Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The faulty booking system of and lessons learnt

Situation: You are in urgent need of an airline ticket and you think of using one of the supposedly famous ticketing service to get your bookings done. The journey  between x and y is long and since your kid and wife is travelling, you are looking forward for a) a direct flight b) a direct flight with one stop or c)a break journey(in that preferred order). Login to the booking portal and select the flight. Proceed to the payment gateway and do the booking. Then, comes the message- the transaction FAILED. Now you need to wait for 7 days to get the refund back and what’s more worse, you don’t get back the money you paid for the insurance.

What actually happened:

The search was for a flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra. Though there were other options available, the fact that the flight was a “one stop direct flight” attracted me to do the booking. Note the lure in circle.


Then, I proceed to the gateway and for the second time in six bookings, the transaction failed with a generic message.


Customers can never understand why transaction fails because the company never tells you why it failed. All that I know is that my money is gone for a week. The last time I had a failed transaction, I had to make a last moment effort  and was forced to get my dad a train ticket instead from CCU to IXB.(See snapshot above). To my ill fate, one out of the two flights for the destination failed in the payment gateway.


I could neither cancel the successful one because the cancellation fees is quite a sum nor did I have the courage to do a direct booking because the price was exorbitant. Was the system faulty right from the onset? I would never know! A jet flight from CCU to IXB at Rs. 1800 during festive season- AMAZING. Reminded me of the Air Deccan days!!

Now, let me come back to the investigation of my most recent failed transaction. Bewildered after being a victim of the faulty system for a second time, I checked if the flight existed. Yatra didn’t list the flight at all. I grew suspicious and then went and checked the airline website.

And if I am to believe it, there is no direct one stop Spicejet flight from BLR to IXB. (Snapshot below)


Imagine if my family was travelling for the first time with an infant and I put them in the flight because it was one stop same flight.

The story doesn’t end here”-

I receive a message that the refund will be done in a week’s time but the money that I “purchased” insurance with will not be refunded. I would have understood if  I had cancelled the flight but how can the stupid company with a faulty payment gateway and its third party CANNOT have a SIMPLE mutual understanding? Common folks, a FAILED transaction is not the same as a CANCELLED transaction. Leave aside the TOC’s if the clause is specified there but for heaven’s sake, you cannot charge insurance money to a customer for a failed transaction.

I wrote to the customer support and through my interaction, I have come to realize that the insurance money will not be refunded.

Valuable lessons learnt:

a) Use services such as ONLY to find out which is the cheapest airline and why not?

b) Never book tickets from online booking portal such as makemytrip for flights from A to B where C is the stop-over and journey from A to B involves changing the plane at C.

c) Booking directly through the airline website seems to be the wisest choice.


  1. I have faced the same problem. The ticket was for a flight between Bangalore to Bagdogra. They charge the amount than say that the transaction failed, save the money in Bank deposits for a week or more, earn interest on it (considering the population of flying Indians, the popularity of MMT and the probability of a failed transaction); bloody lousy business sense, if it really is their way of making money and staying afloat during the recession break. Well, if they cannot support the system than be a part of it. Shut shop and start a new business.

    Assholle (double 'l' to indicate the bigger hole that MMT is). I understand your frustration buddy, but I have learnt my lesson and never booked through MMT since then.

    Take care.

  2. Guys, they refunded the entire amount! pays to fight!!

  3. They should review the ticketing scheme implemented on different flights.