Thursday, September 30, 2004

See Online -Deal Offline ??? A case of Domestic Indian Airfares

I think because of my undying passion for the internet , every decission in my life has to involve Internet research and study.

Since I needed to get my flight tickets and hotel room booked , I could have easily called my travel agent and got them booked.

Instead what does a Mad internet junkie like me does ??

He researches and studies all the Domestic Airlines Carriers websites , their online ticket booking process , their APEX ( advance purchase ) tickets auctioning and the other deals available .

Hence ,in essence I practically reviewed 4 websites of Airlines companies , 2 Air tickets Auction platforms and got to know about the latest price and deals war in the Domestic Indian Airlines Market.

( In the past ,I have given my travel agent a run for his money -based on my internet research .I have been able to dig out deals which were HALF THE PRICE of the "BEST DEALS" offered by Travel Agents and that too online and beleive it or not ..this is INDIA..where Internet's impact on Travel industry is supposed to be not even 1% of whats it like in a country like USA. I guess this goes enough to say..there is HUGE HUGE SCOPE for INTERNET TO IMPACT THE DOMESTIC INDIAN TRAVEL INDUSTRY)

Coming to my short reviews of the websites of Airlines carriers in India:

+ Indian Airlines ( ****) - Surprisingly the best website in terms of User Interface and ease came from the Indian PSU.
I got myself registered and check out the flight schdules and fare with much ease.
A good place to search our the Flight schedule , fairs ( look out for the pricing display with APEX pricing..very cool ), availability etc.

+Indian Airlines APEX tickets Auctions ( **) - Ease of use without much information on display , is NO USE.

Since IA offers only 7 and 21 days APEX and that too on some few sectors , hence it was no use for me.I was hoping they would have some end moment tickets auction promotion going on this site. But it wasnt the case.

IA by the way is the most expensive carrier !!! Delhi - Mumbai - 6445 ( non apex )

+ Jet Airways ( *** ) - A Good robust site which has all the details regarding Jet airways flight , fares , availability. However they could have done with better sections on their NITE SAVERS and Check FARES sections. The deal just doesnt stick out ,in the mind !!!

+ Air Sahara (** ) : Bad site , good pricing, practical deals !!!

The least impressive site amongst the BIG three . Better creatives a MUST for SAHARA !!!

There is an uneasy discomfort which creeps in when you browse this website .
A totally opposite case from Indian Airlines website.

+ Air Sahara Tickets Auctions : ( *****)

If someone is looking for the most practical and REAL steal of a price ,he just needs to land here !!!

Much Better AUCTION SITE then Indian Airlines

+ Air Deccan (** ) : BAD SITE ,IMPRACTICAL DEALS and not to mention a non existant user interface . The pricing for flights is laid as a stock market column in a financial newspaper .

BADLY needs DATA Organization !!
However , since its a new entrant and giving our air tickets at the price of peanuts bowls . I think its fair to give them time to evolve.

Conclusion :

Best Air Tickets Auction : Air Sahara
Best Online Booking Website : Indian Airlines
Best ALL ROUNDER (Deals + onlineBooking ) : Jet Airways
Best DEALS ( if you can get them or book them 1 years earlier !!! ) : AIR DECCAN

I hope the above will help ...

I can write more on the 2 BIG HOTEL CHAINS Website I browsed but thats later !!!

Till then Happy Air tickets Shopping...

P.S : I am finally buying my tickets from the travel agent/Airport since none of the sites above can give "a good bargain deal" to the flyer who is booking tickets on the same day of the flight.Indian Airlines does offer tickets bookings 2 hour before fight take off , but the pricing is certainly not what one can get at the Airport counter.

Phew , another case in the Internet Space of SO-NEAR-YET-SO-FAR !!

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