Airfares go through the cloud

Published: Nov 13, 2010, 06:33 IST | Bipin Kumar Singh |

Ticket prices have touched an all-time high as festivals, wedding season and vacations have collectively contributed to a mad rush. You may just end up spending Christmas at home

Ticket prices have touched an all-time high as festivals, wedding season and vacations have collectively contributed to a mad rush. You may just end up spending Christmas at home

Plan to take a flight anytime before New Year's? If so, booking a ticket may not be easy.

For one, you'll have to pay almost 30 to 40 per cent more to any domestic destination, compared to what you would have last year. That is if you're lucky enough to get a ticket.



"Rates have gone up by up to 50 per cent as compared to last year," said owner of Venus Tours and Travels in Andheri, Devang Sanghvi.

"And airlines seem to be in no mood to reduce fares. Last week, during Diwali, tickets for Delhi fetched Rs 18,000 and I expect this situation to prevail till the end of December."

Vacations and festivals have led to heavy bookings.

"Also, many clients keep talking about weddings. This is bringing in good tidings as tickets are being booked in advance. Obviously, last minute bookings will be done at a premium rate," said Deepak Sharma of Ronpa Tours and Travels.

Sharma said that tickets for Kolkata, Bangalore, Goa, Jaipur,  and Delhi are available, but at prices which have gone up by 30 to 35 per cent as compared to last year.

Cashing in on the mad rush, the hotel Industry too is vying for its share of this pie. "Yes, hotel rates have also gone up this year with the increase in number of tourists," said Sanghvi.

"It includes foreign tourists who have contributed to the rise in hotel tariffs by 40-45 per cent, especially in destinations like Goa and Jaipur."

Is it a ploy?

A travel agent, who did not wish to be named, said that airlines, at times, manipulate prices by holding back tickets, anticipating a rise in fare.

"Such hoarding only proves beneficial with the last minute rush. Of course, it suits us well as our commission too sees a hike," the agent said.

Swindling fliers?

Vasai-based corporate manager, Ashutosh Mishra, said he fails to see the reason airfares increase so astronomically.

"If the railways do not hike fare during peak season, why do airlines, including national carrier Air India?" asked Mishra, a frequent flier.

"It's a money-making racket. It makes economic sense for the airline to earn more by increasing flights on the same sector instead of harassing passengers with such skyrocketing prices."

Fare Watch

Dubai
14,000

Varanasi
29,000

Singapore
19,000

Trivandrum
25,000

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