Cash back promised? Beware!

When SpiceJet tells you that you can have a cash back of 50% on your booked ticket, you got to beware. Because the Cash back is just on the base fare and so the maximum you can avail works this way: 'You are eligible for 50% cash back or Rs.400 on base fare on sectors below 750 kms. and Rs.800 on sectors above 750 kms. whichever is less. The offer is valid only if you BOOK between 24 March 2009 to 31 March 2009 and FLY before 15 April 2009. Offer valid only once per credit card.'

Now all of this is not mentioned in their banner ad that screams, 'Fly SpiceJet before April 15, get instant 50% cash back'. Whilst bookig, SpiceJet gives you an option of a link that explains their cash back details, yet, in all probability there could be fliers who take the Ad headline at face value and book, only to realise later that the 50% wasn't on the total amount but just on the base fare.

Now wonder, now, the DGCA has asked all airlines to publish fares as a single amount in their advertising, while clearly defining various components. So, instead of advertising tickets as Re 1, Rs 99 and separately telling consumers about "taxes and surcharges", airlines will now have to clearly state the fare as a single amount. They must also break it into components, how much will go for tax, how much will go to the airline, how much to the airport operator as passenger service fee etc. The DGCA is in the process of preparing guidelines on this issue.

Am glad that the consumer will now have access to a better picture on fares than in the past. And its about time they did.


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