Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Indian, Pakistani expatriates cry foul over hiked up air fares from the UAE

Dubai: Several Indian and Pakistani expats in the UAE claim that prices of air tickets have shot up in the wake of the huge demand for repatriation, despite alerts issued by various airlines.
One Indian resident said a one-way ticket from Dubai to Mumbai cost him as much as Dh1,500 when it should have come up to just half the amount.
Another traveller, Bharath M, also paid a similar amount for a ticket to Mumbai. He said it was way too high but he had no choice but to pay.
India’s national carrier Air India, which has warned travellers against this trend, said in a tweet on Sunday: “Cases of overcharging by travel agents have been reported. Seats are available for various destinations. If you face overcharging, do email us on”
In a statement to Gulf News, P.G. Prageesh, Chief of Corporate Communications of Air India Express, urged passengers taking repatriation flights to do their due diligence and check the authenticity of the travel agents they deal with.
“We request all passengers to visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we share a lot of real time information for the benefit of our passengers on these platforms. In order to avoid any confusion, we keep updating our website and blog page as well as social media channels with repatriation schedule and fares.”
Punit Shah, general manager of a Dubai-based travel agency, City One Tourism & Travel, said the case is particularly accentuated when the airline does not have seats listed on the global distribution system (GDS) for multiple agents to sell their tickets.
“What happens here is that only a handful of agents tends to handle the ticket sales for destinations of these airlines, thereby they are likely to hike rates according to the demand. It would help if all airlines list their seats under the GDS so there is a broad network of agents selling tickets. The margins can be kept really low in this respect.”
04/08/20 Anjana Kumar/Gulf News
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