Booking & Paying For Internal Flights In India

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RB

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We are using Qantas points for return flight to India. Some internal flights can be booked & paid over the net using Aust issued credit cards. Currently it seems return flights Mumbai (BOM) to Cochin (cough) cannot be booked this way- either need Indian issued credit card or to use an Indian based travel agent ( somewhat inflated prices & still complications paying). Zuji ( Aust) wants approx double what is available through the complicated way.
Anyone with experience & suggestions greatly appreciated. Maybe just an Indian learning experience!
 

Mal

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Hmmm.

I think what you are seeing is a common problem when travelling in India - local prices vs tourist prices.

Tourists pay more for certain items than locals do.

I'm not sure how to prevent this issue, or avoid it. Some airlines have implemented a flat fee structure regardless of whether you are a local or non-local, but I have no experience with these airlines.

Looking at some other sources, I see that Indian Airlines have recently had huge problems with credit card fraud. That could be another reason why acceptance of your card is an issue.
 
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SeatBackForward

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Most Indian domestic airlines have internet booking facilities but will only be able to book for tickets being paid for by Indian issued credit cards. Unfortunately you will need to go through a travel agent. But use these websites to find out who flies at what times:

Jet Airways
Kingfisher
Air Sahara

That said, Jet Airways has ties with Qantas (you earn FF Points but no SC's), you may want to fork out a few more points/money and get a booking done over the phone and get the connections you want.

Try to avoid flying either Air India or Indian Airlines - these are both the part government owned national airlines and have appalling service. In stark comparison to Jet, Sahara, Kingfisher - that are privately owned and actually respect their customers.

Also, try to have sufficient time in between flights (I usually try about 3hrs) just to make sure that its not too tight - things have a tendency to not go smoothly in India. For example waiting 1hr 45mins for the Domestic to International shuttle bus at Mumbai airport. A bus that is signposted as leaving every 20mins.

Of course your other option is Rail - which might use up a good 36hrs or so but the travelling is part of the fun!
 
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cabbage74

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Is the Indian Credit Card only thing a recent change? I used my Australian CC to book a couple of flights with Jet Airways last year (March/April) on the net and it worked with no problems.
 

SeatBackForward

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cabbage74 said:
Is the Indian Credit Card only thing a recent change? I used my Australian CC to book a couple of flights with Jet Airways last year (March/April) on the net and it worked with no problems.

The Indian CC rugulation is a government decision. Jet Airways being the most progressive of all Indian carriers may have some arrangement outside this.

Basically, If you're a Resident Indian or an Indian National you pay for your tickets in Rupees, and if you're not an Indian National then the payment was expected to be in USD. Its a legacy from the days when India was very hesitant of foreign ownership and strictly controlled the manner of foreign reserves etc..It is slowly changing.

As a way of comparison, I once booked a domestic flight and paid in Rupees and it came to about INR$2500 (about AUD$75 at the time) whereas the foreigners price would've been about USD$150. So it can be a considerable difference.

Noone actually checked the manner of payment for the ticket, nor asked me what nationality etc.. but then being of Indian background might of helped.
 
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