After having flown both SpiceJet and Air Deccan, I feel I am in a position to make a comparative analysis. The following is my review:
1. SpiceJet does not offer any food on its flights – one can’t even get food if one is willing to pay for it. Air Deccan doesn’t provide free meals but at least they give passengers the option of buying the food they carry in-flight. I tried it and it was quite good. They were carrying stuff like veg/non-veg cup noodles, soft drinks, sandwiches, etc. And it was not much more expensive than the regular rate.
2. In general, I have observed that SpiceJet fares tend to be Rs. 200-300 higher as compared to Air Deccan for the same route on the same day.
3. Regarding the overall look and feel, SpiceJet’s ground staff behavior and in-flight experience was definitely better. The ground staff were quite polite, courteous and helpful. Though there was not much scope for in-flight service, the cabin crew was smartly dressed and courteous. The aircraft had a good color scheme on the exterior and was clean on the interior. No in-flight reading material, though.
4. One good thing about SpiceJet in my case is that they have a direct flight from Bangalore to Ahmedabad.
5. Regarding their internet booking facility, it’s pretty good. We can select the route and date on their (quite elegant) home page (www.spicejet.com) and it displays the fare on the very next page along with the search results. The fare doesn’t include the Rs. 221/- PSF. Additionally, SpiceJet levies a Rs. 100/- Fuel Surcharge, something that perhaps no other airline does. Also, in the event of ticket cancellation, SpiceJet doesn’t refund the amount but keeps it as credit to be adjusted against future bookings! This sucks! And this is where Air Deccan scores big time.
All in all, I’d say Air Deccan fares slightly better overall for the various reasons mentioned here.