Monday, June 04, 2007

Low Cost Airlines and Cancellation refunds

Many who know me would know that I am not a fan of the customer-friendliness of the low cost airlines. If customer-friendliness is kind of a 'low-cost' compromise, I fail to understand the complex refund mechanism of Spicejet on cancellations.

I had to cancel two air tickets - coincidentally one of Air deccan and one of Spicejet. My Air deccan ticket was of Rs.1999. On cancellation, I was surprised to know they deducted only Rs.50 (transaction fee) for the cancellation - which to me is very good. I was hoping for a similar windfall at Spicejet - but there was none. On the ticket amount of Rs.2524, Rs.600 was charged as Cancellation fee. 25% of the fare as cancellation fee! I had no option but to convince myself that Rs.600 is for ogling at the lady at the counter. But to my surprise I was informed by the prospective Khushboo that the amount of Rs.1924 would be credited to my account with Spicejet and can be used within a year for future bookings. Account at Spicejet?! I thought I had an account with ICICI, used their credit card for booking the ticket. I did not open any account - I do not know whether I will travel by air in the next one year - let alone travelling by Spicejet, why on earth am I not getting the refund. I showed the Air deccan refund ticket to the counter damsel, "Sorry sir, I follow the procedure". To add salt to the wound, I was told that any difference in fare for the future booking would be extra.

• Rs.600 as cancellation charge
• Refund amount not given
• For future bookings in the same route also, I may have to pay extra

Low cost airlines, indeed, are lowly. May be just another way to cheat.

Update: Later in the day I travelled by Jet Airways flight 9W 842 (from Kolkata to Chennai on May 31), I was shocked to hear that they ran out Vegetarian meals - God only knows what a full service means!


JC said...

Kingfisher seems to take the cake on all aspects

Selva said...

can u elaborate on 'all' aspects?