Festive break hikes airfares
Kabir Saraogi, a Fort-based businessman, will not have his sister tie rakhi on his hand on Saturday.mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2011 02:44 IST
Kabir Saraogi, a Fort-based businessman, will not have his sister tie rakhi on his hand on Saturday.
Saraogi, who tried purchasing an air ticket to reach his sister in Delhi at the last minute on Friday, was stumped when his travel agent told him that most flights were fully booked for the day.
He shelved the trip after the agent sourced an economy ticket on a SpiceJet flight, scheduled to take-off from the city at 11.15 pm, for a price of Rs15,500.
“I did not want to spend so much and disturb my sister in the dead of night,” said 35-year-old Saraogi.
Owing to the long weekend, most flights taking-off from the city were full and airfares to metros and tier-II cities were more than double the normal rates.
Travel agents said that the hike in fares was natural owing to the extended weekend.
“Most passengers visiting their relatives for Raksha Bandhan had booked in advance. As a result, the last-minute fares on busy routes such as Mumbai-Delhi and Mumbai-Bangalore jumped to as high as Rs20,000,” said Prakash Lulla, a former president of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).
Only a handful seats were available on flights between the city and tier towns.
A one-way economy class ticket to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on Friday evening cost Rs11,000.
Last week, flights to tourist destinations such as Goa and Thiruvanthapuram were either sold out or were available to passengers at twice the normal prices.