Aug 28, 2013

    Budget airlines vary in double-booking policy

    THE Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has found that four major Singapore-based budget airlines have different policies on refunds for duplicate online bookings.

    These involve situations where consumers have made duplicate or double online bookings for the same flight due to human or computer-system error.

    In such instances, consumers could find themselves charged twice or more for the same flight.

    The survey on refund-policy practices was conducted on AirAsia Berhad, Jetstar Asia Airways, Tiger Airways Singapore and Scoot, said Case.

    Of the four airlines, Scoot was found to be the only airline that does not provide refunds for duplicate or double online bookings. However, Scoot told Case that it had implemented various measures to prevent duplicate or double bookings by consumers.

    These include a booking system which prevents consumers from making a second booking with identical parameters within 30 minutes of the first booking.

    In a media statement yesterday, Case president Lim Biow Chuan said the consumer watchdog met Scoot on Jan 28 to request that it "revise (its) no-refund policy for double bookings". He said that Scoot indicated via a letter on Feb 7 that it will review its system.

    From 2010 to last month, Case handled 239 cases - which were filed and assisted - involving the budget-airline industry. Of these cases, about 23 cases involved duplicate or double bookings of flights.

    The other three airlines have measures in place to ensure that the consumer retains his original booking and gets a full refund in such incidents.