The overall discount on any flight is not beyond `1,000-1,500 -that too, with a lot of risk, since there is no refund for the discounted ticket.
One will have to travel on the same day for which he has booked the ticket, or leave his seat with no refund," he said, adding, "The discount is being offered only on basic fare, which is not more than 30-35% of the total ticket price. Even on the discounted ticket, the customers pay for fuel charges, passenger service fee, user development fee (UDF), government service tax etc., as usual."
People were facing problem in getting discounted tickets as the inventory opened for the public is very limited, said Mohinder Bajaj of Bajaj travelers. "Airlines don't open all the seats for sale as it is not beyond 5-10 seats per sector per day, which in any case are lapped by several agents' within hours of opening of these tickets. Moreover, one hardly gets the ticket."
Another local travel company owner, Puneet, said the basic fare was normally less if someone booked the ticket two-three months in advance. "The fare war is more of a branding exercise rather than offering real discounts to customers. It is a good strategy for companies as they are just selling their tickets which otherwise remain unsold in the summer season".
Another city resident, Parkash Anand, said, though Chandigarh-Mumbai ticket was available at `5,400, he could not buy it despite several attempts for the month of May. A local official of Spicejet said there was no direct sale in the counter for discounted tickets as it was only available online.