A disgruntled passenger complained to a Chinese media outlet about purchasing fake airline tickets from one of China’s leading online travel agencies, Qunar.com, Shanghai-based newspaper The Paper reported on Thursday.
The passenger, referred to by the surname Zhang, told the newspaper that he bought a round-trip Air Canada ticket from Shanghai to Toronto from Qunar. Although he received a confirmation from the site, he was told by Air Canada that his ticket was not valid. Zhang then followed up with Qunar, who said that this was due to an error on the part of its supplier, a travel agent. Not satisfied, Zhang insists that Qunar is lacking regulation and inspection of its travel agents, who issue passengers tickets from airlines.
This is one of several recent incidents in which prominent travel platforms like Qunar and Chinese largest travel website Ctrip have been accused of selling invalid tickets to consumers. Last week, Ctrip had to publish a statement responding to a similar issue.
The two online rivals merged back in October, one of the biggest M&A deals in the Chinese tech industry in 2015. Ctrip acquired Qunar and formed a new entity with a valuation of USD 15.6 billion. Qunar’s CEO Zhuang Chenchao and CTO David Wu resigned from the company earlier in January.
Many Chinese airlines including China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Air China have boycotted Qunar as of early January, citing concerns about the platform’s online sales procedure. Air China posted a statement on January 4 that it has received complaints from passengers saying that Qunar.com arbitrarily raises the price of air tickets, alters the terms and conditions of ticket use, adds fees for ticket changes & refunds and fails to notify them about flight changes.
The Paper also reported that Qunar has launched an investigation into the matter and has initiated a better regulatory system.