Airlines And Travel Portals Warned To Not Show All Seats As Paid While Booking Flights

Airlines
by Shreya Ghosh

It looks like the Consumer Affairs Ministry of India is not pleased with some practices followed by many airlines and travel companies. It is said that airlines and online travel brands often allegedly represent the flight seats as ‘paid’. However, they declare all these to be a part of the free web check-in process. The Consumer Affairs Ministry calls these unfair trade practices, according to a report by The Times of India.

Why Is The Consumer Affairs Ministry Concerned About This System & Warns Airlines, Travel Companies?

Airlines

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The department has raised its concerns and questions indicating to the airlines and travel portals involved in such wrong procedures. These steps often turn out to be a chaotic experience for many passengers as the staff does not let them board the flight. No matter if they have a valid flight ticket, they cannot board the aircraft and also face issues in getting back the refund flight ticket amount.

Rohit Kumar Singh, the secretary of Consumer Affairs, shared a few details about this online practice. He talked about the way some airlines build interfaces on online platforms to manipulate decisions and also hamper customers’ experiences. This bizarre way of conducting such steps is also called the dark pattern.

Taking such unfair steps of dark pattern that directly impacts the interest and experiences of the consumers is considered an unfair trade practice. In fact, it is called unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act, according to The Times of India report.

Also read: In A Now Deleted Post Edelweiss CEO Shared “Poor” Experience On IndiGo Flight; Airline Responds

Thousands Of Passengers Have Filed Complaints Already

Airlines

Picture credit- Canva

The National Consumer Helpline received nearly 10,000 complaints in the period of the last 1 year. These complaints were about different airlines. In fact, a meeting has been conducted with the CEOs of domestic airlines and online travel portals. The primary agenda of the interaction is to talk about consumer experiences and issues.

The National Consumer Helpline has revealed some numbers recently. The report shares how the inconveniences of passengers are caused by the airlines denying to refund the flight ticket amount. This is the most significant issue and the highest as well with almost 41 per cent.

Also read: Off-Duty Pilot Trying To Shut Engines To Plane With 300 Flyers Diverting, 5 Airline Incidents

The second most important issue faced by flyers has to do with lack of proper services. Around 15 per cent of complaints are about deficiency in proper services. In addition to all these, about 5 per cent of complaints concern the fact that airlines deny passengers boarding the flights even after having confirmed flight tickets.

There are so many instances and incidents when flyers face chaos and major problems getting on a flight or getting a refund on their tickets. This issue is only increasing. It is also leading to a rise in the number of complaints. The percentage of people making complaints clearly shows the inconveniences caused due to some improper practices by some airlines and online travel companies.

What do you think of the Consumer Affairs Ministry warning airlines and online travel portals? Have you ever faced any of these above-mentioned problems while trying to board a flight? If yes, let us know about your experiences and thoughts about that incident.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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