Top Chinese online travel agencies ban MAS ticket sales over public anger
The Straits Times/Asia News Network
March 29, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
HONG KONG -- Several top online travel agencies in China have announced a boycott of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) until it "gets to the bottom of the truth on Flight MH370," it was reported on Friday.
Agencies including eLong, LY.com, Qunar and Mango, which are among the largest online ticket and travel vendors in China, said they had banned sales of MAS tickets due to public anger against the carrier and the Malaysian government's perceived mishandling of the crisis, the South China Morning Post reported.
"We will continue the ban indefinitely until the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines release every piece of information they have in order to find out the truth about the missing flight as soon as possible, " the newspaper quoted a statement on the official Weibo page of eLong.
Two passengers on the missing fight had booked their tickets via eLong, the agency said in its statement, adding that it would pay each family 100,000 yuan "as a consolation," the newspaper said.
It quoted LY.com as saying it would offer a full refund to clients wishing to cancel bookings of the airline's tickets and would maintain the ban until MAS "offers a satisfactory explanation to all the victims and the Chinese people."
Some netizens have welcomed the move, but others are unhappy that Ctrip.com, the country's largest online travel agency, did not join the group in banning MAS ticket sales.
The newspaper quoted a Ctrip.com employee as saying the agency did not put in place a ban "due to objections raised by the sales department."