Confusing and frustrating time for SpiceJet customers this week when a ticket sale caused the airline's website to go down for hours.
The carrier launched a three-day sale starting from April 1 where the base fare was "starting from Rupee 1" for travel dates between July this year and March 2015.
The website was down for more than five hours on launch day, a period of time which instead of displaying a temporary landing page the site redirected users to Navitaire, a technology solutions provider for the airline.
The country's leading OTAs - MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Goibibo, and Yatra - all had a dedicated space allocated on their website to promote the airline's offer.
During SpiceJet's site downtime, the airline's inventory wasn't accessible in these four sites - Cleartrip and Yatra did not list the airline in search results; MakeMyTrip and Goibibo displayed a connectivity issue message during the reconfirmation stage.
Message from Goibibo:
Message from MakeMyTrip:
A SpiceJet spokesperson told Tnooz:
"We received overwhelming response to our Rupee 1 offer from customers. We have sold many thousand seats at that price to passengers who booked early.
"We worked with our service provider to increase server capacity, and also set up separate and additional booking links (APIs) for online agents and travel portals to use to make bookings.
"While we planned for high response, our web site was at times unable to cope with the high traffic that was generated due to the high booking activity that was taking place simultaneously as customers took advantage of the market-stimulation fares."
The carrier has yet to explain why Navitaire was the lucky recipient of so much extra traffic during the down-time.
This is not the first time SpiceJet has experienced difficulty in handling high traffic. In 2013, the airline offered one million seats at an all-inclusive fare of Rs 2,013 for any domestic flight between February 1 and April 30 2013, this sale brought down the airline's website.
While the airline's offer triggered a booking-spree among consumers, it wasn't all well with Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The airline has been asked by DGCA to stop the "Rupee 1 offer" immediately. SpiceJet spokesperson told Tnooz:
"The offer was over even before DGCA asked us to stop."
Recently, a YouTube video showing the airline's Holi festival celebration mid-air went viral in social media that ultimately resulted in DGCA suspending both the pilots on the plane.
NB: Laptop image via Shutterstock.