Cleartrip Launches ‘Pricewatch’ – Auto-Refunds Money When Airfare Drops
Today, Cleartrip launched Pricewatch, a new solution that will continuously monitor air fare (after booking) and when the fare falls by more than the associated amendment chages, PriceWatch auto-refunds the difference amount. This is a much needed feature and Cleartrip is the first Indian OTA to implement this.
Airline fares are like water-spill-on-floor, you never know which direction it goes, airline fares are no different from a traveller perspective. A traveller might notice a flight fare for destination A->B as Rs 50,000 (USD 1000), and a day later the price for the same segment might shoot up to Rs 75,000 (USD 1500). This is a familiar case, especially in international travel when the fare (and also the hike/drop) is pretty steep.
Cleartrip’s Pricewatch will perfectly fit in above scenario.
Pricewatch works only on international flight bookings. Once a traveller makes an international flight reservation (defined as: at least, one airport destination in the itinerary should be out of India) for X price, Pricewatch starts kicking in. The air fare for the booked segment is continuously monitored.
When a price drop is noticed and if the price drop is more than the amendment charge associated with the reservation, then Pricewatch automatically refunds the difference amount to the customer’s bank account / credit card.
During price refund, for some scenarios, a rebooking might happen because of the change of fare class. In this case, a new PNR will be given along with new e-ticket.
Example: Kiran books a flight ticket today from Bangalore – Chicago on Air France today for Rs 50,000 for departure on June 1st.
Feb 12: Booked flight fare: Rs 50,000
Mar 05: Fare drops to: Rs 43,000
Amendment charge: Rs 3,000
Refund amount: Rs 4,000 [50,000 - (43,000 + 3,000)]
In above example, if the (new fare + amendment charge) is equal or more than booked flight fare, then the amount won’t be refunded. Obviously.
Also, Pricewatch refunds only once. Meaning – if the price drops more than one time, Pricewatch refunds the amount only at the first time.
Partially cancelled international trips are not eligible for Pricewatch refund.
There are many apps and websites in the market that provide a flight fare price drop alert/notification. Example: TripIt Pro and Yapta offers this service. But, the pain of calling the airline / the site in which the flight was booked is still left to the customer. Cleartrip has automated the fare refund and has addressed the scenario of end-to-end.
Similar auto-refund of flight ticket service is offered by CheapAir and Orbitz.
In hotel industry, Tingo.com, a TripAdvisor company offers an auto-refund (if price drops) functionality for hotel bookings.
Recently, Cleartrip launched iOS Passbook support for flights, hotels and train bookings.