And then I bought ALL the extras


Turns out that I’m a fan of the ancillary fee. At least when it comes to fares in India. I just booked my final domestic sector on my upcoming trip and I bought nearly everything on offer from IndiGo.

The fare (including taxes) was 5,060 rupees which converts to about USD$85 today. It was a bit cheaper earlier but that’s not bad for what it is and the flight times are near perfect so I’m going to stick with that. And then I got to the next page on the booking, where all the ancillary options show up. Oops.

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No prices listed on these, which is unfortunate. I spent a bit of time digging to figure it out, actually. The lounge comes in at INR 600 (~$11) and the meal at INR 220 (~$4). If only because I want to see what they’re like I can pay those rates.

Also, I’ve been to airports in India before and I’ve experienced their version of queuing for check-in, security and just about everything else. Paying INR 200 (~$3.50) to skip that is completely worth it to me. So add another ancillary to my tally.

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I’m also pretty big on getting a window seat whenever possible. And given the low rates for the other ancillaries I figured I’d give it a try on the seating option, too: image

Here’s a tip that they don’t make very clear: Most of the seats can be assigned for free!

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All of the light blue seats are fee-free, even in advance (and there are 13 more rows in the back if you want one of those instead). I figure that’s a nice give-back for the other bits I did pay for, except I could’ve had it anyways. I like that aspect. And if you do want to splurge for the exit row that’s only INR 600 (~$11) for all domestic flights; the mid-range seats are INR 300. I’m going to suck it up and fly in the regular seats to just how cramped 180 seats on an A320 makes things for my knees.

And so my total tally came up:

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There’s just one ancillary fee on there I object to: The INR 100 levied for paying for the ticket. I know why it is there and whatnot, but I don’t have to like it.

And so, at the end of the day, my total bill came to INR 6,180 (~$104). That’s a 22% premium over the original asking price for the ticket. And it would have been higher had I chosen a seat further forward on the aircraft, but no sense in being silly, right??

Anywho, that’s a whole lot of ancillaries, but not egregiously priced so I’m happy to spend a little more to have a (hopefully) much better experience.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

10 Comments

  1. flight was $85 but earlier was “a little cheaper”? like $80? personally at those prices i wouldn’t spend a nano-second thinking about it.

  2. That all-inclusive fare is still about 35% cheaper than the YQ that QR is charging me for an award ticket between DOH and IKA.

    What’s happening Ahmedabad?

  3. I had a chance to travel all domestic Indian carriers in Dec/Jan( AI, 6E, 9W, SG, G8) and would rate Go Air the best experience(even though they cancelled my flight due to ridiculously low loads

    SG – though always delayed – allowed my friends with 20KG extra luggage for free! No such luck with Jet and AI

    My rating would be G8> 6E> 9W > AI > SG

  4. Enjoy the nickel and dime of Indian aviation. But the best part is buying the fare seems to be the best rather than redeeming any award.

  5. Google “drip pricing” and that’s exactly what you’ve experienced.

    I did sense that you feel that this was cheap — the average Indian earns $ 1219, so in this context nothing about this transaction was cheap (multiply everything by 36 to convert it to what it means to the median US person).

    1. At 36x there’s no way that fare is affordable to just about anyone in India. Also, there’s the part where most the spread is wider there than in the USA.

      But I do agree that the part where the incremental costs are so low is why I’m willing.

  6. The Fast Forward service may have added value because using non-Indian credit cards to book their tickets often means, at least of the first segment of the reservation, that e-checkin and kiosks don’t work so you have to get a counter to verify the credit card. Out of DEL on GoAir there were all kinds of counters, most with long lines, and it was a free for all to find one and convince the agent to check in. Good flight experience, though.

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