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Wednesday , June 16 2021

Fake ticket reservations return to deceive travelers

Number of passengers complains of loss of their money

KUWAIT CITY, July 16: With the upcoming launch of commercial fl ights at Kuwait International Airport from early August, the negative phenomenon of fake reservations has returned with the introduction of new methods to commit fraud and deceit via electronic applications managed from overseas.

A number of passengers complained of loss of their money as a result of fake reservations on websites and electronic apps that attract them through advertisements they posted on various communication sites about reduced prices for tickets and availability of multiple airlines to meet their needs, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to sources, the estimated value of losses due to fake reservations is more than KD five million in the past year. About 80 percent of such cases occur on foreign websites or apps managed from outside the country. Because of this, the authorities operating at the airport are unable to pursue them or take any action other than addressing the Public Authority for Communications and Information Technology to block them.

The sources affirmed the keenness of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to regulate the air transportation market in the country and prohibit the role of intermediaries in the process of reservation and sale of travel tickets if they are not authorized to engage in activities of the air transportation market.

They highlighted a circular that was issued earlier for regulating the sales and marketing of travel tickets in the air transportation market in Kuwait, revealing that the circular stipulates that travel tickets should not be issued at less than the market price without the approval and authorization of the airlines and DGCA prior to the issuance of the tickets.

The sources called on travelers to refrain from booking tickets without confirming the license number of the travel and tourism office or the website through which reservations are made, adding that they need to check for the poster bearing the logo of DGCA, including the serial number, in their advertisements either in newspapers or communication sites.

They stressed that the travelers who were subjected to fraud in the electronic reservation process must visit the Air Transportation Department of Kuwait International Airport and submit an official complaint about their exposure to the fraud so that necessary legal measures can be taken accordingly.

The sources said, “Complaints of this kind increase during the summer. The number of such cases lodged by travelers against some airlines and travel agencies reached about 3,000 last year.”

They highlighted that DGCA has inspection teams for dealing with 450 travel and tourism offices licensed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with the aim of monitoring and closing unlicensed offices with the cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

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