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Ankit Singh

Travel Tips

Alpfly reviews, Fake or real? Beware of the trap

Alpfly reviews

A new buzz was in the town and on social media about company calling itself Alpfly and claiming to provide 10 Air tickets in 12 months for domestic travels.

Star Plan is their cheapest plan, in which one registered person gets 10 air tickets in 12 months for INR Rs 21999. Which makes air tickets dirt cheap like Rs 2199 Per ticket. Wohhh 2199 per tickets… that sounds awesome and anyone can fall for this offer like I did.

Even though I read their terms and conditions like 100 time and did a lot of research about the company I couldn’t get much info about it and most of the comments and reviews which I saw on Facebook or google reviews looked to me like paid or fake reviews.

So finally I decided to be a sheep goat amongst my friends and bought their Star plan for 21999 on 06 January 2017. I booked two journey from Pune to Chandigarh for 28th of Jan and from Lucknow to Pune of 06th of Feb. So far So good. I had to attend marriage of my roommate in Chandigarh on 28th Jan and in Lucknow on 5th Feb. As I am customer of Alpfly so I guess I am best person to provide Alpfly reviews.

Now Let the real game begin.

15th Jan 2017: I called up alpfly customer support on and asked them if they have received my ticket request through online portal, they gave me a affirmative and confirmed that they have received the request. I asked alpfly customer support,  if I will be getting any confirmation call from your side, They said yes you will be getting it just 7 days before your journey. I was like ok, even if you book your request 100 days back, still that does not make any sense to them. They will start processing your request only 7 days before.

21st Jan 2017: This was the date 7 days prior to my journey to Chandigarh. I called up customer support of alpfly. This time they again came up with one more excuse that they will be able to see the tickets only 48 Hr prior to the journey. That means 48Hrs prior you won’t be having any idea, like which airlines or what timings are you going to fly. And they keep it a very secret and they will surprise you with something random as they did me…Keep reading

 

25th Jan 2017: As 26th Jan 2017 is national holiday (Republic day) and no one is expected to work on that day… So I called up customer care to look into the matter and issue me ticket so that I can at least plan my travel 48 Hrs prior.

 

I was pretty much sure about the mess I am going to face because of my prior experience with customer support at alpfly and sales team at alpfly So i decided to call them in Morning.

A lady named Nidhi picked up my call and she said that she will be providing me with the tickets in 15 Minutes. I said “Wait…wait…wait… Will you be not asking me any preference or will I be getting any time options?” She said that “Sir as you are our Star Plan customer you don’t have any options other than to travel in whatever flight I will send you…” I was like WHAT??

Here comes the Terms and Condition of Alpfly. “ Under this plan, we do not offer any specific time and carrier selection by the customer.”

It means that they will not ask you anything no matter how much sales team says that they will ask you for prefered time… That’s all lie… sales team uses this to lure customers

 

Ok I agreed to it… Then came the second shock. I will be getting Pune to Delhi flight in morning on 28th Jan at 7:20 In morning and that will drop in Delhi at 9:20 Perfect.

But from delhi to Chandigarh for flight, you will be charged one more ticket as flight halt time will be more than 4 hrs :O How come that be possible… There are many flights operating on this route which takes less than 4 hours of halt and reach Chandigarh from Pune, but they have only one Flight showing in their Inventory. NO FLIGHT OPTIONS FOR STAR PLAN POOR PEOPLE.

 

Ok So I asked them Instead of booking a flight for Chandigarh from Pune, I can just go upto Delhi and take bus to Chandigarh, Then comes new shock. They only had one flight from Pune to Delhi that too at 10:20 PM. I asked them to accommodate me in morning flight. They said it is not possible. You have to either go in 7:20 Morning flight to Chd or take flight to Delhi at night with additional modification charge of 499Rs…. What Rs 499. Yes…This is charge for any modification made in the booking.

 

At this point of time I was left with 3 options.

  1. Take flight to Chandigarh and Sacrifices my two tickets which will cost me 4400
  2. Pay Modification charges of Rs 499 and get ticket till Delhi on 27th Jan at 11:15 AM or 28th Jan at 10: 20 PM
  3. F**k with everything and get back my refund with 10% deduction i.e Rs 19799.1 and live rest of my life happily.

 

But as we know humans are curious creature and so I am… So I paid another Rs 499 for booking my flight to Delhi on 27th Jan and this ticket costs me Rs 2199+499 = ~Rs 2700 one way to Delhi. I got my confirmed air ticket PNR from Alpfy at 8:PM on 25th Jan and I have to fly on 27th Jan at 11:20.

