Month: September 2013

On hold functionality for International Flights

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International Flights-goibibo
International Flights-goibibo

On Hold Functionality for International Flights is the first in the Industry that allows customer to protect themselves from fare hikes and jump by holding their booking for a select number of days. It also helps those who are not sure about the travel dates/plan but don’t want to end up paying a higher fare.

The process of holding booking is like normal booking flow. The system creates a booking with all the details as entered by the passenger for a nominal fees. The customer then can come back and pay the balance amount to confirm the booking.

The core of developing this comes from our customer first policy.  During our feedback we found that customer need a lot of time before they could finalize on their trip given the higher ticket prices. Due to time delay generally customers end up paying a higher price as fares would have jumped in the interim. On Hold features addresses this concern.

Currently the feature is live for couple of Airlines. Going forward we will open this up for all the airlines and the numbers of day the booking could be held would increase further.

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SriLankan Airlines Expanding its Wings in India

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Srilanka’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has plans to add new destinations in India. The airline is also pondering over to increase the number of flights from 48 to 60 by the end of the year 2013.

Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines stated recently that India is one of the most important destinations for the airline and promised that it will be treated as a top priority region.  Speaking on the plan of increasing number of flights from India Wickremasinghe said, “We now fly 48 flights a week from India and they will go up to 60 in 2014 and peak with 70 flights by 2015.”

Wickremasinghe also stated, “Travellers come to Colombo for onward connection to West Asia and Far East as we plan to make Colombo an important hub. We cover most of the cities in India. For instance there will be four flights in a day from Chennai to Colombo and one flight from destinations like Madurai, Tiruchirappalli , Kochi, Delhi and Mumbai. To cater needs of Buddhist passengers there will be flights to Bodh Gaya and Varanasi.

SriLankan airlines cover several important cities in the country and the airline has hopes that increase in the number of flights will earn them more business as the airline is eyeing for the whole Asia. “We have not exhausted all the routes given to us under the bilateral agreement and have room to include more destinations,” Wickremasinghe said.

First-Ever Greenfield Airport at Sikkim

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Good news for the North-east part of the country as the construction of first ever Greenfield airport in Sikkim will be completed by the next year. The airport is situated in Pakyong and will be one of the highest airports in the country after its completion.

Bhim Prasad Dhungel, State Tourism Minister confirmed that the much anticipated airport will be ready for use by December 2014.Apparently, the construction of this Rs 300-crore airport is in full swing.  Dhungel indicated that operations of flights from Sikkim Airport are likely to commence by March 2015.

This first-ever airport of Sikkim is built at an elevation of 4,700 feet above sea level and has been fortified by 80 meter high wall. So far, its reinforcement wall has been recorded as the tallest wall in the world. The airport is reported to have 180 meter long airstrip, which will assist the landing of aircrafts like ATR-72, the twin-engine short-haul turboprops. The Pakyong airport will also enable an alternate route for the state as at present it has to depend on National Highway-31 for connectivity to the rest of the country. By Nidhi Singh

Dilli Haat Preparing for Travelista

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Travel enthusiasts have something to look forward to in October in New Delhi. Travelista, which is a travel film, photography and shopping festival, will be showcasing its second edition at Dilli Haat. The three-day ic festival is to begin on October 11, 2013.

Travelista will be the venue of activities including travel film showcase and photography exhibition. Dilli Haat will also be seen replete with multitude of stalls comprising apparel, home décor, jewelry, pop art and vintage display. This second edition of the festival will enable the travel film-makers and photographers to exhibit their work through a gamut of activities prepped for this fest.  According to the organizers, indiabackpackers.com has come forward to promote the event.

Being a much anticipated event in the city, Travelista will put up a show with attractions like colorful art installations, nomadic film screening, roadside carts selling tea, popcorn and other varied and creative establishments. This lively fest aims at providing a platform to budding women designers, entrepreneurs and trained artists to exhibit their talents. Travelista will also provide a common podium to a passion that is celebrated world-wide and might also help in tourism promotion in India.

Goibibo kicks off the travel season

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Ladies and Gentlemen! It gives me great pleasure to declare the festival travel season open!!!

Goibibo kicks off the travel season
Goibibo kicks off the travel season

That’s how I would do it, standing at the pinnacle of the Red fort, on my bullet proof podium. This reflect the optimism and mood that we are feeling here at Goibibo after the mayhem of the Onion prices that got tears to all our eyes and the Dollar soaring from the Qutab Minar to the top of the Burz Al Arab but thankfully the arrival of the ultra handsome new Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan seems to have arrested the rapid rise of the American currency and we are seeing the first rate drop in petrol prices in months. Yippee!!!!!

