|Analysis Conducted on Airlines Regarding Redress Requests made by Consumers|
Analysis Conducted on Airlines Regarding Redress Requests made by Consumers
Amid the increasing numbers of consumers traveling overseas, consumer losses have been increasing each year as well. The Korea Consumer Agency (www.kca.go.kr) analyzed the losses and damages related to airline services registered between January 2014 and September 2015 per airline.
A total of 1,179 cases were registered regarding redress for damages sustained while flying overseas. Foreign airlines accounted for 63.4% (748 cases) of them and Korean-owned airlines accounted for 36.6% (431 cases).
▶The foreign airline of AirAsia Zest accounted for the greatest number of redress requests for consumer complaints relative to the number of their passengers among both domestic and foreign airlines.
(Korean Carriers) JejuAir were most frequently reported per 100,000 passengers among the seven Korean airlines with 0.64 cases, followed by Estarjet (0.57 cases), and Jin Air (0.48 cases). All Korean-owned airlines had less than 1 case per 100,000 passengers.
(Foreign Airlines) Foreign airline-related redress registrations relative to the number of passengers were much higher than their Korean counterparts. AirAsia Zest topped the list with 21.86 cases, followed by AirAsia X with 16.36 cases, and Garuda Indonesia with 9.42 cases. In particular, AirAsia Zest had the most redress requests registered relative to the number of passengers.
▶ “Unreasonable cancellation fees demanded/cancellation denied,” “flight cancelled/delayed” top the list of damage types
A look at the consumer losses/damage types show that 45.2% (533 cases) was “unreasonably high cancellation fees demanded/refund denied,” while 35.0% (413 cases) accounted for “flight denied/delayed.” Other complaints consisted of 7.0% (82 cases) of “losing/damaging luggage” and 3.6% (42 cases) were “failure to board due to lack of transit and boarding information provision.”
▶ Only 40.5% of airline-related disputes reach agreement
In this analysis period only 40.5% (478 cases) of such cases reached agreement by the airline’s acceptance of the KCA’s recommendation to reach agreement on contract cancellation, reimbursement, and refunds by the airline. This is, however a 10.4%p increase from the previous analysis period (Jan 2013-Sep 2014), which indicates that airlines are being more proactive in compensating consumers for losses/damages.
▶ Agreements mostly comprise of refund of ticket price and reimbursement for lost items
The types of measures taken in the 478 cases where agreement was reached consisted of refunds (56.1%), followed by reimbursement of lost items etc., (29.1%) implementing contracts (3.6%) including accrual of omitted mileage, and repair/maintenance of damaged luggage (2.1%).
The KCA has asked in order to prevent consumer losses/damages while traveling on airlines the following: ▲ To carefully check all items of the contract details before purchase, since airlines have differing policies regarding cancellation. In particular, special discount tickets are often denied refunds on grounds of internal regulations; ▲ Not to fly on tight schedules as airlines are often not held liable for delays and cancellation of flights due to inclement weather conditions or airport issues; ▲ To secure evidence of checked luggage and delayed flights at the relevant airport which can confirm there were losses/damages incurred as effective redress may be difficult depending on the airline in cases of flight delay/cancellations and luggage issues.
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