Dear ixigo – this isn’t how you build a feature and break trust [Update]

Before I go further, let me admit that I truly love ixigo product and their ‘cockroachy’ approach to build / market.

And you feel really sad when companies like these screw up – especially over critical features. Here is what happened.

1. I was traveling from Delhi to Bangalore (on Jan 2nd).

2. Most of the flights were badly delayed due to fog (on 1st Jan, close to 220+ flights were delayed/many canceled).

3. That is, flight status is an important data to track. You really don’t want to wait in Delhi’s crammed airport for 3-4 hours.

4. Since I had booked the tickets from ixigo, I checked the flight status on ixigo (infact, I just chanced upon it and fell in love with the nifty UX).

5. My flight was originally scheduled for 8:55 PM and at 6 PM, this is what ixigo shows me.

 

That is, 8:55 PM (on Jan 2nd) flight has been rescheduled to 1:00 AM (Jan 3rd), as per ixigo.

6. Chilled, I decided to leave at 11 PM, but then my sister told me ‘Arrey yaar. Don’t trust these startups. Check with the airline‘.

Me being one of the die hard proponent of startups challenged her. I called up Spicejet and they kept telling me that the flight is on time (I even tweeted to Spicejet / ixigo kept showing me the same ‘rescheduled’ status).

7. Finally, I decided to not take the risk and here is the ixigo app screenshot at 9:35 PM. The flight took off at 9:45 PM.

Flight took off at 9:45 PM though as per ixigo, it was rescheduled to 1 AM.

To me, this isn’t just breach of trust – but this pretty much kills the entire point of trusting a consumer startup which boasts of fancy/great UX, but failed badly at data.

Plus, from what it seems ixigo isn’t even aware of these issues – which to me is an extreme case of product and data team failure.

Why launch a critical feature when the data is corrupted?

Whom would you trust:

A dumb looking badly done product with authentic data

OR

A nifty UX product with wrong data?


Especially when data = (critical) decision.

As a product manager, why would you even launch a feature like this and play with people’s money/time and trust, especially when a feature like this should either be 100% correct or just shouldn’t exist?

Note to ixigo: While you are busy launching your AI based Tara bot, maybe put some resources to focus on the core.

Update: I had a word with ixigo team and they have raised the issue with their data partner. Most importantly, the team has owned up the issue and are fixing this as we speak.

Official note from ixigo.

At the outset, we’d like to apologise for the trouble you had to go through while checking flight status on the app. At ixigo, we continuously strive to help users and understand the issues faced by them.
Just to bring things into perspective, we are already using two of the world’s best service providers for flight status and flight schedule data. It seems that due to a rare technical glitch with one of our service providers, your flight status was updated as delayed and later, shown as cancelled by them. To ensure that something like this never happens in the future, we are reconfiguring the flight status setup to triangulate all such delays with another service provider and make this service all the more fool-proof.
That said, we take complete ownership of this unfortunate situation and will ensure that the issue is fixed for good. Thank you once again for your super valuable feedback :)