Stranded Indian Medical students in China are being flown home by Air India

Dozens of Indian medical students who have been stranded in China after buying fake air tickets are being flown home, officials from Air India say.

The airline flew 12 of the students back to India on Monday.

Many students returning to India on holiday were left stranded in Beijing and other parts of China after they learnt their tickets were bogus.

Indian papers reported on Monday that the students were allegedly duped by a Bangladeshi travel agent.

The papers said that one of the students had filed a complaint with the Beijing police.

According to a press release by Air India the airline would bring all the students back to India in the next two to three days.

“We have been approached by at least 30 students so far who are being brought back to India on regular flights from Beijing,” said Prasad Rao, spokesman from Air India.

On Sunday Emirates Airways and Malaysian Airlines were reported not to have accepted the students’ e-tickets on the grounds that they were fake. They were prevented from boarding their flights.

Air India says more than 15 students are flying back on Tuesday and a batch of 20 will be put on a flight to India on Wednesday.

Mr Rao said they were giving priority to the stranded students but he said they were helping only those who were coming forward for help.

He clarified that the travel was not free and students were paying $631 (27,000 rupees) each, which is 15% less than the fares charged by other airlines.

Hundreds of Indian students travel to China and Russia to study medicine rather than sit stringent entrance tests in India.

Most of the students were studying in specialized ultrasound school. Being highly demanding carrier, ultrasound school are very much in demand all over the world.

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Bangladeshi Travel Agent duped 154 Indian Medical Students in China

Chinese police have sealed the house of an absconding Bangladeshi agent, accused of duping 154 Indian medical students by selling them fake tickets for flights to India.

Indian embassy officials had requested the police to investigate the case after the students studying in Chongqing, Nanjing and Suzhou medical universities who had booked E-tickets through the agent Mohammed Jabbar Miyan for Emirates and Malaysian airlines were turned back at the airport.

The students, several of whom knew Miyan, were to return home to India for summer vacation to Hyderabad from Shanghai, Chongqing and Suzhou.

They had booked the tickets attracted by cheap fares and transferred the money to the account of Miyan, who is now absconding, sources said. The Bangladesh embassy said there was no record in the Bangladeshi community list to confirm the existence of Miyan.

Sources at the Indian embassy said they have written to the police to investigate the case.

Miyan’s residence had been sealed. The police had also been requested to take measures for freezing the bank accounts of Miyan, they said.

The Emirates and Malaysian airlines had also been contacted seeking information, they said.

A group of students who had booked tickets through the same agent had left but the problem surfaced on July 11 when another batch of 34 was refused boarding pass in shanghai in eastern China by the Emirates airlines whose staff told them that they need to produce credit cards.

The agent had booked the tickets with his card but the money had not reached the emirates airlines. Officials at the Indian embassy and the consulate in shanghai were in touch with the Emirates and Malaysian airlines on the issue.

Air India had been requested to accommodate the students on a priority basis to facilitate the travel of students for vacation after the final exams, they said.

According to sources, out of 154 students, 20 had reached India and nine others managed to get the refund, while the rest are struggling to make the trip and get their money back.

Over 7,000 Indian medical students are studying in Chinese universities.

Adios Paper Ticket!!!!

Come 1st June and paper tickets will gone forever! Airlines all over the world will start issuing E-Tickets only after midnight of 31st May 2008. Well, there is no need to look confused or panic when your travel agent will hand over a piece of printed paper with traveling dates etc printed on it. It is your ticket indeed from right now.

Lost it???????? No problems, it can’t be lost! You can print it yourself even on the airport just before your departure. Change your seating preferences, Order for meal of your choice and print your boarding pass and check-in from your bedroom! Yes, these are the few attractions of E-Ticketing. As for my fellow Travel Agents it is win win situation all the way. Let me show you some figures which can give you an overview of the tremendous cost cut and that will happen to travel agencies all over the world.

Electronic Ticketing benefits versus Paper Tickets – FOR Travel Agencies
Paper Ticket (PT)
Electronic Ticket (ET)

PT – Need for secure premises and provision of a safe, meeting minimum standards.
ET – Could set up as an Electronic Ticket only travel agency thereby removing the minimum requirement for a safe to store paper tickets and thus making accreditation easier.
PT – Deliver paper tickets on time to clients.
ET – Tickets can be issued up to departure time. No need to worry about providing the paper ticket, although there remains a need to provide mandatory notices to the passenger by electronic or other means.
PT – Need for knowledgeable staff to set up Prepaid Ticket Advices and check on ticket process status.
ET – No need to waste valuable time setting up Prepaid Ticket Advices as the tickets can be issued directly.
PT – Couriers or messengers may be needed to deliver tickets to customers thereby incurring additional costs.
ET – Not required any more.
PT – Changes after departure require a close relationship with the airline and the passenger who then must spend time contacting a ticket office to have a ticket changed.
ET – As the coupons are held electronically, the travel agent can perform the changes, exchange or reissue the ticket and make additional collections without requiring the passenger to waste valuable time at an airline’s office, resulting in added value services.
PT – Need for a storage facility for paper agent coupons.
ET – If audit coupons are required they may be stored electronically.
PT – Hardware, such as printers (ATB, OPTAT), needs to be maintained.
ET – Only a plain paper printer is required to print the itinerary/receipt and ticket notices.
PT – Ensure adequate stock in the office.
ET – Not required.
PT – Paper tickets can jam in the printer.
ET – Tickets are issued electronically.
PT – Customer may need to visit the travel agency for changes to their tickets
ET – Customer service is enhanced, productivity is increased and flexibility is added as all transactions can be performed without the customer needing to be present.