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan

Like I said Goibibo has a slew of travel products up and even more in the pipe line for the new travel season.

Prasar Sarma/Manager Mobile has this to say – After the very successful run of the Goibibo hotel booking app on iOS and Android, we have a couple of new innovations rolling out right now. Number one we have the “Tell your Price” or the “TYP” app. Basically “Tell Your Price” is an opaque hotel booking app that enables you to bid and get the best room in the location you want. From a list of the best hotels in major cities you short list your favourite hotels. You “Tell Your Price” and we deliver up to 70% OFF one hotel in your desired location.

Goibibo hotel booking app on iOS and Android
Goibibo hotel booking app on iOS and Android

Jagminder Singh/Director Hotels and Holidays is excited about the coming festive & holiday season, he says “Goibibo.com will have exclusive deals in more than 100 cities in India, in the states of Goa, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir etc.

Our Top focus will be – Kerala, Rajasthan, Kashmir & Delhi NCR for getting exclusive package deals for our consumer’s long & short itineraries with convenient options. Cities like – Cochin, Kumarakom, Kovalam, Pondicherry, Kanyakumari, Goa & hills stations in the Western Ghats will be prime focus.

holiday season-Goibibo
Holiday season-Goibibo

Ankit Rastogi/Business Head/Hotels and Holidays is looking at the big picture –“The Indian traveller is resilient, notwithstanding the Dollar rate she/he continues to venture forth and fuel the travel and holiday business. Keeping this in mind we have taken our International Hotels business into top gear. Our customers now have over one hundred thousand hotels to choose from and that’s the way forward for us. We are constantly empowering our customers.”

International Hotels business
International Hotels business

Ganesh Iyer/Head/Airlines says “Goibibo is setting up a strategy around the weekend sale. We will be offering huge discounts to our consumers. Discounts will go as high as Rs .1000 plus. This is our way of offsetting the increasing cost of the flight ticket this holiday season.

Flight ticket this holiday season
Flight ticket this holiday season

Mohit Rajpal/Business Head/Bus – We are completely revamping the Bus platform on Goibibo and have started rolling out the same. Second we have recently launched bus booking service on iOS, in fact there are loads of goodies on offer for bus travellers and there is a lot more coming up.

Goibibo-offer for bus travellers
BUS-Goibibo

Divyang  Bhardwaj/Senior Manager/Marketing  – has the last word. “As you can see this is a big time for us. All the planning and preparation comes into play now. Along with all these strategic plans we have some awesome tactical manoeuvres as well. Over the next month alone we have 10 flash sales planned – featuring massive discounts on all our frontline products. I would strongly recommend to those with travel plans for the new season, something big is coming up …watch this space and keep the  Mastercard ready.

Flash sale-Goibibo
Flash sale

Lets Meet Ankit Rastogi – Business Head Hotels & Holidays

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Ankit Rastogi - Business Head Hotels & Holidays
Ankit Rastogi – Business Head Hotels & Holidays

Ankit Rastogi – Business Head Hotels and Holidays

Tour-de-Gurgaon aspirant, Globe Trotter and Microwave Masterchef Ankit has feasted in Jakarta, taken a bite of Orange, California and stewed apples in Harsil

Tell us about your last eating out experience

Had some authentic Indonesian at a small by lane restaurant in Central Jakarta . It   was  in heavy Coconut gravy  very similar to Kerala food.

How do you get to office? How is the experience?

Daily Drive to office of  6KM not taking more than 20 min . Though dream of cycling to office.

Your last holiday…Where? Which Airline? Which Hotel/Resort?

Drove in my car to a picturesque small village Harsil 20KM before Gangotri  in Uttrakhand and returned just 3 days before the Himalayan Tsunami. Stayed at Himalayan Eco Lodge, Harsil.

Tell us about one good habit you have

Learning from my peers

Tell us about one bad habit you have

Saying NO is difficult

What’s in your wallet/bag right now?

Few bucks, lot of cards (business & credit) and passport size pics

Tell us about your last Bus journey

Bangalore to Chennai in Olivea (To have firsthand ultra luxury bus journey experience)

Your favorite dish …to cook ?

Cooking is de-stressing for me and I believe in Microwave cooking. Currently experimenting with pizzas with homemade pizza base.

