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Crime Branch registers case: ‘Bulk booking: Airline staff, agents fleecing passengers’


Srinagar, Feb 8: Crime Branch Kashmir (CBK) has registered a case against airliners and ticketing agents for resorting to black marketing of tickets after booking them in advance in bulk and creating imaginary shortage in the market.
A spokesperson of CBK said a case was registered against ticketing agents/Airliners operating in J&K, punishable offences U/S 420, 468, 471, 409 r/w section 120-B IPC.
Crime Branch Kashmir, the spokesperson said, received complaints by different travel associations and trade bodies through Director Tourism Kashmir regarding alleged sale of air tickets by various travel agents on highly exorbitant rates by acting in league with airlines staff.
On receipt of these complaints, an enquiry was initiated at Police Station CBK which revealed that the officials of various airliners sell group tickets in bulk in the name of passengers who are not members of any group and have not sought their tickets as group members.
“The tickets obtained in advance by the travel agents as group tickets are black marketed by them at exorbitant prices as individual tickets and airliners staff accept individual as group tickets passengers as group members at the time of check-in, in violation of the terms and conditions of airliners for group booking,” the spokesperson said.
“This apart, it has transpired that airliners by selling the bulk tickets in advance to travel agents, create an artificial/imaginary shortage in respect of availability of tickets online for general public which directly has impact upon the price index and results in high inflation in the air travel fares and paving way for fleecing of general public by travel agents,” he added.
“Thus the travel agents, by acting in furtherance of criminal conspiracy hatched with airlines staff, have been cheating the bonafide passengers and causing loss to the public exchequer by tax evasion with corresponding wrongful gain to themselves,” the CBK spokesperson said.