Complaints about foreign airlines rise

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Complaints about foreign airlines rise

Korean travelers complaints about foreign airlines grew much faster than complaints about?domestic ones in?the first half of 2013, according to a Korea Consumer Agency report yesterday.

Complaints about foreign airlines grew 22 percent in the period, while complaints about domestic airlines grew only 13 percent.

The main areas of complaints about foreign airlines were excessive cancellation charges and not getting full refunds, accounting for 42.6 percent of the complaints. Next on the list was delayed and cancelled flights, which accounted for 31.3 percent.

Peach Aviation, a Japanese budget airline, recorded the highest growth rate in complaints after its debut last year. Lufthansa, AirAsia X, KLM, Cebu Pacific Air and Air Canada followed.

The most complaints for a Korean carrier went to budget airline Eastar Jet. The two largest carriers in the nation, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines were not in the top 20 in terms of complaints.

The biggest complaint about Korean airlines that flights were delayed or cancelled.

Foreign carriers are not obligated to have local service centers, which may explain why there are so many complaints about refunds.

“Upon the Fair Trade Commission’s request earlier this year, a major change in our terms and conditions has been made for customers who purchased tickets on our Korean Web site since July 1 in which full refunds are offered with only a service fee deducted,” a Peach Aviation authorized dealer said. “It is too expensive for a budget carrier to open an overseas branch.”

BY kim ji-yoon []
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