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March 5, 2014

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Fliers told to be wary of online air-ticket agents

A BUDGET airline has warned consumers against buying tickets from unauthorized agents on the Internet.

A number of agents advertise available seats via popular ticket booking websites such as, the Shanghai-based Spring Airlines said yesterday.

But despite claims that the tickets are cheap, in many cases they are more expensive than those sold by the airlines, it said.

The markup can be several hundred yuan, a press officer with the budget airline said.

“Spring Airlines has asked the third-party websites to block such agents,” he said, adding that the company will consider taking legal action if necessary.

According to a press officer with Spring Airlines, a passenger surnamed Wang in October bought a ticket from an agent on for a flight from Shanghai to Guilin in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

“He paid 971 yuan (US$158) for his seat when the price on the airline’s official website was just 470 yuan,” the press officer said.

Also, the discounted tickets do not allow for refunds, flight changes or cancellations, he said.

Shanghai Quanhang Business Consulting Co, the agent behind Wang’s overpriced ticket, has since been blacklisted by The website has also embarked on a complete review of all ticket agents, it said in a statement yesterday.

As well as Spring Airlines, China Eastern, Air China and China Southern have complained about unauthorized agents, several of whom offered overpriced tickets on flights during the recent Spring Festival holiday, the China Air Transport Association said.

While China’s Criminal Law prohibits the resale of train tickets, there are currently no rules blocking air ticket sales, an official with the association said.


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