You are in a meeting …someone lets one go …what will you do?

Move on.

The 1st thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word

a)      Batman  – Movie

b)      Cricket – Always draws attention

c)      Airport – International ones are awesome destinations in itself

d)      Ood-bilav – Can recall a batch-mate from engineering with heavy           moustaches and similar pet name

e)      Thai Green Curry – Recommended to eat

f)       Bantha Lemon – Great memories

g)      Musharraf – Army Head turned Presi in Blazer

h)      Monsoon  – Travel countryside

i)        Metric system – KM vs Miles

j)        Profit  – Must for sustenance and what we strive daily

Home… Back Home

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A day comes when you realize what went good about that morningthat day is not today …..

Good morning-Goibibo
Good morning

 

The 3’o clock alarm went off and all of a sudden you remembered that four months back you actually booked your flight ticket on a Sunday morning at 6.15. Well… you were aware of that until the Saturday night poured you to a state of isolation that fled to a steamy dream. This wasn’t happening… right? But then the clock ticked to 5.30. So you were about to leave for a month vacation on a Sunday morning…?

The 3’o clock alarm went off
The 3’o clock alarm went off

 

‘Oh Gawd! Just thirty minutes???’ you cried out.

Fortunately you had your bag packed a day before yesterday but it seems the shirt you were about to wear was scrunched up. So there you went for another pick and luckily you had the tee-shirt ready. You dressed up and booted up… took your wallet and you didn’t forget your wrist watchWOW !!!!

Your cab that you booked last evening was waiting outside for couple of hours and there you were about to lock your doors… rumble rumble …..‘Holy S@#T!!!’ That spicy dinner you had before you were poured to your yummy dreams. The nature finds its own way to release its pressure and so happened with you. Your pious stomach was just about to burst and you had no other options than to check in to your royal throne. Your day starts with some enigmatic trauma.

had no other options
Had no other options

 

So you missed your flight… and thereby you also had to pay the cab… and you are home. To further add to the woe… Load-shedding!!!!!

You have now the entire day to think over it and chalk out a new plan. ‘Man! My Woman is waiting there… what am I going…’ Think of the devil and she calls you… but lucky enough the power returned.

‘Have you boarded the flight?’ she asked and you answered, ‘Well… No! There is a delay of 4 hours…’ and you started to think of a good odd reason that may bounce out of her brain. And you did sobut you have 4 hours now… not the entire day anymore. So don’t mess it up. Again round of load-shedding power the other kind …

You seemed less worried… actually you were screwed literally. You scrolled down the entire chart of the current airfare in your mobile …. that really hammered your skull. It was five times more than what you have booked 4 months back. This gave you a vivid picture of the current economy in IndiaYou don’t have the time to think BOSS! 3 hours left and you were to board your flight. ‘Now What…?’ Remember that actually you were… hmm! Reproduce some honest ideas. Once again you were lucky as the power came back and your filament fired up.

‘HelloactuallyI missed the flight….it is a long story… I’m coming by train…’ Your honesty was good enough till “story”… but you could have checked the train berth availability before you think of Indian Railways. There you were again… now fired… ‘DAMN… waiting list 297??? Are you kidding?’ So you went for Tatkal booking and lucky enough you grabbed the reservation of the Express that was going to depart at 4 pm.

Back Home
Back Home

 

There you had ample time. After you had your breakfast you went on to watch the Euro Cup highlights on your brand new PLASMA. Summer was at its peak and your outdated Window Air Condition dropped to its minimum level. Actually you were relaxing, which was good. It was around noon when you decided to take your lunch. So you ordered from the nearby home delivery food center… chicken korma and biriyani that came at around 1pm. Again load shedding… and with 15 minutes sweats poured off your brow. That was obvious… and that made you to decide to go for a bath. Fresh enough and this time you were aware that time was running away. You went for a proper outfit this time leaving your jeans and tee that you were wearing on your bed.

Good morning
Good morning

 

It was already 2.15 and you hurried up. You dressed up and booted up… and didn’t even forget your wrist watchyou locked your door and thereby you got into the taxi… you even reached in front of the station, ‘What the hell !!!’ What happened ? You actually left your wallet in your bedridden jeans… remember? So go back 40 minutes and come backagain 40 minutes approximately and there you are close to board your train and suddenly what stopped you? Was that your outdated Window AC that you kept on? You are going for a month holiday… and your AC didn’t even have power saver… So you are back home safe and sound. Home Sweet Home. You missed your train…

Opps
Opps