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Cheap tickets harm consumers and airlines


Cheap tickets harm consumers

In recent years, some illegal websites lured consumers with cheap tickets against regulations and they frequently got trapped. But do these unlawful websites only harm the interest of consumers?

The recently issued report on China's online ticket prices will help more people to know about the mystery and hazard behind the cheap tickets.

The lower the prices, the more the problems, and the greater the risks, according to the report jointly issued by and Grassroots Consulting.

The tickets prices varied widely at the same time and the same flights, according the report based on 500 flights, on 142 randomly selected routes, with their prices 10 percent lower than the published. Majority of these routes are from, a well-known travel search engine in China.

The report also shows among the top ten sources of cheap tickets, 90 percent of them are illegal sales, including resale via fare increase, non-normal accommodation sale with higher prices, stealing the customer agreement pricing and more.

Online travel service providers, represented by,,, carry out B2C business model---buying tickets, hotels, leisure products and guide service from suppliers, therefore they are more responsible for their products and have more complete consumer service system, according to Wang Tingting, analyst of IRsearch, an online market research company.

The travel search websites, represented by, provide platform to consumers to know about, compare and select tickets and hotels. They have no close links with suppliers and this kind of loose cooperation provide loopholes for some suppliers.

According to survey result, 90 percent of low price airline tickets have hidden danger, which may hurt consumers' interests. China Online Ticket Price Monitor Analysis Report said, consumers' at the bottom of the consumption chain face great potential risks: they may be rejected boarding or be asked price difference, or consumers may be afforded fake travel itinerary, therefore became bad faith in airline's blacklist. The prominent problem is that most of consumers are hard to protect their rights.

Does the illegal ticket only harm consumers' rights? The answer is negative. Analysis reveals 79 percent of low price ticket damage ticket market order, and 57 percent hurt civil aviation zoology.

The main client base of and other travel vertical search websites is price-sensitive consumers. These websites adopted low price competition mechanism which means low ticket price and higher online rankings. In this low price competition situation, airline ticket agents should use every ways to reduce cost. Some ticket agents adopt illegal methods.

"But in a long run, this price war is more harmful for air ticket market industry. And it harms airlines' interests greatly", Wang Tingting said, "Industrial service value chain is disciplinary which should be consumer oriented." If consumers' interests are damaged in a long term, it may result in shrinkage of service scale and further affect development of industry. (Reporter from CAAC Journal)

Related knowledge: CAAC Journal is a public issued economical newspaper and is the only newspaper distributed on board appointed by Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Related knowledge: is SE website of China tourism. holds more than 62 percent of its stock rights. is planning listing in United States.