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Airline Price Hike on Snowy Days Denounced

Tehran Mehrabad International Airport - Photo Hamidreza JafariTehran Mehrabad International Airport - Photo Hamidreza Jafari

The recent climatic conditions led to the cancellation of many flights while the price of available air tickets were hiked by up to three times.

According to a report by ISNA, the routes connecting Tehran to southern cities, including Bandar Abbas and Kish Island, saw the biggest rise in ticket fare.

Kish-Tehran tickets, which normally cost between 1.5 million and 2.8 million rials ($33-61), were sold at 7-8 million rials ($153-174) on Monday.

Tickets for flights from Bandar Abbas to Tehran, although suspended at the time, were on sale at 5-6 million rials ($109-131) while the usual price is maximum 3 million rials ($66).

The price of Isfahan-Tehran tickets jumped from 1-1.9 million rials ($22-42) to 4 million rials ($86) and the cost of routes to and from Ahvaz more than doubled to 5 million rials ($109). The regular ticket price for the route is at most 2 million rials ($44).

Flights to Mashhad and Shiraz also saw considerable increases.

Hormatollah Rafiei, the head of Travel Agents' Guild Association, confirmed the rise in air ticket price and criticized the opportunistic approach of airlines and travel agencies.

"It is not possible to determine whether the overcharge is being exercised by airlines or travel agents, but we have sent an injunction to all agencies to avoid selling tickets at prices higher than the approved rates and also appealed to Iran Civil Aviation Organization to lift the surcharge under the present circumstances," he said.

The official advised people not to cancel their tickets because airlines are duty-bound to fly their passengers to the destinations.

"Based on regulations, in case of cancellation for climatic conditions, airlines are not only obliged to fly their passengers to destinations at the earliest opportunity with the same ticket, but also to pay for their hotel stay, food and any other extra expenses," he said, urging the companies to refrain from tripling ticket prices if they do not fulfill their duties.

Many people, who were not aware of their rights, canceled their tickets and tried to purchase a new one but faced higher prices.

In such a situation, not only airlines do not inform their customers of the regulations but expect customers to cancel their tickets so that they can sell them new ones at inflated prices.

Rafiei referred to this behavior as "inappropriate, unethical and non-professional".

"At difficult times, we must come to each other's aid instead of imposing greater hardship by seeking extortionate prices," he said.

 

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