Airline cancels Vietnamese vacationers’ tickets to South Korea’s Jeju Island

Airline cancels Vietnamese tourists' tickets to South Korea's Jeju Island

Vacationers go to Jeju Island in South Korea, 2020. Picture by Reuters

A number of Vietnamese vacationers flying from Singapore to South Korea’s Jeju Island on Scoot Airways had their tickets canceled saying they’d no visa.

Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, 34 and her pals had their tickets from Singapore to Jeju Island canceled on August 9 as a result of they didn’t have visas. The island, nonetheless, has a visa exemption coverage for vacationers.

Hien, from Hanoi, stated she’d already visited Jeju again in 2018 below the visa exemption coverage and wasn’t conscious that it had modified when she booked the tickets for her and her pals to fly there from Singapore.

“Once we received to the Changi Airport for check-in procedures, an worker informed us to debate the difficulty with the airline. A consultant of Scoot Airways stated Vietnamese, Thai, Mongolians and other people from sure different nations would not be capable to enter Jeju Island below the visa exemption coverage. The airline stated it will refund our tickets,” Hien stated.

Vu Quoc Hung, 31, who had booked tickets with 11 different Vietnamese to fly from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to Jeju on August 11 by way of Singapore, had the identical expertise.

Hung’s group reached the Changi Airport and did some procuring and sightseeing earlier than continuing to examine in for the Jeju flight. That was when a consultant of Scoot Airways knowledgeable them that their tickets had been canceled. Hung was the one one allowed to fly as a result of he had a visa.

“At first, the airline wished us to ensure that 11 folks would go and 11 folks would return. We must pay $10,000 for every lacking particular person. I agreed as a result of I had confidence within the vacationer background checking course of. However ultimately, they nonetheless didn’t enable us to fly,” Hung stated, including that another passengers from Thailand or Indonesia additionally had their tickets canceled.

Unable to guide a lodge in the course of the evening, the group of 11 vacationers needed to sleep on the airport.

“For practically 24 hours, we needed to sleep within the foyer. Everybody was drained as a result of our plan had failed and there have been further prices. We had spent a lot time making ready our paperwork, however there was no official announcement from the airline or immigration authorities in each Vietnam and South Korea,” stated Hong Duc, 28, one of many 11 vacationers.

Hung stated the sudden, unexplained ticket cancellations pressured his firm to compensate clients to the tune of VND100 million ($4,274), together with ticket charges, Covid-19 testing charges, insurance coverage charges lodge reserving charges, amongst others.

A consultant of the Korea Tourism Group (KTO) in Vietnam stated Jeju Island nonetheless retains its visa exemption coverage for Vietnamese vacationers. Relating to Scoot Airways not permitting Vietnamese vacationers to fly to the island, it might need been the airline’s personal measure for “price mitigation” as a consequence of a number of instances of denied entry, the rep stated.

Scoot Airways has but to make an official announcement on the difficulty, solely saying all canceled tickets can be refunded inside two weeks.

Jeju Island has executed a visa exemption coverage for vacationers for years, together with for Vietnamese vacationers, with sure situations like flying on chartered flights or transiting by means of a 3rd nation. As Scoot Airways operates direct flights to Jeju, many Vietnamese selected this airline to transit by means of Singapore with out the necessity for a visa.

Since South Korea reopened its tourism post-Covid, the variety of guests to Jeju Island, a preferred vacationer vacation spot, has markedly elevated. Many nonetheless, have taken benefit of visa exemption insurance policies to overstay.