Airlines offering free rescheduling on domestic Indian flights due to 2nd Wave of the Pandemic

With the rise in cases over the past five weeks or so in India, airlines have seen a massive dip in their business as the number of domestic passengers have dropped because of the fear of travelling and catching the virus outside, and also because of the many lockdowns and RT-PCR requirements many states have implemented (a 72-hour sample negative report is perhaps very hard to get these days because of the number of people getting tested and hence the backlog).

Anyhow, to encourage people to book travel at the moment, airlines have put in place flexible policies, so that if their circumstances change and they are unable to travel, they are able to reschedule their tickets free of cost. This might not be fully helpful at the moment for people who are hunkered down at home, but will help people who need to travel for whatever reason. They get some flexibility to rebook without the INR 3500 or so charges that are charged per passenger. Here are the details.

IndiGo

IndiGo is offering an unlimited change fee waiver to its customers booking IndiGo operated domestic flights from April 17 to May 31, 2021 (both dates inclusive) only on domestic flights of the airline. You could have booked your tickets through the airline website/app, or through Cleartrip or other OTAs.

  • The offer is applicable for bookings made on or before May 31, 2021, travel dates are completely open.
  • The offer is applicable for Regular Fares, Flexi plus Fares and Family Fares, but not group fares.
  • Passengers can avail of unlimited free date changes.
  • The offer is applicable only on domestic flight bookings.
  • Passengers can make these changes up to 5 hours before the flight departure time.
  • Fare difference if any will be applicable.
  • If you cancel the ticket, you will have to pay the cancellation fee.

SpiceJet

SpiceJet also has launched a limited period Zero Change Fee offer with zero change fees, however, this is not a great offer as compared to IndiGo. This offer is applicable only on direct domestic flight bookings made between April 17 and May 10, 2021, for travel between April 17 and May 15, 2021. You could have booked your tickets through the airline website/app, or through Cleartrip or other OTAs.

  1. To avail of the waiver of the change fee, the booking must be modified at least 5 days prior to the flight departure date. Standard charges will be applicable for bookings changed within 5 days of the flight departure date.
  2. Fare difference will be applicable for flight changes and shall be payable by the customer. (A facilitation fee shall be applicable for flight change requested through Reservations or Airport Ticketing Counters).
  3. Waiver of change fee shall be offered one time only. In case the flight is changed by the customer for the second time then the applicable change fee as per standard terms shall be charged.
  4. The Zero Change Fee Offer is applicable only on bookings made under the offered fare.
  5. This offer is not applicable to group bookings.

GoAir

GoAir’s Zero Rescheduling Fee offer with zero change fees looks at par with IndiGo on T&C, but not on the travel dates. This offer is applicable only on domestic flight bookings made between April 17 and May 15, 2021, for travel between April 17 and May 15, 2021. You could have booked your tickets through the airline website/app, or through Cleartrip or other OTAs.

  • To avail of the waiver of the change fee, the booking must be modified at least 2 hours prior to the flight departure.
  • The Offer shall not apply in the event the customer cancels the booking or changes the sector, in which cases the “cancellation fee” will be chargeable at currently applicable rates.
  • Fare difference will be applicable for flight changes and shall be payable by the customer. (A facilitation fee shall be applicable for flight change requested through Contact Centre or Airport Ticketing Counters).
  • The Offer is applicable to all domestic travel bookings for one-way, connecting and round-trip flights on all GoAir flights. However, the Offer is not applicable to group bookings.
  • Waiver of change fee shall be any number of times until May 15, 2021, only both change & travel date.

Air Asia

AirAsia’s FlexIt offer with zero change fees looks at par with IndiGo on T&C, but not on the booking dates. This offer is applicable only on domestic flight bookings made between April 18 and May 15, 2021, for travel between April 18 and May 15, 2021. You could have booked your tickets through the airline website/app, or through Cleartrip or other OTAs.

  • The Offer is available for all AirAsia India (I5) operated domestic flights, excluding the group bookings made on AirAsia India’s flights.
  • The “change fee” shall be waived off for any changes made to the travel date for their bookings made during the Offer Period, without any restrictions on the revised travel dates. However, the Offer shall not apply in the event the customer cancels the booking later or changes the sector, in which cases the cancellation fee shall be chargeable at currently applicable rates.
  • The Offer is applicable to all domestic travel bookings on the selective fare option (i.e. Regular Fares and Premium Flex Fares) for one-way, connecting, and round-trip flights on all AirAsia India operated flights.

Vistara

Vistara is not advertising the free change, I presume because their official line is that you should travel only if you need to. However, they have provisioned for free changes till May 31, 2021. As per a reader, you can reschedule tickets till September 30, 2021.

  • For bookings made between April 22 to May 31, 2021, & travel dates April 22 to May 31, 2021, passengers can avail of one free date change.
  • The offer is applicable only on domestic flight bookings.
  • Passengers can make these changes up to 5 hours before the flight departure time.
  • Fare difference if any will be applicable.

Air India

Air India’s policy is considerably different from the others. They allow you a free sector change as well. Their free change policy is applicable between April 12 and May 31, 2021 only for tickets booked via OTAs such as MakeMyTrip.com/ Cleartrip

  •  Change is defined as change in date or flight number or sector.
  • Applicable to all tickets sold by Air India issued for a pure domestic itinerary (including FFP redemption tickets issued on 098 documents)
  • Offer is not applicable for tickets issued on Air India Website and Mobile app (As Free change option already offered)
  • Travel date April 12, 2021 to May 31, 2021. Free change option is offered irrespective of date of purchase of the ticket. Passengers can rebook for new dates as per validity of their existing tickets.
  • Passengers availing Free change option has to necessarily follow respective timelines for change as per fare rules. Failure may result in no-show.
  • In case passengers decides to change sector, ONLY reissuance charges will be waived once, other charges will apply.
  • Applicable for all classes and also all types of concessionary tickets.
  • In case of change option exercised and passenger is unable to get the same RBD for the new date, applicable difference of fare will be charged.
    • NO DOWNSELLING will be permitted
    • In case same RBD is available but fare is higher, passenger will be given the benefit of not paying the additional charges.
    • In case, same RBD available but tax differential is applicable, additional difference will have to be collected from the passenger.
  • Passengers who have already availed a Free change under any earlier waiver can use this option to additionally avail a change. Any subsequent change, after availing this one-time Free change will be governed by respective fare rules.
  • Passengers can make these changes up to 5 hours before the flight departure time

Bottomline

Given the raging pandemic, staying home is the best idea. But if you had to really step out, airlines are making some sweet promotions to ensure you don’t really get put off by the change fee. I really think this policy should be out there for a longer period of time, maybe at least 6 months or so to give people confidence to book forward.

What do you think of the change fee waivers of all airlines?


Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *