Cleartrip studies 'cancellations', reveals that 12% travellers cancel their travel plans


Cleartrip is one of the top OTA's (Online travel agent) in India that has attracted more than $70 million in funding. The current traffic on Cleartrip is estimated to be around 4.5 million unique visitors a month and a couple of interviews last year put their market share in the Indian market at 25-30%. Serving travellers from years, Cleartrip has also kept up the tempo when it comes to updates to their product and looking at innovative ways to make bookings simpler. Their latest study is on 'cancellations', the results of which have made them to launch the ability to ‘cancel bookings on Mobile’.

The study showed that 12% travellers cancel their travel plans. And 12% is a healthy number. Life’s unpredictable and so are travel plans! This makes the need to cancel or amend travel itineraries almost inevitable. Some of the interesting stats from the post-booking behaviour amongst Indian travellers:

  • While Indians love to plan their travel, they are also as active when it comes to cancelling their travel plans. In an in-depth study that Cleartrip conducted to study post-booking behaviour, it was deduced that 12% of the customers who make bookings for their travel, return to either amend or cancel their travel plans.
  • The largest chunk of this cancellation was for flights at 60%. The remaining 40% were for trains and hotels. 70% of the flight cancellations were done online by the bookers themselves (this immediately brought to light the vital need for cancellation).
  • 12% of the customers who book come back to cancel and amend. Of these, 80% are online and 20% are offline (calls to customer care). 40% are for trains and hotels- of these, 85% are online and 15% are offline. 60% of these cancellations are for flights- about 70% of flight cancellations are done online.
  • A big chunk of the offline cancellations happen over phone because customers don’t have access to a laptop / desktop at the time. (But they do have a mobile phone handy)
  • Another interesting finding that the study threw up was the importance of allowing Train Booking cancellations, online and on-the-move. With a low penalty for train booking cancellations and the restricted availability, it was noticed that people booked train tickets in advance, even if their plans are not frozen. They’d then cancel these bookings if plans changed closer to the travel date.

Cleartrip believes that most travel service providers primarily focus on the booking experience, but not so much on the post-booking service needs of the customer. “Cancelling a travel plan is upsetting enough. We understand the pain that customers go through during the post-booking experience and we wanted to change that. We were delighted to see that almost 80% of our cancellations happen seamlessly, online. We’ve now taken that a step further and are offering cancellations even on our Mobile app,” said Samyukth Sridharan, COO - Cleartrip said.

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