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


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

Hien, from Hanoi, mentioned 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 mates to fly there from Singapore.

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

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

Hung’s group reached the Changi Airport and did some buying and sightseeing earlier than continuing to test 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.

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“At first, the airline wished us to ensure that 11 individuals would go and 11 individuals 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 in the long run, they nonetheless didn’t permit us to fly,” Hung mentioned, including that another passengers from Thailand or Indonesia additionally had their tickets canceled.

Unable to e book a lodge in the midst 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 extra prices. We had spent a lot time getting ready our paperwork, however there was no official announcement from the airline or immigration authorities in each Vietnsm and South Korea,” mentioned Hong Duc, 28, one of many 11 vacationers.

Hung mentioned the sudden, unexplained ticket cancellations compelled 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 mentioned 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” resulting from a number of circumstances of denied entry, the rep mentioned.

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

Jeju Island has executed a visa exemption coverage for vacationers for years, together with for Vietnamese vacationers, with sure circumstances like flying on chartered flights or transiting by a 3rd nation. As Scoot Airways operates direct flights to Jeju, many Vietnamese selected this airline to transit by 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 nevertheless, have taken benefit of visa exemption insurance policies to overstay.


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