Budget airlines are not really 'budget': Consumers' Foundation
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Even though budget airlines' tickets are cheap, the terms and conditions are not fully disclosed and the final price could be expensive due to numerous service charges, said the Consumers' Foundation (CF) in Taipei, yesterday.
January 5, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Mark Chang (張智剛), chairman of the CF, said the airlines charge customers through various service fees. The service charge of T'way Air, a Korean budget airline, can cost NT$3000 if a consumer wants to alter the flight details, Chang said. He criticized that the budget flight tickets are not “budget” at all.
Some of budget airlines' websites do not have traditional Chinese (繁體字) formats, and even if they do, the information is often not fully disclosed, according to Chang. Moreover, Tiger Airways, Scoot and Jin Air's phone numbers were disconnected, said Chang. If a customer clicks on the Web pages of EASTER JET and T'way Air, the page will be redirected to Taiwanese travel agencies' websites, and the customer will have to pay additional NT$1,000 because they are buying tickets via local travel agencies, according to Chang.
Chang said because the terms and conditions of the budget airlines are often vague, this leads to misunderstandings and disputes between customers and the airlines.
Moreover, Chang stated, most of the budget airlines have pricy service fees for ticket refunds, or they do not accept refund request at all. Chang stressed that these regulations were in violation of the Consumer Protection Law, and violated consumers' rights. He suggested that customers be more cautious when buying tickets from a budget airline. Chang called on the Civil Aeronautics Administration and Consumer Protection Committee to deal with the problem to protect the public.