Deccan Air vs SpiceJet

I finally got a chance to fly Deccan Air this week from Pune to Hyderabad. The booking experience on Deccan Air was really bad. The website was down for a significant amount of time the toll free number was in Bangalore and not really toll free. The interface for Deccan Air is really worn out and navigation is not very smooth. The website for SpiceJet is a charm, great interface, great engineering with superb integration with SMS that allows real time updates and they SMS the PNR as soon as you book, basically avoid scribbling the PNR on pieces of paper. The diction of the SpiceJet call center is far superior. The boarding on Deccan Air is manual even though it is free seating but Spicejet barcodes each ticket for faster boarding.

As an investor I would still go with SpiceJet because they have better processes to scale but as a flyer I would fly also SpiceJet because they have newer planes but if you have little consideration for your life then you can just check for the lower price and choose accordingly.

18 thoughts on “Deccan Air vs SpiceJet”

  1. Dear Srikant,

    Nice post on Air Deccan vs Spice Jet. My observation is that though Air Deccan lacks in many places like not-very-usable-website or not much of customer-care, or perhaps even older aircrafts – many of them the ATRs, still Air Deccan wins on several accounts.

    For instance, Spice flies only on busy and lucrative routes (as on 27th Dec, 05). Whereas, Deccan’s wings spans to both small towns and big metros. Connectivity is what Deccan provides. Now, I can fly from Hyd to Nagpur on a very attractive fares.

    The fact that it’s Air Deccan that went on to change the rules of the industry and started a Ryan Air type low-cost airlines in commendable. This has “forced” even full-service airlines like Jet, Sahara, and the old and tired Indian Airlines (now Indian) to offer certain amounts of discounted tickets. You can fly for 2777 from Hyd to Bombay by Air Sahara – thanks to the idea of giving a somewhat competition to Air Deccan’s low cost model.

    All said and done, I do agree that there are some pitfalls with the airline: their not being punctual is the biggest complaint against them. This is again because their aircraft flies more number of hours (because of the low cost model) than what other airline does. And, if a flight of one particular sector is delayed, then the flight of all subsequent sector which would be covered by the same aircraft, gets delayed.

    The remedy for making Air Deccan serve us better is to induce more competition for it: we need more low-cost airlines that flies to both metros and small towns (just like Air Deccan does). Today, Spice and GoAir (the other two really low cost airlines) fly only on busy and lucrative routes, hence leaving the small towns for Air Deccan. Till this bridge is not gapped, Air Deccan can afford not to be punctual, etc etc.

  2. I’m an expatriate Indian American who, on a recent visit to India, had the experience of having my Air Deccan cancelled. The experience left me utterly disillusioned about Air Deccan. I heard, before and after, that they have insufficient planes to cover their schedules and so ROUTINELY cancel flights. This is no way to run an airline — even a no-frills airline. They cancelled my flight after claiming a couple of times of it being delayed by increasing numbers of hours. In retrospect, I suspect they knew all along they were going to cancel it, but chose not to inform us. And finally, when they cancelled the flight, they informed no one. At the exit gate, I was summarily told that the queue I assumed was for my flight was for another flight and that my flight had in fact been cancelled. Needless to say, back at the check-in counter a lynch mob had gathered, ready to throttle the hapless attendant who could do little to alleviate his customers’ misery. Air Deccan, I learned only after rescueing the poor fellow long enough to field my question, offered two options: Get your money back, or make another reservation for the next available flight. Of course, doing either was left completely up to each passenger — the airline was not automatically going to step in to do these arrangements. One had thus to go to a third counter to do this.

  3. (I inadvertently terminated my post earlier than I meant to.)

    Knowing what Air Deccan stood for by this time, I chose to take my money and find a flight leaving the same day, a few hours later, on Jet. Jet appeared, in comparison, a model of professionalism and courtesy.

    Some or all of the above may be par for the course at Indian airlines. I don’t care — you won’t see my anywhere near Air Deccan ever again!


  5. Hi
    I am looking for low fare of Air deccan flighs @Rs 1 can you please let me know when i can bye those tickets in online.Or please tell which site to go and search for thouse tickets. When online booking is open for Rs 1.

  6. I want to travel from Delhi to Kolkatta on 14th July 2006 and return 0n 6th August 2006 with 3 Adults and 1 Infant.

    I would like to know the Cheapest Air fares for Booking.I could not make any Air Deccan On-Line booking.

    Please guide how I can go about it.

  7. I would like to know the availibility of the flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad on the 3rd april morning and the fares.

  8. I want to travel from hyderabad to Ahmedabad on 3rd September 2006 and return 0n 10th september 2006 including one more person.

    I would like to know the Cheapest Air fares for Booking.I could not make any Air Deccan On-Line booking

    Please guide how I can go about it

  9. Hi,

    I appreciate this,literally fight of domestic airlines in India triggered by Air deccan. Good heaven, atleast given an oppurtunities for middle class people to fly. I have gone through the coments where most of their talkings were based on the drawback of low budget airline. Hey,co-mmm-mm-nnnn lets learn to see the brighter side.

