SEOUL, June 3 (Korea Bizwire) – A Seoulite purchased a plane ticket from Incheon to Hong Kong for 368,600 won ($310) in July 2015. But when he tried to cancel the trip a few months later, he was charged 216,000 won ($181) in cancellation fees.
As such, there are instances where airline companies either charge their customers excessive cancellation fees or simply refuse to issue refunds.
The Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) analyzed reported consumer damages related to passenger airlines from October 2015 to March 2016, and discovered that 50.9 percent (229 cases) of the complaints were related to excessive cancellation fees or the refusal of airlines to issue refunds.
These complaints were followed by delays and flight cancellations (107 cases, 24 percent), lost or damaged baggage (28 cases, 6.3 percent), and no-shows due to poor notification systems (16 cases, 3.6 percent).
Of the 446 complaints, 259 (58.1 percent) were related to foreign airlines, 137 (30.7 percent) of which were low-cost airlines.
Low cost airlines (both Korean and foreign) figured in 60.3 percent (269 cases of 446) of all complaints.
Consumer damages related to passenger airlines have increased annually by 30 percent since 2012. In Q1 2016, a total of 275 complaints were filed with the KCA, a 52.8 percent increase from Q1 2015.
“Certain foreign low-cost airlines only accept consumer complaints via their homepage or through email, which adds to further inconvenience,” said a KCA official. “We advise consumers to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of every ticket purchase, and schedule trips accordingly.”
“Low-cost airlines, in particular, tend to have more rigid cancellation and baggage policies,” he added.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)