 

That was all my first impression on Alpfly claiming to be the cheapest air ticket provider in India, but not that customer centric and sales team will agree to almost all of your terms and conditions but travel desk will provide you with worst experience. As far as flights are concerned they do not have any aircraft of their own. They have tie up with low budget carriers like SpiceJet, GoAir and Indigo, Premium airlines like Jet Airways in India for selling last moment empty seats.

Let me Also try to explain you main points of terms and conditions for STAR PLAN by alpfly:

T&C

Customer will have to book his/her travel, at least 7 days in advance and PNR will be issued 48 Hours prior to travel. 7 days does not include the day of placing request and the date of travel.

Explanation: Looks clear…But wait… there is a Catch. No matter how before you request your booking, they will give you tickets 48Hrs prior to your flight date. And for booking you have to at least book 7 days before. They will not tell you anything about your travel, they will keep it like a dark secret… and you will never come to know what time you are about to fly.

There are no hidden charges. Prices are all inclusive of taxes and charges.

Explanation: That’s not true… read whole T&C, If you make some changes to your booking preference then you have to pay Rs499 as modification charges. And if you cancel/disagree with the flight or timing they provide and opt not to take ticket, then you have to pay Rs 999 or you can opt to sacrifice one of your air ticket, This means that once you have requested, they will definitely take either money from you or a ticket from you pool

As per availability, if the halt for a flight (for any destination) is more than 04 hours or with 2 stops, then 02 tickets will be charged from the respective plan for one way.

Explanation: Biggest catch point of Alpfly. Let’s say you have to fly from Pune to Delhi, and you request for tickets. Prior 48Hrs they will call you and tell that they don’t have any direct flight from Pune to Delhi, so you have to halt in Jaipur for 5Hrs… that will cost you two tickets. They will also tell you that they can only see one flight in their Inventory. They have such a small inventory that you will only get one flight from Pune to Delhi. Either you take it or do some modification to your journey date and they will charge you Rs 499 as modification charges. And if you opt not to travel they will anyday charge you one ticket from your pool or pay Rs 999 to save your ticket.

We prefer to provide direct flights to our Customers. If direct flights are not available, only then, we book flights with halt time.

Explanation:That is not true, They will provide you tickets which suits their own convenience or which is available in their own inventory. Mumbai to Dehradun is having one direct flight of Jet airways which is most of the time full, So how can they provide direct flight on occasions like Diwali and Holi. And then comes the catch, They will call you and will say that they don’t have direct flight to this location and you have to take flight which will have halt time x >4 Hrs and that will cost you two Alpfly tickets.

Once plan is purchased and any ticket is issued, then the entire plan is non-refundable.

Explanation:If you take even one ticket, your whole amount is fortified. You cannot take refund from them whatsoever. Though you can cancel your plan  within 21 days of purchase with 10% deductions

Customer can utilize one round trip in a month, anywhere in India(except some blackout destinations).

Explanation: This means you have to travel 5 times in a year. If your job does not allow you this then you should not take this. Else you will most probably waste your tickets due to lack of Leaves from your office.

We at Alpfly, aim to serve you with the best flights available on your preferred date, as we are operating with leading domestic Airlines of the country.

Explanation: They just ask your preference for date not the time. And trust me this is very annoying. And whatever time they will provide you may not suit you.

 

If you have already buyed a Alpfly STAR PLAN and looking for some tips for booking so here They are:

  • Try to Book tickets from metro city to metro city only, trust me you can get direct flight and may be the best one.
  • Don’t raise request for booking until you are very sure that you are going to travel on the given date. Else that will cost you a ticket from your pool
  • Take leave from your office or workplace on the date you have booked tickets because even you don’t know the flight time 48hrs prior to your flight. And trust me its very difficult to explain this to your managers (except mine 🙂 ).

To conclude, Alpfly star package is best for a person who don’t care for time and is flying from metro city to metro city. If you are planning to take tickets from non metro city to non metro city so they will provide tickets which are not at all feasible with long waiting time. As far as tickets are concerned, Yes they will definitely provide you with the tickets on mentioned date but it can be at 23:55.

Go for this package if you are looking for cheap flight tickets. And you cannot really on this ticket for flight timing. Overall I will rate this service 2 out of 5 stars.

Have you tried Alpfly star package? Or planning to buy one… Ask anything in comment down below.

Travel Tips

Budget Hotels In Goa To Stay In December

hotels in goa

The words cheap and budget get out of use during month of December in Goa and especially during the festive season and Sunburn. Budget hotels in Goa becomes like an impossible thing in December. The lowest possible Goa hotel rate can be found only at government hotel by Goa tourism. But you have to book the hotels well in advance from Online Hotel Management System.

 

As this is Sunburn season so it become practically impossible to get cheap hotels in Goa. However, you just might be able to do it based on a few things.

