Business | General

CPD receives complaints against national and international airlines

Customers have the right to complain about unjustified hikes in ticket prices

  • By Shehab Al Makahleh and Iman Sherif Staff Reporters
  • Published: 00:00 July 11, 2012
  • Gulf News

Passengers wait at the Dubai airport terminal
  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Passengers wait at the Dubai airport terminal. The Consumer Protection Department has received dozens of complaints against airlines on a range of issues.

Abu Dhabi: The Consumer Protection Department (CPD) at the Ministry of Economy started receiving complaints yesterday about clients’ disputes with national and international airlines, the ministry said.

The CPD’s intervention came as result of some disputes between passengers and airline companies, Dr Hashem Al Nuaimi told Gulf News over the phone, asking customers to complain to the CPD if they experience any fraud, deception or unjustified hikes in ticket prices by airline companies and travel agents.

“This is in line with Consumer Protection Law No 24 of 2006 which was issued on August 28, 2006, and was issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The law calls for the setting up of the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection under the chairmanship of the UAE Minister of Economy. Law No 24 of 2006 reaffirms Federal Law No 18 of 1981 and its amendments which deal with guarantees given by commercial agents, distributors, and producers on their products,” said Al Nuaimi.

“The ministry tries to solve the conflict in an amicable manner as a first step before reporting it to a special committee to solve the problem with airline companies. If the issue remains unsolved, then it is reported to the court,” he explained.

“We have received dozens of complaints from citizens and residents against some airlines in less than a month and have found solutions for these complaints,” added Al Nuaimi.

“These complaints are about ticket prices as the airlines have increased their prices to a great extent. The other issues are loss of luggage, cancellation or postponement of flights without informing passengers in advance, change in ticket prices and poor service on the aircraft, among others,” Al Nuaimi explained.

“The CPD has recently received complaints from clients who booked and partially paid for their flights on a certain airline to the USA. The ticket price was Dh6,500 and it was agreed to by both parties on this price. However, when the clients went to the airline to pay the remaining amount, they found the company was asking them to pay Dh16,000 instead of Dh6,500 under the pretext that there was a new price list from the USA,” said Al Nuaimi.

“We have forced the company to respect its deal with the clients and to abide by the agreement based on the older price of the ticket,” said Al Nuaimi.

The CPD has forced an airline company to pay financial compensation to a passenger who lost his bag on a trip on a local airline heading to an Asian country, he pointed out.

A travel agent, who declined to be named, told Gulf News ticket prices hike in summer due to the holiday season.

“Why not look at it from another point of view. When tickets are very low, no one complains. This is the peak season for us as agents and airlines. We do good business during this season and the demand pushes ticket prices up,” he explained.

 

 

Comments (3)

  1. Added 15:37 July 11, 2012

    I would recommend that the authorities start monitoring the ticket prices during the period from April - Sept. Try to book a ticket to Kochi, India in April and you can get a return ticket for Dhs 1000, if your dates of travel fall between July - Sept . As months progress, the rates increase and once it crosses over to June, the price shoots upto Dhs 3000+. For families with kids who have no other long holidays except the summer holidays, this is a punishment which they suffer in silence, year after year after year. And you find the so-called "Economy" flights charging just as much as the regular airlines. And no matter how many new companies start flying in the Dubai-Kochi sector the story is pretty much the same every year. I wish the control measures as promised will really out into practice atleast next year!

    Laxmi Nair, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:01 July 11, 2012

    I came to Dubai 27 years back and i am GN reader from my school days until today, nowasdays GN is taking up these kind of social news which effect normal man's life unlike earlier only reporting on war and other international news which may or may not effect everyone's life. if you compare the peak and non-peak season fares(especially to asian counteries/!!!south india!!!) During non peak the rates would be AED 500 TO 600 and peak season it is AED 1500?? how can we justify?? All of us do not own a gold or diamond quary to dig cash.!! Government or IATA should control this practice??earlier AIRLINE BUSINESS was like a kind of service to passengers...

    Shibu Appukuttan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:45 July 11, 2012

    I appreciate the initiative from the authorities to monitor the price hikes of airlines and to address the concerns of passengers.How ever it would hee been more helpful if such information was published before the start of school vacation. This year, taking into account the 58 days made up strike by Indian Pilots of Air India, ll other airlines have taken advangae of the demand and hiked the fares by more than 5 times. This was day light robbery and expoiltation of the unavoidable requirements of parents with school going children to take vacation during holidays.

    Praveen Raj, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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