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Cunning scam sells same seat to two passengers

December 11, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A cunning scam has been reported in which travel agents are colluding with airline staff to sell the same airline seat to two people.

Obviously, only one purchaser gets to sit in the seat. And no – it’s not happening in Australia! Staff at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and crooked travel agents in that country are said to be involved.

It works like this, according to sources at the airline quoted by Pakistan’s Geo TV.

Travel agents sell a confirmed seat to a client. Then dishonest airline staff collude to get someone else aboard the flight and sit them in the same seat.

When the passenger who initially made the reservation reaches the airport, they are told someone else has already used the ticket on another sector so the ticket is void.

“Instead of helping these passengers out, PIA staff urge them to buy new tickets,” the sources added.

The news outlet cited cases of several travellers, including a renowned optician, turning up at airports in Pakistan and being stung in this manner. They usually find themselves forced to buy a new ticket.

Sources explained, “It is impossible to change the flight and sector numbers without the help of PIA staff.”

Since PIA’s central reservation system was moved from Karachi to Islamabad, incidents of fraud have been rising steadily and dozens of similar cases have been reported.

PIA insists it is onto the case and has already suspended three staff over it.

“Investigation against travel agents is under way,” a spokesman added.

Written by Peter Needham

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