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Patel wants airlines to club fare, surcharge
NEW DELHI, JAN 17 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 17 Jan. 2010 11:51 PM IST
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Airlines and travel portals may soon have to publish one fare that includes the basic fare and the fuel surcharge. At present, airlines and portals first give the basic fare and add the fuel surcharge and the airport and user development fees levied by the government when the ticket is purchased. The fuel surcharge levied by the airlines often exceeds the basic fare. Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which regulates the sector, to ensure that airlines and travel portals incorporate the fuel surcharge in the basic fare. The airport and user development fees will be kept out of it. Patel has taken this step after he received complaints from fliers about the huge difference between the basic fare advertised by airlines and the actual cost of the ticket. In the past too, DGCA has asked the airlines to publish one fare. But it had no effect. With the minister getting into the act, it would seem that the practice could finally change. Airlines have said that they disaggregate the components for the convenience of the customers, and portals said they simply show whatever they receive from the airline. “We started giving one fare but we got a lot of queries on the break up. So, we got back to the disaggregated structure. But DGCA is supreme, and if it asks us we will get back to the earlier plan,” said Mohit Srivastava, head of online sales, makemytrip.com, an online travel portal. “We are showing whatever we receive from the airlines. Also, the recommendation was that the fuel surcharge should be shown in a way so that the people know it is being charged by the airline and not the government, and that is what is happening,” said Bhawna Agarwal, founding general manager (airlines business group), Yatra.com, another travel portal.

 
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