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Home / Money / Calculators /  DYK: With a fare lock option, you can retain a selected airfare before buying

Jet Airways (India) Ltd introduced a ticket booking feature last month, called ‘Fare Lock’, which allows customers to retain a selected fare for up to 72 hours before confirming the purchase. Though Jet Airways is the first Indian airline to start this facility, it is already available with some international airlines, such as United Airlines. British Airways, too, has it, called ‘Hold Your Flight Price’; Emirates calls it ‘Hold My Fare’; Air France and KLM call it ‘Time to Think’. Here’s a look at what this facility is, and the factors to keep in mind before choosing it.

HOW IT WORKS

Under the fare lock scheme, airlines offer the option to lock a fare only on flights operated by them and not others. It is usually available for passengers booking tickets using the airline’s website or app. To use Jet Airways’ Fare Lock, you need to logon to its website, jetairways.com, or mobile site or app. After selecting the date of travel, it will take you to fare selection. You will find the fare lock option on the page where you have to fill in passenger details. After selecting the option, you will reach the payments page.

The Fare Lock option comes at a cost of 350 for domestic flights and 700 for international ones, and it is not refundable. At this point, you will have to pay only the Fare Lock cost. If within those 72 hours you decide to book at the locked price, to confirm your ticket, you need to go to the Manage Booking option under the Plan Your Travel tab, and click on Ticket Booking and process the payment. If you do not confirm within 72 hours, your ticket will be cancelled. Keep in mind, however, that you can only lock fares only if date of departure is at least seven days away. This facility is applicable only on Jet Airways operated flights.

The period for which you can lock a fare varies across airlines. United Airlines, for example, lets you lock the fare for three or seven days. British Airways will let you do so for up to 72 hours, and Emirates for up to 48 hours. And just like Jet Airways, they all charge a fee for it. Some like British Airways call it a deposit, which will be refunded once the ticket is booked.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

Locking your fare can be a useful option if there is a flash sale, and you have not made up your mind about your travel dates. This can be specially useful during peak seasons such as holidays and festivals when air fares are steep.

The downside of locking your fare is that you will lose your deposit if you were to not book the ticket. If you do buy it, and other tickets with the same airline or others become available at a lower cost later, cancelling the first ticket will mean paying a cancellation charge and foregoing the fare lock cost.

While Jet Airways’ facility is for 72 hours, if other domestic airlines start to offer this, the duration to lock in a fare may increase. However, at present, only one airline in India has this option, and no other airlines have announced their intentions to follow suit.

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