“I’m afraid to travel”… The story of being hit by a thunderbolt at the airport on the way home

Mr. A, who arrived at the airport on his way home from a trip to Bali at the end of May, was embarrassed. This is because the flight departing at 3:55 am on this day was changed to the next day. He changed his flight through Burya Burya Airlines to his same-day departure, but stayed in Singapore, his transit destination, for about 10 hours, incurring hotel and incidental expenses. Mr. A filed an objection to the travel agency about the flight schedule change and demanded compensation for damage, but only the information returned saying, “We have notified you of the schedule change in advance by email. Please check your email according to the terms and conditions.”

With the demand for overseas travel exploding due to endemic (endemic epidemic), consumer damage is also increasing. The Korea Consumer Agency and the Fair Trade Commission issued a damage advisory to consumers who purchase airline tickets online. It is advised that special care is needed when purchasing airline tickets ahead of the Chuseok holiday, a golden holiday when you can take up to 11 days off if you take summer vacation and annual leave.

Since last year, 2,000 cases of damage relief related to airline tickets are ‘approaching

According to the Fair Trade Commission and Consumer Agency on the 3rd, the number of consumer damage relief applications related to airline tickets in the first half of this year was 834, a 173.4% increase from the same period last year (305 cases).

From January of last year, when the doors of countries that had been closed due to the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19) began to be released, to June of this year, 1,960 applications for damage relief related to airline tickets were received. In particular, 67.7% (1327 cases) were found to have occurred from purchasing air tickets through travel agencies.

There were many cases of consumer complaints related to air tickets purchased through travel agencies, such as travel agency cancellation fees, which are separate from airline fees, and cases where airline cancellation fees were imposed because ticketing was not canceled outside of business hours, such as weekends and holidays.

Usually, airlines provide refunds without cancellation fees within 24 hours of booking. However, the Korea Consumer Agency reported that some travel agencies were unable to cancel ticketing outside of regular business hours, and consumers were asked to pay airline cancellation fees or were additionally charged.

As in the case of Mr. A, even though the flight schedule was changed or canceled due to airline circumstances, damage occurred because the travel agency did not promptly inform consumers of relevant information. In addition to this, there were cases of damage where the responsible party for notification of changed flight information was not clear, so consumers had to pay fees and change or cancel schedules by shifting responsibility between airlines and travel agencies.

In particular, in the case of some overseas online travel agencies ( OTAs ), the provision of flight ticket information is insufficient and damage compensation is difficult in some cases, so caution is needed, the Consumer Agency urged.

The Korea Consumer Agency emphasized, “It is important to consider not only the price of the ticket itself before purchasing it, but also the refund policy following cancellation.”

In addition, the Fair Trade Commission plans to correct unfair terms and conditions by reviewing travel agency ticket purchase agent terms and conditions토토사이트, such as non-refundable clauses on weekends and holidays. Currently, the Fair Trade Commission is reviewing whether the non-refundable clause on weekends and holidays, the excessive penalty clause, and the delayed refund clause are unfair to operators whose ticket issuance performance last year exceeded 100 billion won. In addition, it said that it is discussing with airlines and travel industry associations to improve the system of some operators that can sell and issue tickets outside business hours, but cannot cancel.

The Fair Trade Commission and Consumer Agency issued a consumer damage advisory related to online ticket purchases on the 2nd during summer vacation and Chuseok.

With the unprecedented demand for travel… what happened to the travel agent

As consumer complaints related to ticket sales continued, there were cases in which large travel agencies temporarily stopped promotions related to ticket sales during peak season. HanaTour temporarily suspended ticket promotions as it decided to overhaul the system as consumer complaints grew over related responses such as ticket changes and refunds.

On the 28th of last month, Hana Tour posted an apology on its website, apologizing for customer inconvenience caused by recent flight ticket changes and delays in responding to refunds. In an apology, HanaTour said, “We sincerely apologize to customers who have experienced inconvenience due to the recent delay in responding to airline tickets.” revealed

Previously, some media outlets reported that HanaTour is handling flight schedule changes and refunds only through the website bulletin board, and customer inconvenience is accumulating due to the late response.

Hana Tour promised to establish a recurrence prevention plan with the goal of improving customer satisfaction. It is a policy to inspect the system and recruit related personnel to handle customer complaints in the air ticket reservation and refund process. Promotions related to ticket sales have also been temporarily suspended.

HanaTour is temporarily suspending promotions related to ticket sales by prioritizing handling customer complaints such as ticket changes and refunds. We will do our best to make it possible,” he promised.

It is estimated that the demand for online ticket purchases increased at an all-time high in the second quarter ahead of the peak season for the summer vacation season.

According to the National Statistical Office, among online shopping transactions in the second quarter, the transaction amount of travel and transportation services reached 5,919.1 billion won, writing a new record high for the quarter. This is an increase of 37.3% compared to the second quarter of last year.

This is also revealed in the rapid increase in the transaction amount of individual companies. The airline and overseas accommodation service, which Yanolja, a leisure platform, introduced early last month, recorded 10 billion won in transaction amount in three weeks. In the case of Gmarket, this year (as of the end of July), the cumulative transaction amount of overseas travel product sales live broadcasting (Labang) recorded KRW 5.7 billion, a 338% increase from the same period last year. Considering that 24 episodes were broadcast during the period, an average of more than 200 million won was sold per episode.

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