Online Travel Portals Rapped On Knuckle For Unfair Practises

Online transactions have made all aspects of our life more convenient. We are no longer bound by time and place when purchasing goods or services offered online. Further, we can compare the services of competitors more easily through online portals. When it comes to travel portals, the same also holds true. More and more people have begun using services like Yatra and MakeMyTrip.

Recently, they introduced ‘Opaque Fare Scheme’, in which the passengers are shown the various flight options available and the rates, but not the name of the aircraft carrier. This scheme has come under fire by none other than the CEO of Jet Airways.

CEO of Jet Airways  Nikos Kardassis called the scheme a scam. ”I’ve had some strong words with MakeMyTrip and have threatened them that we will pull out all inventory from their portal if they don’t stop this scam. If the aviation regulator (ie: theDGCA) does not take any action on this, we will pull the plug on travel portals that participate in this scam,”

In the Opaque Fare Scheme, what ended up happening was people would see one fare at a discounted rate compared to the rest, and buy the fare. It would turn out to be a ticket for Kingfisher Airline, which the customer would be shown only after he paid for the ticket.

This damages the reputation of the online travel portal, as the customer would not have taken the ticket under normal circumstances. It also is damaging for other players in the aviation sector. Worst of all, it puts the travelers at great inconvenience, something which online transactions are supposed to alleviate. If major companies like Jet Airways stop letting customers book tickets through online travel portals, it will be a blow to everyone. There will be fragmentation in the ticket booking process.

MakeMyTrip CEO Keyur Joshi has said that the matter has been resolved, ”The issue stands resolved with 9W (Jet Airways). We will make correction in how we display opaque fares to ensure no airline is hurt,”

Do you think that online travel portals should think twice before introducing schemes that could put customers though such inconvenience?

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