 

1. Look for flats/rooms rented by the owners: Try your best to forget the beach hotels/resorts, they will charge you nothing less than 6000-8000 per night. Try the interior. Places like Aldona, Quitula, Serrao and Nachinola in North Goa. Most of these places are about 40-45 minutes from the beaches by bus or bike but you can definitely find cheap hotels in goa at these places.

  • Arambol beach is a also a good option which is little remote place. Arambol beach is cheap and very less crowded. Most of the crowd are foreigners. Local goan people have converted their home into guest house and offer them at very cheap price. They charge hardly 800-1200 Rs. Per room. You can also find further budget hotels in “Porvorim” It is located around 2 km from Panjim city but little bit crowded.
  • You should also try your best staying away from all the party madness. Somewhere cheaper in places like Margao and near Vasco. It’s a little far from the beaches and party places, but you need to get your own scooty or bike to get to this place.

2. Eat Local: Ask the owner of the place where you are staying for some cheap restaurants nearby which are good places to eat in that area. Or you can ask some locals willing to cook for you. Restaurants and shacks by the beach will be very expensive. Britto’s at Baga cost us almost 6000 without drinks for a group of 5 people.

3) Also you can try places like Asterix Hostel near Vagator, Baga, and Anjuna beach. You can meet other travelers, mostly western tourists, and Anjuna is a great place for that. Rooms near Anjuna also have wifi, books, free breakfast, easy scooter and cab rentals.

 

Comment down below about your experience in Goa in December or if you find something very interesting to stay at cheap hotels in goa.

You can also check out places to visit in Goa during december.

Pic Credit: Wikimedia

Tripoto

Story Travel Tips

Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing, What Indians think?

couchsurfing

 

I wanted to write this blog post for long time but my hectic schedule at office, travel and day today work  didn’t let me to complete it. But this weekend ,I finally took some time and decided to write a blog on my couchsurfing experience in India.

This is the best gateway for all those who don’t know what couchsurfing is and how much prevalent it is in India.

What Is couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing also abbreviated as CS in netizens language is a service created by  Casey Fenton. Couchsurfing is a hospitality service offering travellers a place to sat in more than 70 countries for free of cost. The funda is very simple. Couchsurfing.com is having more than 1000000+ registered users who can offer say or bed to follow travellers in their apartment or home, by simply uploading pics and some basic information about themself. And travellers travelling to that place can ask for stay at their place through portal.

Why couchsurfing?

Budget! Yes this is the first and foremost reason for Couchsurfing. To lower down the trip expense, solo travellers prefer couchsurfing over hotels and hostels. This is  a great way to save money during your trip to any place in world. Believe me you can save heavy by couchsurfing. Also Couchsurfing helps solo traveller to get some friends and know local people and stay with them, have food with them etc . But for me the main purpose of couchsurfing is local exploration. I ask my host to show me unpopular places where tourists seldom goes and tell stories about their city and culture.

Is it safe?

If you are hardcore traveller then trust me, nothing in this world is  safe place. You need to face the consequences whatever come in front of you while travelling. Same applies to couchsurfing. Profile on couchsurfing looks very luring and safe but sometime the ground reality is totally different. You cannot be 100% sure  who will host you and what will they offer you. But don’t worry much, community rating are thankfully true most of the time.

Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing?

In India it is now becoming popular that girls seeking boys as host and boys seeking girls as host. But for what? For some it’s absolutely normal to get an opposite sex as a host or guest but for some its also an opportunity for a one night stand known as “No string sex” or if it is through couchsurfing also called as “Bed Surfing” or “sexsurfing”. I heard about it recently but never thought that it could be possible. But to my surprise 5 out of 8 guys offer sex to girls and two of them said that  they were expecting sex. Only 1 out of 8 didn’t offered anything. To my surprise even girls are looking for wild couchsurf experience. 1 out of 4 girls offered sex in return on couchsurf.

Most of the girls say NO to these kind of offers and they believe in travelling rather than sleeping with some random guys.

Most commonly used phrase by couchsurfer host to guest to offer sex is “The door to my bedroom is open all night”!

The first time I came across Sexsurfing was in Goa. My host told me some stories from local that they have slept with 3 of 4 girls they have hosted as guest and he also  mentioned that “White girls are easy and hot”. At first I thought they are joking but surprisingly i found that girls are more pushy than a guy.

I also came across a shocking story of a girl from Delhi she wanted to do couchsurfing in Mumbai, India at a guys place. In the middle of the night the guy came in the room and started touching her and offered her, but she refused so he asked her to either have sex or leave. She left in the middle of the night. And the funny thing was, that guy had a good reputation at couchsurfing and the girl met him day before the say at some restaurant. So everything seemed alright.

You can also check out our blog 5 safety tips while travelling in India

 

Whats are your thoughts for couchsurfing? Have you ever faced anything like that before? Share your experience and comment down below. I would love to know more about experience you guys had at your trip and couchsurfing.

