APAI, the apex air travellers' body, has filed a complaint to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) claiming such schemes are fraudulent.
Alleging that the airlines' discount schemes don't even exist, the association has asked the DGCA to ban such schemes.
The APAI said that it monitored the schemes offered by three leading domestic carriers - Indigo, SpiceJet, and Jet AirwaysJet Konnect - which had earlier announced special fares for travel from November 1 to December 15, reported media.
The APAI said that it deputed its staffers to try and book the tickets through the airlines' websites as well as travel portals. "All we got was a 'sold out' response," APAI president D Sudhakara Reddy said.
"The DGCA must put an end to this practice of offering ridiculously low fares which are non-existent and are not really available to the passenger," Reddy said in his communication to the DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar.
Several passengers complained that they were unable to access the airlines' websites after such discounts have been announced.
"In most cases, flyers don't get access to the airlines' portals. And if they are able to do so, the advertised special fare section always shows 'sold out'. Most of the times, all airlines' schemes are similar and the fares announced are also similar. How can this happen unless a cartel is working to fool the public?" Reddy asked.