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Cheap tickets harm consumers and airlines

(People's Daily Online)

16:30, July 11, 2012

(Photo from caacnews.com.cn)

Edited and translated by Ma Xi and Liang Jun, People's Daily Online

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 Ctcnn.com 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 Qunar.com, 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 ctirp.com, elong.com, mangocity.com, 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 Qunar.com, 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.

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Read the Chinese version: 对违规低价机票说“不”

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