Jet Airways’ new 50 bucks snafu!

Through a friend working for Jet Airways a while back, I had heard the murmurs of Jet Airways planning a new 50 Rs. fee. This time around, for all the (e)ticket printouts, but I laughed it off when I heard of it in March. I thought, a full-service carrier of that stature would not really go to these extents, but they did. Yesterday morning, some flyers were surprised to see a new charge come up ‘with immediate effect’.

And later in the day came an email to all JetPrivilege members:

Dear Mr. AJ,

This is to bring to your notice that effective immediately, requests received for duplicate e-ticket printouts at Airline Ticketing Offices and City Ticketing Offices in India across Jet Airways and JetKonnect will attract a fee of 50 per e-ticket (revenue / award ticket) reprint.

Please note that this fee is applicable only to requests for a reprint / duplicate copy of the existing booking.

JetPrivilege Platinum members are exempted from the e-ticket reprintcharge.

Warm regards,

Kaushal Satam
Head – JetPrivilege

Now, there is a fundamental problem with this new model. Jet Airways is not quite the Indian RyanAir yet although it is trying to be one under the skin of being a Full-Service Carrier. The next thing they would ask me for is to buy a ticket to use their bus from the airport to the steps of the plane, and then, maybe someday to take a trip to the loo on the flight. That also means one of the privileges as a top-tier with Jet Airways (Platinum) would also be that you can get your trip to the loo free!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for bringing my own copy of the ticket, since you definitely need one to access the airports in India. The security establishment posted at Indian airports is the one who needs these tickets (they want to see you are a part of the travelling party before you get access to the airport!) and showing your PNR/ticket PDF on your smartphones just wouldn’t do it for them. So, compulsorily you need to carry paper around even when you don’t need it.

That said, I almost never need to show a proof of travel till my first barrier (usually the airline check-in) at any airport outside India yet. And foreigners who travel in India frequently get caught off-guard by this requirement.

I clearly don’t see this requirement as ‘my’ problem and someone else needs to deal with it. The Mumbai Airport operator put out an e-ticket printing kiosk which is no longer functional, and other airport operators don’t feel it is needed.

Not surprisingly, passengers have slammed this move all over the social media. Here is a particular Facebook page where this went up first!

Jet Airways was quick to issue a clarification, but I don’t think it went down well with everyone!

May 15, 2012

Jet Airways does not insist on an eticket printout to enter the airport but this is a security requirement by the civil aviation authorities.

We observe a significant number of guests queuing up at our counters for re-prints of etickets due to which dedicated resources are being increasingly deployed. This last minute pressure for eticket reprints is also causing great inconvenience to our other guests who want to purchase tickets for immediate departures. We believe this increased cost of servicing of eticket reprints should be borne by only those who request for reprints and hence we have implemented the INR 50 charge. Jet Privilege Platinum members are exempt from this charge and we encourage all guests to get an eticket print at the time of ticket issuance.

Jet Airways is working together with the various stakeholders to provide seamless travel using mobile/bar code technology which will do away with eticket prints. We look forward to its implementation following regulatory approvals.

Now, it beats me. In my travels, I have noticed a 3-5-7 person queue at the airport, sometimes, to receive this sort of a printout. However, at most times, I find the ticket counters to be usually sparsely being used or not used at all. Of course, I might be blind over the years to have not seen serpentine queues of 100 people falling over each other to get their e-ticket printout.

So, what do you think? Justified charge or just another attempt from the biggest Indian carrier to get some more money out of my wallet?

And yes, Jet Airways, while we are at it, how will you account for this 50 bucks without giving me a receipt and how will you ensure your employees don’t pocket this amount? And how will you pay 12.36% service tax on this?

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  1. Nothing original.This was started by Indian Railways,wherin if you were not carrying your E-Ticket printout, but had correct photo ID ,the TTE would give you handwritten pintout on payment of Rs 50.Today even IR accepts the SMS recieved at the time of booking as a valid ticket!!!.JET AIRWAYS,DGCA,AIRPORT SECURITY .TAKE NOTE AND FORMULATE SOMETHING SIMILAR.WE WILL SAVE TONS OF PAPER EACH DAY!!!

  2. @Samuel: But 50Rs for what? A print out? Are they printing in GOLD? It is our hard earned money and every penny counts. Outside in a cyber-cafe a print is about 2Rs. Max 5 Rs. I am fine if they charge even 10Rs.

    What are they trying to prove? One of my colleagues was told that they are trying to GO GREEN. Thats absolute crap. AAI needs you to carry a print even for your to enter the airport.

  3. Not at all justifiable. If it was Kingfisher or an Air India we could have thought of.. but not expected by such a brand to steep down for small monetary gains. right told by AJ.. a trip to aircraft by airlines through bus might also be charged!!

  4. The cost itself (50 INR) is not that outrageous if you ask me, even if 9W is a full-service carrier, and it’s for duplicates only. Makes sense, you lose the first copy, you pay for a second (users-pay principle).

    Of course, it could have been better announced in advance though rather than “effective immediately”.

    • @Samuel, point taken. But this is announcement is made on an assumption that there will be no-first-copies provided by the airline.

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