So the walletization of digital payments in India is underway: MakeMyTrip is has just announced the launch of a Zero Cancellation charge policy, which allows customers reimbursement of fares, with cancellation charges retained with MakeMyTrip as an e-gift voucher. This appears to be the launch of an online wallet system, thereby ensuring loyalty, and offer the potential for incremental revenues in case the coupon is not used: the customer who cancels will have to use MakeMyTrip to buy the next ticket, and the coupon is valid only for six months.
In a sense, this is also a marketing tactic, to draw in customers who otherwise use other online travel agents or directly use airline sites for bookings. The coupon is valid on domestic tickets, and cannot be clubbed with any other promotional offer on MakeMyTrip.com. Also note that if a ticket bought using a coupon is cancelled, then no refunds are made, and the customer will have to pay a higher fee in case the booking is rescheduled.
Calculation of Cancellation Charges
We’re not quite sure of how MakeMyTrip calculates the cancellation charges. We’re written to MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra for more, but the table below (from data published by MakeMyTrip) gives you an idea of how much is reimbursed. We’ve calculated the percentage amounts.
Here’s what other OTAs and airline sites charge for cancellation:
- Cleartrip: Apart from the cancellation charges levied by the airline (which varies from airline to airline), Cleartrip charges a cancellation fee of Rs 300 per passenger per sector.
- Yatra: For online cancellation, Yatra charges Rs. 250 per person per segment and for offline (over the phone), it charges Rs. 300. This is over and above the airlines’ own cancellation fee.
- Jet Airways: Jet charges Rs. 500 as cancellation charges for economy class tickets,.
- Indigo: IndiGo charges a fee of Rs. 950 per Customer per Sector for cancellations
Clearly, there is a difference in charges, so we wonder what the deal is. Any guesses?