  10. Hi

    Let us be sportive. Remember the monopoly Indian Airlines had in the domestic circuit not too many years back. Airlines in India is in the growing stage and these type of shortcomings do happen.
    Though I am not supporting Air Deccan, I sincerely appreciate their low cost venture enabling even villagers to fly and make their dream come true. Hoping for a professional and sympathetic touch from the staff of Air Deccan.

  11. I have recently flown Air Deccan. Overall the experience was not all that great. I did not face any problem booking my tickets via their site. What did perturb me was the all the rattling sounds as the aircraft too off and landed! Seriously! And of course, the lack of leg room. I’m 6″4 and require every inch. In hindsight I shoulda headed for the seats at the emergency exit doors, but I wasn’t too confident of being next to it. On the return journey, I chose to fly Indian. That wasn’t gr8 either!

  12. I was hoping to start a blog on WHY AIR DECCAN SUCKS.. after my ordeal yday.. but a simple google search threw up soooo maaanyy blogs !!

    Here is my story.
    I was travelling by Air Dhakkan 603 from Delhi to Mumbai. The ETD was 3:30 PM.. And every 30 mins the flight would be delayed by one more hour.. This went on till 9 PM.. I had been fighting witht hem that if they plan to cancel the flight, they better tell us in time.. The fat lady who was the Officer incharge told me that there is ENOUGH LOAD today ( thats how they call the passenges in Air Dhakkan), so we dont think we will cancel.. And in case, we do, we will let u know !!!!!! They offered no proper reason why the flight is delayed.. While all other flights of other companies.. ( low cost and otherwise) were leaving on time.. even AIr Dhakkan’s other flights were leaving on time.. !!!!

    At 9 PM there were talks of cancellation of flight by the Air Dhakkan idiots who call themselves crew.. the junta got so impatient at 9:30 PM ( flight etd was 3:30 !!) that we locked the exit doors of the airport.. and started the Air Deccan Murdabaad and Management Hai Hai naara.. There was almost a physical bash up of the crew by the angry mob.. it was a puccka gherao kinda situation..

    Finally the airport security came in .. and air dhakkan relented and flew our flight.. we hd told them that they cannot take off any other flight till they allowed our flight to take off !! The whole scene was worth watching..

    worth watching.. unfortuantely my camera was in the checked In luggage.. else it wud hv been a great clipping !..

    But the disgrace was.. the plane captain didnt even once appologize for the extraordinary delay !!..

    I pray to people.. that BOYCOTT AIR DAKKAAN.. Till Capt Gopinath, come out with a public appology to the disgrace of a company that he is running.. It is not a one off incident.. It is happening daily..

    I dont know what our ever so vigilant press is doing in such times !!

  13. Hi all,
    One foggy day in December I had to fly in Jet. This was because on that day Jet was cheaper than Deccan. I was taken inside the plane, the plane took off and could not land in delhi, returned back to mumbai. they did not offer me any hotel or return travel to my house as I was booked on the low fare ticket. They took care of only the business class people.

    the next day i was amazed to see the reports about fog and all the papers had targetted only one airline Air deccan. What about my plight in Jet. Nobody covered that. That confirms the fact the our journalist only care for money and can be easily bribed.

    3 years before, i used to travel to TVM from mumbai paying 9,500 per trip. Now I fly three times using the same money. it is all because of air deccan. I sincerely wish they grow up fast and kill other airlines like Jet. those were the ones who were looting the public for years.

    What were your paying jet so high for?
    a) the lousy food they give on board
    b) The extra smiles from the airhostesses
    and the last thing which irritates me the most
    c) the other vacant seats

    Jet was trying to achieve profitability by having 60% utilisation. so in effect I was asked to pay for their vacant seats and their inefficiency.


  14. hello everybody
    i understand that there have been discussions about air deccan on this blog. i am a Mass Communication student from Christ College Bangalore. i am currently doing my internship at Orchard advertising bangalore and as part of my project i am doing a study on Air Deccan and a perception change with the Kingfisher deal right now.
    if any of u would be wiling to help me with my study kindly give me your numbers and i will call you.
    hoping to hear from you all

  15. Friends,

    Next time you want to book a ticket on a low-cost carrier in India, search for it on iXiGO – http://www.ixigo.com – they provide the fastest search i have ever seen, and allow you to book directly on the airline website.

    They show and compare prices inclusive of all taxes – so no confusions with all these cluttered deals in the market.

    Happy searching,
    iXiGO – your travel search begins here

  16. The flight from Trivandrum to Cochin (Sept 24, ’07) started with the ground crew struggling since the power on AirDeccan checkin counter was down. Why can’t they have a UPS to help with such situations ?

    Secondly due to the weather the aircraft while trying to descend in Cochin was violently thrown from side to side and up and down. In my thirty years of flying never had this experience – humorous as it may sound it felt like it was our last ride down. The flight was 20 minutes delayed. All said, the disappointment was the pilot never cared to make a comment for either the bad ride down or the bad delay.

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