Anticipating the difficulties in booking air tickets for Tet, Duong Van Quang already decided to book his flight from Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City) to Da Nang several days ago. However, he was told by the booking agent that no ticket was available for this route. Quang decided to book standby tickets, hoping that someone would cancel their bookings. Finally, Quang was informed that there were two seats reserved for him.
However, that meant that Quang could only book two tickets for his wife and himself, while there was no ticket for his 1.5-year-old sonHe has no other choice now than waiting.
Le Quynh Nhu, who lives in Thanh Tri District in Hanoi, related that she has been accessing the websites of Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific regularly over the past month to book tickets for her parents. However, there are no seats available on any flights.
Nhu has been told that she still can buy air tickets, if she agrees to pay more money, about several hundreds of thousands dong more than the original prices. She has been warned that if she does not make a decision right now, she will not be able to buy any tickets later, as more and more people hunt for tickets.
An officer at a booking agent of Vietnam Airlines said that in the past month, many people have called to book tickets, but only 30 percent of them managed to do so, while others had to book standby tickets.
Meanwhile, a representative of Vietnam Airlines has reassured the public that many tickets for Tet flights have not been marketed, and only the flights of its regularschedule have run out of tickets. In principle, the airline always has additional flights to serve the increasing demand on Tet. It is expected that the airline will only begin selling tickets for additional flights by the end of November.
The representative said that at least several thousands of tickets per day on popular routes have not been marketed. He has advised passengers to book standby tickets as soon as possible. According to Hoa, an experienced officer of Vietnam Airlines, 70-80 percent of passengers have booked? standby tickets at this moment
Truong Thanh Vu, Commercial Director of Air Mekong, said the airline has not sold tickets for Tet flights yet. Vu said that the airline is considering increasing the flights on less popular air routes, because big airlines (Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific) offer more flights on Tet days already.
To date, only Jetstar Pacific has begun selling tickets for additional flights on Tet holiday, while the tickets for peak days from December 25 to January 6 of the Lunar Year have nearly been sold out.
Explaining the shortage of tickets for children, representative of Vietnam Airlines said that under the current regulations on flight safety, the number of children under two years old must not be higher than 5-30 per flight.
Truong Thanh Vu said that though the the demand is always higher at Tet time, private airlines are not really interested in increasing the number of flights during the holiday, because chartering more aircrafts to serve the demand in one-month Tet holiday will not bring profit.