After IndiGo Airlines and SpiceJet Airlines, another budget airline GoAir on Thursday hiked its cancellation charges from Rs1,900 to Rs2,225. According to the circular updated on the airline’s website, the fliers calling off a journey up to two hours before take-off time would be charges at least Rs2,225.
The move is likely to affect hundreds of air travellers as the three airlines together cater to one out of two domestic passengers in India, going by their market share in the civil aviation ministry records.
The pattern started after Indigo began charging Rs2,250 for cancelling flight tickets from April 1. Earlier the minimum charge was Rs1,250 for tickets cancelled a month ahead of the journey. Soon SpiceJet raised its charge from Rs1,899 to Rs2,350 for domestic fliers. The charge was raised by Rs150 for international flight cancellations.
The move has come into effect at a time when a fliers’ body is planning to approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against these industry wide pattern. “We have observed that every an airlines makes changes to its fee structure others follow suit. This indicates that they industry could be working as a cartel,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president with the Air Passengers’ Association of India (APAI) a body formed by frequent fliers. He added that the APAI would report the matter to the CCI.
“Cancellation charges on certain flights routes are almost half the cost of the tickets. No place in the world has such exorbitant price structure.”
The move is also facing criticism owing to its timing. The summer months of April and May witnessed the highest fliers’ loads owing to school vacations and many families setting off on leisure holidays.