SpiceJet charges Rs 85,000 for 5-member family for one-way Mumbai flight

SpiceJet charges Rs 85,000 for 5-member family for one-way Mumbai flight

With Chennai’s Anna International Airport shut down due to flooding, stranded passengers have made a beeline to Bengaluru, only to cough up exorbitantly high rates for one-way domestic fares.

On flight booking portal Yatra.com, a one-way, non-stop ticket to Mumbai from Bengaluru for Saturday, December 5, 2015, ranged from Rs 19,119 on SpiceJet to Rs 22,323 on Go Air.

Ignoring non-stops, ticket prices ranged from Rs 8,259 (Air India, one-stop at Hyderabad) to Rs 57,965 (Jet Airways, via New Delhi). The cheapest one-way, non-stop ticket to Delhi for the same day was quoting at Rs 17,538 (GoAir), going all the way up to Rs 28,269 (SpiceJet).

DH heard from a family, who had arrived in Bengaluru from Chennai, only to end up paying around Rs 85,000 for a flight to Mumbai.

The family of five, including a one-year-old toddler in tow, took a SpiceJet flight from Kempegowda International Airport here on Friday, after buying tickets from the airport counter.

Vani (names of family members have been changed on request), her husband Shekhar, their one-year-old-son, and Shekhar’s parents, were in Chennai to celebrate the child’s first birthday. But the crisis in Chennai forced the family to travel by car to Bengaluru, to try and take the first flight out.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Vani’s mother, Sarita said, “We came to Bengaluru because the airport at Chennai was shut due to rains. Initially, there were no flights here also. But when flights did become available, the airlines were charging a premium.”

Shekhar hopped counters enquiring about the availability of seats.

“Shekhar first went to the IndiGo counter, and found the fares very high. Then he went to the SpiceJet counter, where the one-way fares were quoted at Rs 85,000 for five of us (roughly Rs 19,000 per ticket for adults, while the toddler was charged a little less),” Sarita said, adding that the family still took the flight since they were with a child.

But when contacted, Ajay Jasra, head of corporate communications at SpiceJet, squarely denied the fare inflation, and explained, “If you take a look at our airfares on any of the online booking portals, you will know that we have some of the lowest fares.”

When this reporter visited KIA, he was greeted with a mixed bag of reactions from passengers, who were seated in a designated zone for those from Chennai.
A very tensed engineering student from Kolkata was found reasoning with Jet Airways personnel.

“I was supposed to take off from Chennai to Kolkata.
The executive told me that it was reconfirmed for December 5, and I could come to Bengaluru, and fly from here. But when I reached here, I’m yet to find it confirmed,” he said.

A group of nine dental students from Malaysia, studying in Chennai, were here to take an AirAsia flight to Kuala Lumpur. 

“We changed our point of departure from Chennai to Bengaluru, and arrived here by bus after paying Rs 1,800 per person. We must say it was good to find the AirAsia counter open and functioning at the Chennai airport. Even in Bengaluru, a staff of the airline helped us.”

Talking about the impact of the sudden influx in passengers at KIA, a spokesperson said, “We are doing everything in terms of food, mobile charging stations, Wi-Fi, and frequent announcements to help the stranded passengers.” 

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