 

PS: I might sound like a old age person in this post but trust me, I am not against Couchsurfing or anything, Through this blog post I am just trying to put my points of view and what I faced personally.

Peace!

Travel Travel Tips

Top 10 places to Visit in Pune

When people travel from Mumbai or some other place to Pune and ask you where to go in Pune to spend some quality time, I feel like most of the time people are black with the list of places which they can visit in Pune, and the first worry I have is – How am I going to entertain them or what should I suggest them to see.

Well, staying in a city like Pune and worrying about all this is not a problem anymore. Just take a look at top weekend getaways listed here, and I am sure you would be amazed to find out how much fun this city has to cover in.

  • Sinhagad Fort

One of the nice fort’s built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja. There is a  saying associated with Sinhagad fort ” Gad aala pan simha gela” in Marathi language it means “fort is conquered but Lion is lost”.

It is advisable to visit during the weekdays as weekends are very crowded. You can also enjoy the scenic drive way back along the backwaters of Khadakwasla dam.

  • Osho Auditorium

You must be wondering what Osho Auditorium is doing in this list at number 2 but let me tell you arrival of Osho to the Pune city gave it international flavour. The Osho International Meditation Resort has acquired international recognition among thousands of people around the world, and visitors comes to this place from more than 100 countries every year.

  • Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park

A Nice place to spend half a day in Pune as it is almost in the city. There are not many animals but its an open enclosure type park. Animals are well kept by the government officials. Nice to see them in their natural habitat type environment. Children enjoy watching zoo animals. The place is overall cleaned and maintained  but toilets are dirty.

Ticket line was of 200 persons when I visited this zoo
Also be prepared for walk of 4-6 kms. You can also opt for battery Operated car which is an option inside the park

  • Khadakwasla Dam

Khadakwasla is located near Pune city around 40min drive from center of town. This dam supply water to most of Pune city. There are two sides from where you can go to Khadakwasla dam, one road goes to Sinhagad fort and another one passes from NDA side which is also known as peacock bay.

One the Sinhagad road side you will find lots of food venders selling Bhel, Corn (Bhutta) and other stuff, nothing fancy all street stall kinds. If you want long peaceful drive then go on other side of this.
Good to visit in weekdays evening time, on weekends and Holidays this will be pack with people and cars, as roads are small you might stuck in a jam.

  • Okayama Friendship Garden

Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden or Pu La Deshpande Udyan is one of the largest garden located on Sinhagad Road in Pune, Maharashtra, India.

This place is very good for photo session and selfie, lots of beautiful trees and water lake in the middle of the garden which makes Okayama garden more beautiful. You can have a  good time over there with your family away from city noise and pollution.

  • Mulshi Dam

The Mulshi dam is one of the magical place far away from the hustle of the Pune city. The clouds, mountains and lake make this dam looks too beautiful and the water change color through the day. A great place to just sit down and watch nature’s painting on vast canvas.

Common people are not allowed inside the dam so you have to take a distant view of the dam.

  • ISKCON NVCC Temple

Iskon temples are known for their National and International Shri Krishna followers. This is very nice place to which reflects Vedic culture. The temple is designed beautifully and very clean and well maintained.

Attending 7 PM aarti at evening is highly recommended and enjoy free food which is very tasty.

Also there are shops where you can find number of matchless Gift, most of the items are related to Krishna. Govinda’s restaurant and a Govinda’s stall offers clean and freshly prepared food of all kinds(south Indian, north Indian, Chinese etc.) at very nominal price.

  • Darshan Museum

This Museum is about the life and teachings of Swami Revered Dada Vaswani and they are presented so beautifully in this museum that you will love it.

The museum play a 90 min 3D show on the life, times and teaching of Swami Vaswani both in Hindi and English.

Nicely maintained, clean and aesthetic place with heart touching simple messages of life. This is a place where we can find peace of mind free of cost

  • Neelkantheshwar

Neelkantheswar is a Hindu temple devoted to lord Shiva, which is about 40 minutes drive from Pune. This temple is situated on hill top so you need to do a lot of climbing to reach the temple.

The temple displays almost all Indian Mythology stories. The temple is having more than 200 scenes depicted. You will get a very beautiful views from hill top. Keep in mind to carry food items and edibles as you won’t find any up there.

  • Malshej Ghats

Known for its scenic view and waterfalls Malshej ghat is must to visit in the rainy season if you are around Pune or Mumbai. Enjoy several view points or  take a chance to stay at the MTDC (only residence in Malshej) and enjoy bonfire. Be it the first time or hundreds of time you will still feels as new and refreshing always. Don’t forget to get your natural car wash done.

Pics credit: google, facebook, Tripadvisor

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