Long weekend flight tickets priced at over Rs 8000 one way; Bus tickets vary from Rs 1200 to Rs 2500
PANJIM: Soaring fares for flight ticket has not dampened the holiday mood of travellers rushing to Goa for the long weekend, though a major section of tourists, particularly from the neighbouring states, have opted to drive down rather than take a flight.
With airline fares touching and sometimes exceeding Rs 10,000 per passenger on the eve of Dussehra, several passengers who had planned to start their vacation from Friday opted to travel by road. Barring the ticket on the Mumbai to Goa route that cost over Rs 8,000, a one-stop flight fare varied between Rs 10,000 and a whopping Rs 22,000 connecting from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, all one way.
“We took the inter-state bus to Goa on Thursday night. This saved us from shelling out a huge amount on air fare. It didn’t take much as we booked our tickets on-line and boarded the bus after completing work. Our return too is by road. This is cost saving with a good long weekend vacation in Goa,” said Anku Bansal, who reached Goa with her husband early Friday morning.
The couple from Pune is among the many who decided to take the bus to Goa, for the extended weekend that has Monday as a holiday due to Gandhi Jayanti.
A group of four techies from Bangalore too boarded an inter-state bus to Goa claiming places closer to Goa have a better option to choose their travel mode. “When the bus tariffs are three to four times less than the flight rates, one would definitely opt for bus travel unless in emergency situations. The money saved on the tickets will be spent here on other needs,” Mana Khondakar, a new employee at a multi-national company in the IT-city said.
As on-line bus ticket booking has become a new trend, Paulo Travels & Tours has pointed at many last-minute bookings. “The bookings are slow but there have been several bookings since yesterday (Thursday). However, there are many last-minute bookings,” Operations Manager of Paulo Travels, Santosh Sawal, said. The tariff, though increased for long weekends and peak periods, is around Rs 1200 to Rs 2500 per person.
Similarly, VRL Travels in Panjim also claimed there were several last minute arrival bookings to Goa. “We have been getting many online bookings from different places. All our buses on different routes from Bangalore, Mumbai, etc are full. Passengers have also booked their return tickets on October 3 or 4,” a VRL staffer said.
The extended weekend has also seen a huge rush of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka-registered four-wheeler vehicles in the State.