A consumer watchdog has recommended the regulation of air-ticket
agencies, and urged airlines to inform customers ahead of time
The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests
received more than 530 complaints about airline services last year,
about 32 percent more than in 2006.
The commission said complaints related to fake electronic air
tickets and customers being denied boarding due to
It said some illegal agencies had issued fake ticket receipts,
while others made bookings but then had the tickets refunded
without the customer's knowledge.
For example, a consumer surnamed Liu believed he had booked an
East China Airlines flight from Shanghai to Lijiang, Yunnan
Province, at the Shanghai Buyecheng Travel Service Co Ltd in
On September 11, he confirmed with the airline that his ticket
had been booked properly, and that he had paid the fare to
Buyecheng. On September 23, however, he found that his ticket was
After investigations, he discovered that the agency he used was
an illegal company passing itself off as a Buyecheng agency.
The commission said authorities should close down all the "black
air ticket agencies" and add anti-counterfeit markings to
Another consumer, who only defined himself as Gala, said he was
denied boarding on a flight from Shanghai to Bangkok because of
over-booking by India Airlines. He failed to get any explanation
from the airline.
The commission said authorities should establish a compensation
system for passengers who are denied boarding. Commission officials
said some airlines had their own compensation systems, but
consumers believed them to be unfair.
(Shanghai Daily February 7, 2008)