Online air-ticketing services vow not to profit from refunds

Several online air-ticketing platforms have vowed to adopt the same policy as airliners in regard to ticket changes, following an investigation by civil aviation authorities.


Passengers line up to board a flight. (Photo: China News Service)

A survey conducted by the Jiangsu Province Consumer Council uncovered that 23.5 percent of respondents had been charged a refund fee higher than the original ticket price, and that 22.7 percent reported they had been charged higher fees for refunds by online ticket services compared to official airline websites.

The consumer council has requested meetings with eight airlines and seven online ticket platforms to discuss their ticketing policies.

On May 4, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) demanded that its regional bureaus and the China Air Transport Association cooperate with the consumer council in launching an investigation into air ticketing agents.

Online travel firm Ctrip said it will actively respond to the CAAC decision and improve supervision regarding air ticket sales on its platform, promising a zero extra fee for passenger ticket changes.

Travel agency also promised to enforce the same policy as airlines regarding ticket refunds or changes.

Alibaba's travel service platform, Fliggy, said it will pay three times the charge difference to passengers overcharged for ticket refunds.

The CAAC also said it will introduce further measures to improve air ticket services, ensuring orderly processes in the market to better protect the rights of consumers.