After many inquiries from people about purchasing airlines ticket in India, I decided to compare the 5 sites that I have seen advertised. I looked at 3 things: pricing, website user interface and financial backers. They are listed in alphabetical order and I used the same itinerary to price the ticket, a Jet Airways flight (Bombay – Jaipur – Bombay).
Rs. 10,352. Very clean interface and easy to navigate. It’s backed by Sheraplo Ventures which was started by Ram Shriram an early investor in Google.
Rs. 10,954. Nothing great about the site. No information on the backers of the site. Honestly not sure how these guys are going to survive, they have nothing really great to offer, their website is lame and they are charging more for the ticket. Granted, I only compared one ticket but if most are charging in the same Rs 10,300-400 range and then they charge Rs. 10,954, then i would have to conclude they are clueless.
Rs. 10,309. Site is a bit busy. Backed by SoftBank Asia. I have seen these guys spend the most on advertising, they advertise on buses and have TV spots as well.
Rs. 10,300. Site is clean and easy to use. Backed by Sequoia Capital India which was previously known as Westbridge Capital. Westbridge was acquired by Sequoia Capital and renamed to Sequoia Capital India.
Rs. 10,351. This is site is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. Backed by Norwest Venture Partners and ADAG-Reliance Capital.
And the winner is the Jet Airways website . They sell the same ticket for Rs. 10,460, the cheapest of the 5 Indian online travel portals was Rs. 10,300. So for an extra Rs. 160 (USD 3.55) you get to deal with the carrier directly and make changes if necessary. The travel portal sites are useful but unless they can add value beyond what the carriers offer, the travel sites will be relegated for researching and finding what travel options are available for air travel.