New Delhi: Got vaccinated and planning to travel? Don't be surprised if you're offered a discount while booking a flight or hotel room. Online travel agents and airlines emerging from the pandemic's devastating second blow are rolling out discounts and special fares for customers vaccinated against covid-19 as they incentivize travel and support the ongoing vaccination campaign.
Travel and hotel bookings company MakeMyTrip allows users to book vaccination slots on its platform and download and link the vaccination certificate to user profiles. These vaccinated users can then avail themselves of special travel offers and value-adds on bookings made through the platform. The initiative is a step towards supporting the vaccination drive while making travel "hassle-free, seamless and rewarding for vaccinated travellers", the company said.
Currently, along with its hotel partners, MakeMyTrip has introduced offers including room upgrades, complimentary meals and drinks and hotel credit up to INR1,000 per room night. "Bookers can avail themselves of these offers by showing their vaccination certificate at the time of check-in. In the coming days, we will also be offering 10% discounts on flights and hotels to vaccinated travellers," said the MakeMyTrip spokesperson.
Rival EaseMyTrip is offering a discount to vaccinated customers on flights, hotels and bus bookings till 30 June. Customers can use coupon code EMTSHIELD while making the booking. The firm has also set a minimum booking amount.
Nishant Pitti, CEO and co-founder of EaseMyTrip, said, "Through this initiative, we aim to encourage people to get their jab so that they can eventually reunite with family and friends or take that long-awaited vacation that they have been planning." Meanwhile, India's largest domestic airline IndiGo has announced a 10% discount beginning Friday to passengers who have taken at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccine. In a statement, the airline said the discount would be given on base fare, and only "limited inventory" is available under this offer.
Travellers will have to furnish a vaccination certificate at the airport check-in counter. Sanjay Kumar, chief strategy and revenue officer of IndiGo, said: "Being the largest airline in the country, we feel it is our responsibility to contribute to the national vaccination drive." Experts said more than aiding the vaccination drive, these are purely marketing campaigns. "These offers look like a well-planned marketing strategy to attract customers and get more business.
The airline companies, for instance, are offering discounts but on limited seats. The idea is to get as much business as possible," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, Care Ratings Ltd.
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