Thu, Nov 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Discounted tickets to be offered for off-peak flights

‘FAT CAT’ TROUGH?Discounts would range between 30% and 50%. Meanwhile, Taoyuan International Airport Corp was criticized over plans to start a security firm

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said domestic airlines would offer discounted tickets during off-peak hour flights, with discounts ranging between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Earlier this year, the administration announced that domestic airfares would rise on Jan. 1 next year due to rises in the cost of aviation fuel. It also announced some complementary measures to reduce the impact of the price increases on consumers.

One of them was to give consumers discounts on tickets if they choose to board the flights during off-peak hours, including flights departing before the peak hours of 9am to 11am and those departing after the peak hours of 2pm to 5pm.

CAA Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) said the agency has asked domestic airlines to offer discounted airfares for flights departing during off-peak hours.

The number of discounted tickets would account for at least 20 percent of the total, she said.

Shen also said that domestic carriers are scheduled to unveil their new ticketing schemes on Dec. 1.

Meanwhile, the administration said that it is considering raising the processing fee if the consumers need to get a refund on discounted tickets.

Currently, consumers are charged only 10 percent of the ticket price as a processing fee for ticket refunds.

When the discounted tickets become available, the processing fee would be raised to 30 percent if the ticket is refunded before the flight takes off and to 50 percent if the refund occurs after the flight departs.

The CAA also plans to shorten the time allowed to refund the ticket from one year after the scheduled departure date to one month, adding that these changes must be approved by the Consumer Protection Commission.

In other developments, lawmakers at the legislature’s Transportation Committee meeting yesterday criticized the Taoyuan International Airport Corp’s plan to establish a security firm to ensure safety at the airport, adding that it is nothing more than a method to feed “fat cats.”

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said that the airport has 30 million arrivals per year. He said that the airport company had tried to hire guards from private security firms, but they cannot offer the specific services required at the airport.

Yeh said other airports around the world also had their own firms to provide airport security.

Company chairman Yin Chen-pong (尹承蓬) said that the government has reduced personnel for the aviation police and the substitute military service, and an airport security firm could solve the problem.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that the airport should address the labor shortage, but the company only needs to establish a security department, rather than a firm.

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