ChinaTravelNews - China’s air ticketing sector has long been plagued by irregularities in third-party ticket changes and refunds. Now state-controlled airlines are taking steps to address this issue.
ChinaTravelNews learned on June 12 that China Southern Airlines, Asia’s largest carrier by passenger number, announced an online feature to allow all its domestic tickets (excluding group purchase, mileage redemption and government procurement) to be rescheduled or refunded through the airline’s App or its WeChat Official Account.
The Guangzhou-based airline said in a statement on Tuesday that it will facilitate this feature with a fully automatic process, instant refunds and instant response in flight re-scheduling.
For refunds, China Southern Airlines offers passengers two options: either through the original means the ticket was paid, which will take three working days, or get instant refund by providing a UnionPay card number.
To ensure price transparency in its ticket re-scheduling and refunds, the airlines has also rolled out a price calculator so passengers can check the price and cost for flight changes or cancellation.
Similar steps were also taken last month by Loong Air, a Hangzhou-based regional carrier, which enabled re-scheduling and refunds on all its direct channels including the loongair.cn and the airline’s flagship stores on different online ticketing platforms.
An industry analyst told ChinaTravelNews that China Southern Airlines’ latest move will further regulate third-party air ticketing operation and have the business re-focus on the improvement of service and customer experience.
Chinese carriers including China Southern Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines separately announced in April to ban third-party online seat selection and check-in services.