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Air Framed

There're some good bargains out there. Here's how you can get your hands on the best deal.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2006 23:40 IST

The trick while looking for cheap fares is some research. Don't depend on travel agents. All airlines have websites, ticket counters, sometimes mobile ones, and helplines. If you spend some time calling up/visiting airline offices, you can save a lot of money. The following information should help you in that research.

Jet Airways: Offers only advance purchase fares (Apex) for 15, 21 and 30 days. Apex tickets can be purchased from any Jet Airways office or from authorised travel agents. Delhi-Mumbai 30 days Apex is Rs 4,225; 21 days, Rs 4,280 and 15 days, Rs 5,295. There are also Night Saver Fares on sectors like Hyderabad-Mumbai-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi. This offers five options. If one option is closed for sale, a passenger will be booked in the next available fare class. In this scheme, fares for the Delhi-Mumbai sector (departure time 10.30 pm) varies from Rs 1,900 to Rs 4,755.

Indian Airlines: Offers four Easy Fare schemes in specified sectors. In the Mumbai-Delhi sector, fares vary from Rs 3,821 to Rs 6,721. For Delhi-Bangalore - Rs 4,421 to Rs 9, 021. For Delhi Chennai - Rs 5,321 to Rs 9,721. Easy Fare tickets can be booked anytime depending on availability. The earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket. Booking 15 days ahead is a good idea. Cancellation charges are Rs 500. There's a new offer - Monsoon Super Saver. This gives 12 coupons for unrestricted travel on domestic sectors, for an all inclusive fare of Rs 48,500 in the economy class and Rs 72,500 in the executive class. You can buy the coupons till August 5. The tickets are valid till March 31, 2006.

Air Deccan: The lowest fare is Re 1 (plus Rs 221 tax). The next slab is Rs 500 (plus Rs 221 tax) followed by Rs 1,400 (plus Rs 221 tax). These are available for all routes and released 90 days in advance. Be warned though, they are sold out within an hour of their release. Passengers are informed about the date and timing of these concessional fares through advertisements in major newspapers. Tickets can be booked through the call centre or through the online booking site.

SpiceJet Airlines: Offers concessional rates on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Bangalore sector. The cheapest Delhi-Mumbai ticket is Rs 1,920, followed by Rs 2,450. Tickets are released in lots approximately 60 days in advance. Again, demand is high. So book early, through the call centre or online.

Air Sahara: Has tied up with an online portal to auction tickets at half their rates. You can bid for a ticket 15-21 days in advance. A Delhi-Mumbai journey will cost you Rs 3,500-5,500. If you have a credit card, you can join the Happy Hours Bid. This option allows you to look for cheap tickets as late as just 3 days before flying.

Kingfisher Airlines: Offers tickets in only two sectors, Delhi­Bangalore and Mumbai-Bangalore. The cheapest ticket in the Delhi-Bangalore sector is Rs 3, 370 and is available up to two days before the flight. The Mumbai-Bangalore ticket will set you back by a minimum Rs 2,370. Tickets can be booked online or through the call centre. But only if you own a credit card.

One rupee tickets however don't answer the million dollar question: Is India infrastructurally equipped to enter the civil aviation big league. The next sections explore this.

First Published: Nov 16, 2005 19:36 IST