The disadvantages of depriving airlines of the right to cancel return tickets are named

The disadvantages of depriving airlines of the right to cancel return tickets are named


Experts: the authorities’ idea could lead to higher prices for air travel

On Tuesday, April 2, deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation appealed to the Ministry of Transport with a request to prohibit airlines from automatically canceling return tickets of passengers. Today, a number of Russian airlines have a rule when the carrier cancels a passenger’s return flight if the first flight does not take off. However, tickets can be saved if you notify the airline before check-in for the first flight closes.

Aviation industry experts explained the pitfalls of the parliamentary initiative.

It is important to study the contract of carriage

The authors of the initiative are convinced that passengers who purchase a round-trip air ticket, if they are late, often do not refuse the trip and buy another “there” ticket. At the same time, they will learn about the automatic cancellation of the return flight at the airport, without prior information.

There have been reports in a number of media outlets that Aeroflot is not informing passengers about the cancellation. But when booking and purchasing tickets on the airline’s website, passengers must confirm that they have read and agreed to the rules of transportation. It is impossible to issue a ticket without checking the corresponding box. In addition, the company operates a hotline for late passengers, where you can get detailed information.

It is important to note that the practice of automatically canceling return tickets operates in most Russian airlines within the framework of current legislation. Federal aviation regulations allow carriers to cancel remaining tickets in case of no-show for the first flight without notifying the passenger, in accordance with paragraph 27 of FAP-82. Moreover, if the passenger notifies the airline in time about the desire to keep the return ticket, cancellation will not occur. It is worth remembering that the contract of carriage is an important document that every passenger must study.

What is the negative impact on the industry?

According to industry experts, the initiative adopted by the Ministry of Transport may negatively affect the passenger air transportation market. “By maintaining these tickets, airlines will be able to sell fewer additional seats, and this will either end with the tickets being more expensive, or, rather, with the airlines engaging in more overbooking. For example, now it exists due to the fact that some passengers, according to statistics, do not show up for the flight, and now the airlines will be forced to keep these reservations, then there will be dissatisfied passengers who, because of this, at some point will not go anywhere they can fly away,” explains Ilya Zotov, deputy chairman of the public council under the Ministry of Transport.

“If you prohibit airlines from automatically canceling subsequent segments, then reservations will “hang” and carriers will not be able to re-sell seats that no one will definitely fly on (after all, not everyone needs to save these segments). And this will lead either to an increase in ticket prices or to overbooking,” said Ilya Shatilin, editor-in-chief of the portal.

A round-trip ticket is a single product

Airlines view a round-trip ticket not as two separate flights, but as one integrated product. According to this logic, non-use of a part of the product is perceived by the carrier as a complete refusal of it.

Shatilin explained that a round-trip ticket can often cost less than two one-way tickets and even cheaper than one one-way ticket. “At the same time, until relatively recently, all air tickets were refundable, and it was possible to return money for unused segments (and now some airlines still refund not the fare, but the fees for them). Automatic cancellation in case of no-show made it possible to prevent mass abuse of these features,” the expert continued.

Prohibiting automatic cancellation of subsequent segments of air tickets will result in them getting stuck in the reservation system. As a result, airlines will not be able to resell empty seats on planes, which will likely have a direct impact on prices.


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