SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Korea Bizwire) —Hyeri, a South Korean actress and former member of the girl group Girls’ Day, recently grabbed headlines when she disclosed an unsettling experience with a foreign airline.
Taking to Instagram on Thursday, Hyeri shared her ordeal: “I had diligently booked my flight a month and a half in advance, securing my seat assignment. However, to my surprise, I was informed at the last moment that there were no first-class seats available, and I was downgraded to economy.”
Expressing her frustration, she continued, “To make matters worse, I received no refund for the downgrade, and they suggested I take a later flight if I was dissatisfied with my seat. What’s more, I had even reserved two seats, so the downgrade applied to both of them.”
Reflecting on the absurdity of the situation, she added, “This has been a truly bewildering experience. I implore all of you to exercise caution when traveling internationally.”
Delta Air Lines, in response to the incident, informed local media that they have “reported the matter to the relevant departments” and are currently “conducting an investigation.”
Prior to this incident, Hyeri had reportedly encountered a distressing incident while attempting to board a flight from Los Angeles (LA) to New York City at 2:19 p.m. local time on Wednesday, as reported by the media.
As shown in the high-profile case, a recent survey reveals that South Korean individuals who encounter issues with online direct international purchases are more likely to experience issues in the realm of services such as accommodations and air travel, as opposed to physical goods.
Conducted on Thursday by the Korea Consumer Agency, the survey gathered responses from 500 individuals who had engaged in online international transactions over the past year. Among them, 10.2 percent (51 respondents) reported having experienced some form of harm.
In terms of the nature of these incidents (with multiple responses allowed), 26 participants indicated receiving a product different from their original order. Another 21 cited mishaps in the delivery process, while 14 individuals encountered difficulties with delayed or denied exchanges, cancellations, or refunds.
Delving into specific online platforms (with multiple responses allowed), AlịExpress emerged as the most common site mentioned (31), followed by Amazon (9). It’s worth noting that AlịExpress exhibited the lowest resolution rate at 61.3 percent.
Interestingly, instances of damage were also observed on domestic e-commerce sites, including 11th Avenue (8 occurrences), Naver Shopping (7 occurrences), and Ballan Auction (3 occurrences each).
When considering transactions related to overseas services like accommodations and flights, the survey encompassed 498 respondents, of which 22.5 percent (112) reported being victims of various issues.
Within the realm of lodging, 73 users reported incidents of payment-related fraud, such as overcharging or unintended double and automatic payments. When broken down as a percentage of users, Booking.com exhibited the highest occurrence rate (28.6 percent), followed by Expedia (20.8 percent) and Airbnb (19.4 percent).
A common problem in the airline sector appeared to be excessive penalties and fees for cancellations and changes, with 39 individuals highlighting this concern. Among the platforms, MyTrip (22.2 percent), Trip.com (18.1 percent), and Expedia (14.5 percent) secured the top positions in terms of negative user experiences.
Furthermore, potential buyers are urged to cross-reference suspected fraud sites or platforms with reported damages listed on the Korea Consumer Agency’s cross-border transaction consumer portal (crossborder.kca.go.kr).
In the event of disputes arising after the purchase of goods or services overseas, consumers have the option to seek consultation through the cross-border transaction consumer portal.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)