Guangzhou [China] July 19 (ANI): Consumer complaints filed with Chinese domestic air carriers have risen tenfold as compared to the last two years, following a hike in demand for tickets, media reports quoted aviation industry regulators.
In March 2021, 7,678 complaints were filed with domestic airlines, which was 700 during the same month in 2019. Complaints about air tickets accounted for 33 per cent of the total, an increase of about 5 percentage points from two years earlier, Nikkei Asia reported citing the civil aviation authority.
As demand for international flights plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese airlines issued discount tickets to keep domestic flights going. The market for domestic air travel was expected to bounce back fairly quickly.
These cheap tickets gave expected results to the Chinese airlines but generated operational complaints; "it's impossible to book flights," "Flight options have decreased," and "Phone calls not being answered," are come typical complaints that airlines received from the consumers.
US carrier American Airlines, a few times back, issued unlimited first-class passes in order to generate quick revenue but the strategy backfired as it lost the majority of its paying passengers.
Chinese air carriers, not learning from the US airlines, seem to launch similar campaigns that may end up with unfavorable results.
In April, China Eastern Airlines introduced a ticket that lets the holder fly repeatedly, with a fixed amount of credit deducted. Shandong Airlines, a midsize Chinese carrier, released a limited number of discount tickets.
Many Chinese airlines consider such offers as a tool to boost their domestic fly demand, but such strategies may end up with hazardous outcomes. (ANI)