Want to upgrade your economy class air ticket to first class by paying a small amount? US-based travel portal Optiontown's unique travel solution can help you.
Optiontown says passengers can save up to 75 per cent of the actual airfare if they upgrade their ticket using its "upgrade travel option" (UTo) solution.
"You just have to visit our website and register for the upgrade. We charge you a nominal fee that could range between Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000 for domestic tickets and Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 for foreign destinations," Sachin Goel, founder and chief executive of Optiontown, told IANS.
The company has already entered into partnerships with India's Kingfisher Airlines, Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines.
The passengers can use UTo solution to upgrade their tickets on all sectors of these airlines. "If we fail to do that (upgrading), we will reimburse your money," Goel said. He added that the UTo route is much cheaper than booking a first class ticket directly from the airline.
An economy class ticket on Delhi-Mumbai route costs between Rs 5,000-Rs 7,000. "The upgrading would cost about Rs 3,000 more. This would still be quite cheaper than what one pays for a first class ticket on this sector, which would be over Rs 15,000," Goel explained.
He added that the company was in talks with Indian as well as foreign carriers to expand its services. "We have plans for expansion. We are in talks with Indian carriers and many other foreign carriers too," Goel said.
Optiontown will soon launch another fare solution, "flexibility demand option" (FDo), which seeks to pay a flier if he changes his travel schedule.
According to industry experts, the crisis-hit airline sector would benefit if they implement the FDo or UTo options.
Generally airlines prefer to sell their tickets largely in advance at cheaper rates. But they hardly find enough travellers in their business classes on many routes.
So, if they implement the UTo scheme, they could improve the passenger load factor in the first class segment and also fetch some additional revenue, said an industry official.
Added Goel, "It is a win-win situation for both airline and the travellers. Both would benefit."
Globally, airlines have moved to dynamic pricing, where fares change frequently, depending on demand and competition.