Air Ticketing Fraud | Court directs Spicejet Manager to produce data within 15 days or face warrant

A local court here directed Sales Manager of Spice Jet airline to produce the relevant data within next 15 days failing which a warrant against him would be issued in case regarding sale of tickets at inflated prices.

Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar issued a summon against Satyajit Mohapatra, sales Head Spicejet North Sector, regarding the sale of tickets at inflated prices to customers through travel agents, who in connivance with airlines staff create an artificial scarcity of tickets.

The Crime Branch, Kashmir had registered case against the ticketing agents and airlines operating in J&K under various provisions of law.

The action was taken after the Crime Branch Kashmir received complaints from various 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 air lines staff.

The Crime Branch during its investigation found that the officials of various airlines sell group tickets in bulk in the name of passengers who are not members of any group and neither has sought their tickets as group members.

The tickets obtained in advance by the travel agents as group tickets were black-marketed by them at exorbitant prices as individual tickets and airlines staff accept individual as group tickets passengers as group members at the time of check- in, in violation of terms and conditions of air lines for group booking.

During investigation, it transpired that air lines, by selling the bulk tickets in advance to travel agents, create an artificial and imaginary shortage in respect of availability of tickets online for general public, which directly impacts the price index and results in high inflation in the air travel fares.

As per prosecution, the travel agents by acting in furtherance of criminal conspiracy hatched with air lines staff, have been cheating the bonafide passengers and causing loss to the public exchequer by tax evasion with corresponding wrongful gain.