Chinese Cheats Play Plane Ticket Tricks as Trump Trashes Turkish Lira
Ben Armour
/SOURCE : Yicai

(Yicai Global) Aug. 31 -- If one bought a ticket on the international website of Ctrip.Com International, paid in Turkish lira, then went to China Southern Airlines app to refund the ticket, this generated a profit of about 17 percent, according to online reports. Thus, a CNY100 (USD14.50) payment for a plane ticket in Turkish lira yielded a refund of about CNY117 (USD17). 

Turkey's currency plunged as much as 17 percent against the dollar Aug. 10 after US President Donald Trump recently threatened to double the tax on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. Ctrip, which accepts the most forms of payment, was the natural venue to ply this artful dodge. The company has an international website and app that serve travelers all over the world and takes payment in  20-plus currencies.

A ticket refunded on Ctrip's website would yield the same amount back in the currency paid, but one from an airline offered a chance to profit. China Southern Airlines started a new ticket refund policy in June letting one be refunded on the carrier's app or its account on Tencent Group Holding's WeChat messaging and payment app, whether it was bought from an agency outlet or platform. The airline has strict risk controls for large refunds, it told Yicai Global, so if the same person cancels many times and total refunds reach a set sum, an alarm triggers freezes orders, and even blacklists the offender. However, it is hard for the airline to discover this dodge if several players seasoned in the ticket business by using different aliases. Yicai Global checked Ctrip's website Aug. 13 and found payment in lira was no longer available. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ...

Follow Yicai Global on