By Ashwini Agarwal
If you have ever made a flight reservation on any of the travel websites, you must have encountered the unfair practice of these sites to pre-tick certain add-on boxes for you. In your hurry to book the ticket, you will more often than not overlook these small charges and end up paying much more for your ticket.
The main, costly and unnecessary box that is pre-ticked is the one for flight insurance. In a rush to book the ticket, I had once overlooked to untick it. My flight got delayed by over four hours. I lodged a claim with the insurance company asking for compensation. But they replied saying that it was payable only in case the flight was delayed by over 5 hours. Are flights usually delayed by that much? It is just a ploy to extract a premium from passengers without any reason. Then, there are several other boxes like making a donation for a cause etc. which are pre-ticked. This practice should stop immediately.
The whole point in having add-ons or extra facilities is providing the customer with a choice. But once the boxes are pre-ticked, the choice is taken away. Airlines or websites that facilitate ticket booking can list the facilities they provide but they cannot pre-tick any for the customer. It is upon the customer to tick the boxes for the facilities he wants to avail.
By pre-ticking the boxes, the airlines and the websites are indulging in an unfair practice. For those who are not aware and for those who are in a hurry, these pre-ticked boxes are a drain on their resources and unfairly inflate the price of tickets. The airlines and websites must voluntarily desist from doing so, failing which the government must step in to rectify the situation.