Travel agents to down shutters over exploitative airfares

May 06 2013, 15:44 IST
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As many as 3,000 travel agents owing allegiance to TAAI have voluntarily decided to keep shutters down. (AP) As many as 3,000 travel agents owing allegiance to TAAI have voluntarily decided to keep shutters down. (AP)
SummaryTAAI says it does not want consumers to be exploited.

Booking an air ticket on Tuesday is likely to be tough, as thousands of travel agents have decided to shut business for a day to protest lack of transparency in airfares.

"We demand transparency in airfare by the airlines. We also want the government to regulate airline fares so that the consumers are not exploited," Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) president Iqbal Mulla said.

As many as 3,000 travel agents owing allegiance to TAAI have voluntarily decided to keep shutters down to protest airlines' certain "unethical business practices" and also press for these demands, Mulla said.

"TAAI members contribute about 40 per cent to the airline bookings," he said.

Alleging that both the domestic and overseas carriers have adopted unethical practices which are against the interest of passengers, Mulla said: "We urge the government to take serious note of it and initiate action."

Besides, the association has also demanded that the airlines should not be allowed to charge separately for various services like serving tea, sandwich, insurance, preferred seat, change of dates among others and all these services should be included in the ticket price.

The Aviation Ministry last week had said it would allow airlines to unbundle charges for different services such as preferential seating, meals, snacks, drinks (except drinking water) and baggage.

The Ministry had, in 2011, barred airlines from charging extras for preferential seating, prompting low-fare carrier IndiGo and others to include this in a "special services" category.

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