Low fares on MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Expedia...? Not really
Alekh Angre 15 May 2012

Booking through MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Expedia, etc? Booking a ticket from the airline’s website could give best deals —cheaper than those available on travel sites

First look at the advertisements of the online travel portals such as Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip, Expedia, etc, surely gives an impression of hassle-free air ticket booking experience along with some special discounted rates. While many of would consider using the aggregator’s website hoping to save some bucks, the reality is quite different. Instead, booking a ticket from an airline’s own website could give best deals with fares—even cheaper that available those on these travel websites.  

Take the case of Deepak Verma (name changed). Mr Verma is a regular flyer to Kolkata from Mumbai. Recently he planned his monthly trip and selected ClearTrip.com to book his return ticket (25th May Mumbai-Kolkata and 28th May Kolkata-Mumbai) choosing a Jet Airway’s flight. The total cost of the available tickets came to Rs16,075. However, this time after learning that Jet Airways runs a 5%-10% discount offer built into tickets booked via their own website, called “LoFares”,  he decided to check if would really get some discount. Surprisingly, he did find lower fares and booked the tickets paying Rs14,324. Mr Verma saved more than Rs1,700 which he otherwise would have paid to Cleartrip.com.

Moneylife checked the variations in flight prices using different routes. It was noticed the websites also offer different rates on same route and flight. For instance, for the same route and flight which Mr Verma chose, MakeMyTrip offered the tickets for Rs15,034, cheaper by Rs1,751 compared to Cleartrip; Expedia offered the same fare as Cleartrip. However Yatra.com offered at Rs15,951 but during the process a message popped up stating that the old fare was Rs14,063 which was increased.

Similar fares were noticed on checking the prices for Jet Airways’ Mumbai-Chennai (1st June) and Chennai-Mumbai (3rd June). While a Jet Airways flight JetConnect offered the return fare for Rs11,066, travel portals offered slightly higher fares. Both Cleartrip and Expedia offered a return fare at Rs11,762 while MakeMyTrip charged Rs11,440. Yatra.com, however, priced it at Rs10,492 which was increased to Rs11,491 during the process.  

While cross-checking out possible price discounts on various routes, Moneylife also compared fares by airlines, other than Jet Airways, with ticket booking portals. In most cases the fares were almost the same.

For example, a return Mumbai-Goa trip from 22nd-24th May, using GoAir would cost Rs7,273 according to the airline’s own fare. It was same for travel portals as well. Similarly, for a Mumbai-Delhi return trip from 5th-6th June using IndiGo, the ticket price was Rs11,039, which was same for Cleartrip and Expedia. However MakeMyTrip offered the tickets at Rs10,792.

So the next time you book your ticket make sure you visit the airlines’ own website first and then these websites. You might also be lucky as Mr Verma.

1 decade ago
Sometimes i observe that fares on compnay websites ar emore than portals. looks like comnaies pass on less proce quota to portals to sell at higher rates ..i have written this to feedback to Kingfisher and indigo..off course no answer from them..
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