Makemytrip Zero cancellation fee increased to INR 749- Worth it?

For India domestic flights, flight cancellation fees are often more than flight ticket cost. Cancellation normally costs around INR 3000. Often low fare promo tickets are non refundable. Most domestic flights cost less than INR 3000 and a few cost a bit more around 5000-6000 one way. Paying massive cancellation fee doesn't really make sense in most cases.

Makemytrip had introduced a concept of Zero cancellation fee. In this scheme customers pay an extra amount upfront and if they need to cancel later, they get entire booking amount bank minus the zero cancellation fee.

When this Zero Cancellation fee scheme was introduced by MMT it was priced at just INR 99. Today zero cancellation fee has increased to INR 700-750 one way depending on sector, airline. Is it worth paying extra like this on MakeMyTrip's zero cancellation fee?

Points to consider:

  • Zero cancellation fee is like an insurance premium- if you manage to fly as per plan you lose this extra money 100%. That is INR 750 paid to MMT over and above ticket fare
  • If you have to cancel your tickets, you now save around INR 2250 compared to traditional cancellation fee of INR 3000 (as you've paid 750 INR for zero cancellation
  • Zero cancellation is available for direct flights only- not for one stop flights
  • Zero cancellation need to be availed within 24 hours of departure. Last minute cancellations and no shows are not covered.
  • Partial cancellation not allowed. Entire PNR need to be cancelled.
  • Date change scenario not covered. You've to cancel and make fresh booking
  • Force majeure events not covered. 
  • Remember you would have also paid MMT convenience fee over and above zero cancellation fee. Some airline websites (like Air India) do not charge convenience fee while some airlines like Air Asia and Vistara charge a much lesser fee if paid via net-banking as against credit card. Some OTAs like Easemytrip also do not charge convenience fee. Thus essentially you might be paying over 1000 Rs extra per person one way to MMT for convenience fee+ Zero cancellation.
  • Remember that even without zero cancellation, even on non-refundable tickets, airlines are required to return airport fee and tax component to passengers who do not fly. This amount is usually in a few hundred rupees per ticket. You will get this amount back irrespective of airline rules and schemes (need to apply though)
So does it make sense to pay extra for MMT Zero cancellation?
The decision should be based on following factor:
1. Ticket Price: You are paying 750+250 convenience fee- INR 1000 extra. If the ticket price is very less- like INR 1500-2000 one way, I would rather take my chances and avoid paying another 1000 more. If ticket price is very high-like INR 5000, it might make sense to pay for zero cancellation
2. Your likely-hood of having to cancel the flights. If you see a very high risk of having to cancel, you can either book now by paying cancellation fee or wait for some more time before booking
3. Book now vs Book later: Ticket prices increase a bit as travel date comes closer. But not always the increase is exponential. If you feel the possible increase is minimal, you can decide to wait for a few days till everything gets confirmed, book without zero cancellation even if ticket costs a bit more, than book a cheaper ticket+ zero cancellation fee.
4. Your risk appetite: If you are keen to save on zero cancellation and have some comfort dealing with schedule changes and cancellations then avoid paying more. If airline changes schedule they are responsible to re-assign another flight for you at no extra cost. 

Ultimately it is a decision of losing 1000 Rs for sure vs possibly losing up to INR 3000 one way.

What has been your experience? Have you availed MMT's Zero cancellation scheme? Do share your thoughts.

Related: Ten tips to deal with high cancellation chargesIndigo cancellation concerns * Jet Airways cancellation now costs up to 9200 INR * Air Asia refund changed to two step process MMT Doubleblack membership *

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