Online travel agent Cleartrip has introduced a new flight rescheduling feature, which allows passengers to directly amend their flight reservations on the portal. The company claims that it is the first online travel agent in India to offer this feature.
Through this feature, Cleartrip says that passengers can modify any part of the trips they have booked. This includes changing the travel date, time and flights for all passengers or any select passenger. However, its worth noting that this feature is currently limited to domestic flights only since it is apparently the biggest chunk of Cleartrip’s business right now and passengers can change their reservations only once online.
How Does It Work? Passengers can login to their Cleartrip dashboard, select the flight reservation they want to modify and click on the ‘change flights’ option. Following this, the passenger will be redirected to a search listing page which offers all the possible alternatives along with the fare difference between the new fare and the old fare.
The company says that these search results will arranged in the increasing order of fare difference, starting with flights priced lower than the original fare (if available).
If the new fare along with the airline amendment fee is lower than the original fare, Cleartrip will refund the difference to passengers in a few days.
Waiving Cleartrip Cancellation Fee: What’s particularly interesting about this initiative is that Cleartrip will be apparently waiving off the Cleartrip amendment fee for all modifications made online and users will have to pay only the flight modification fee charged by respective airlines along with a nominal fee of Rs 50 for one-way trips and Rs 100 for round-trips.
Prior to this, if passengers had any flight change requests for tickets booked on Cleartrip, they had to contact the Cleartrip customer centre, cancel their entire ticket, bear the airport cancellation and Cleartrip cancellation fees and re-book their tickets. Cleartrip claims that almost one third of its customer support calls were for flight change requests. This process is quite similar across all other online travel agents.
We have seen instances of passengers complaining (on twitter) about the Cleartrip cancellation fees being higher than the airline modification fee itself, so this is a welcome change, and should improve customer experience.
Similar Developments: In February 2013, Cleartrip had launched an initiative called Pricewatch, which offered refunds to passengers, if and when the prices of international tickets they had booked drops from the original fare before departure. For instance, if the passenger had booked an international ticket for Rs 50,000 and the best price for the route falls below Rs 50,000 anytime before the departure, Pricewatch will automatically reprice the tickets offering cheaper fare.
The company had also introduced paperless tickets for flight, hotel and train bookings via Apple’s Passbook in January 2013 and a last minute hotel booking service Quickeys in June 2012. It had claimed to have around 120,000 daily active users as of November 2012.