Man shares experience of being scammed by ticketing agent for Australia flight

A man who doesn’t want to be named shared his experience where he felt cheated by a ticketing agent in Thimphu. He declined to name the agency, but he has communication proof.

 He paid around Nu 88,000 in total for a ticket for his niece traveling to Australia for her studies, with the expectation that she would fly in a proper airline with transit facility, but he later found out that the agent booked his niece in a budget airline which costs Nu 40,000 and so the agent made a profit of Nu 44,000 plus which is more than a 100 percent profit margin.

He said he booked his niece’s ticket through one of the ticketing agents in Thimphu, and he made it clear that he wants a transit flight as his niece was traveling outside for the first time.

He said, “I didn’t want my niece to have a difficult time traveling alone. I was promised that the ticket was booked in Singapore Airline which is considered to be one of the best airlines. I was satisfied because the staff and crew in that flight would guide the passengers and it is well managed.”

He further said that he got the ticket in two days, however, he had that uneasy feeling whereby he could sense something was copy pasted in the e-copy ticket. He was doubtful and cross checked the ticket online. He could not trace the detail of his niece’s ticket through the number provided in the ticket.

He called the agent and later on he found out that the flight that his niece is supposed to travel in is a budget airline and not Singapore Airline.

“That airline is a budget airline which does not have any facility and is not a transit flight. Had I not known this at the right time, my niece would have had difficult time. Moreover, she would need visa to check-in and check-out in the airport in the Bangkok,” he added.

He said he would do the booking himself and asked the agent to refund the money, but the agent again insisted to do it himself. The agent again changed the flight promising a smooth flight. And this time there was an issue of layover or waiting time where his niece has to wait in Bangkok Airport for 27 hours which is not permitted as per the international rule, he added.

He said, “The agent said they would manage but on the day of the journey I got a call from Paro Airport stating that the booked flight is not a transit flight. I got annoyed. I asked them to keep my niece in the airport.”

The agent again insisted on him to let his niece board promising she would be guided throughout her journey. His niece somehow got there safely with a help of staff and crew.

“This is the issue at the moment, there is no proper planning because they do not seem to know international rules. They are basically after profit and not the safety of fellow Bhutanese. Like me, there could be many others who have had the same issue,” he added.

“It is a must that the agent should know the international rules. Instead of helping each other, they are after profit. It would also be nice if the trade department can really enquire if they know the international airlines regulations before issuing them the license. My story telling is to save people from getting into such scams,” he said.

 Meanwhile, a Proprietor of an unrelated ticketing agency said that the claim might be true, but to their best knowledge, they have not sent anyone in the budget airlines so far. There are cases of agents asking for advance payment before booking a ticket.

He said, “We ensure that our customers are given best of the service. Knowing the fact that many of the travelers are new to traveling via air, we make sure that they are well informed about the flight and the process.”

So far, he said that they have not come across any issues or complaints and that they have all booked tickets in the transit flights and not a budget flight.

Another Proprietor of a ticketing agency said that they are not aware of such issues so far, nevertheless, in order to ensure safety and convenience of the passenger they seek for a written email from the respective airlines giving details of the flight including the clarity on if the flight is transit.

“There has been changes in the regulation in recent times. Usually, tickets are booked one month or more prior to the journey and there are issues of changing everything at a last moment. That is when the passengers face issues getting burdened,” he added.

However, another proprietor said that they have come across people coming to his agency complaining about them being deceived by others wherein though they have booked a ticket for a transit flight they end up getting budget flight which does not have a transit system.

Keeping those in mind, she said, “We give a clear information of the flight. However, sometimes there are situations whereby a booked transit flight turns out to be non-transit flight at the last moment. In this case, how do we react and who do we blame.”

She said there are new agents who actually are not aware of the regulations and condition of the flights. May be that is why such issues are coming up with time, she said, adding that it is high time everything should be monitored.

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One comment

  1. Agents must informed thier clients on full journey schedule and transit details before they make booking. Every clients should understand as most of them are taking first time flight

    Client too also have to make full inquiry about flight schedule and layover time before they make payment. Need to ask atleast 2 to 3 agents and compare rates of the flight.

    Sad to hear the difficulties faced. But, dear clients never select low budget airlines as we never recommand untill they insist us.

    As i too being from ticketing agents, we understand the sitaution. Choose reliable agents where you are informed all details of your journey.

    Thank you

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