Finding cheap flights to travel is easier now more than ever before, butthey also come at a hidden cost. Indeed, discounted tickets also come with a no-refund policy which can be quite annoying when an unexpected turn of events forces us to change our flight. And you do change your flight, cancellation fees skyrocket and ruins our vacation before we’ve even left our apartment.


Luckily, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has recently announced new rules about getting a refund and changing flights.


                                                     Photo credit: the Civil Aviation Administration of China

In an attempt to improve their ticketing service and protect passengers’ rights, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has published their new Notice on improving the work of civil aviation ticketing service which is meant to regulate online travel agencies, airlines and other sales agencies.

Let’s have a look at some of the new policies that are taking place.

Refund and fees

The Notice comes with rules related to 5 aspects of the refund and feesystem.

1. Strictly execute price regulation

Airlines need to mark the price clearly on their official website andapp. All domestic airlines need to mark their price standards for different types of tickets and state their refund policy clearly. During the process of purchasing a ticket, airlines need to inform customers of their standards regarding refunds and changing tickets.


2. Set fair pricing standard

Airlines need to set fair standards for refunds and flight changes. Refund fees cannot be higher than the actual price of the ticket being sold. The Notice asks that airlines set a graduated fee policy and cannot simply refuse a full refund or a request to change for a discounted ticket.


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3. To unify refund and ticket change policies

Airlines should regulate all sales branches to unify their policies on getting refunded and changing flights while making sure that all tickets sold have executed the same policy. If an authorized OTA (Online Travel Agency) has violated the company’s policies, they will be punished accordingly.


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4. Improvement on convenience

All airlines should improve and simplify the refund and flight change procedure by shortening the processing time to get fully refunded. Customers should be able to solve any refund and flight change problems online all at once. At the same time, airlines should provide the necessary service for customers to check fee standards and policies.


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5. Giving travelers the chance to change their flight if they bought the wrong tickets.

Airlines should be tolerant of customers who bought the wrong ticket by mistake, unless the airline can prove otherwise. In the case of a genuine mistake or in more serious scenarios such as an unexpected illness, airlines should proceed with refunding the plane ticket free of charge.


All OTAs and sales branches need to obey by the same rules as the airline company, and are strictly prohibited from charging their customers with additional fees.

If you have encountered any violation mentioned on The Notice, you can visit the website of the Civil Aviation Administration of China by scanning the QR code below.



Welcome to the Civil Aviation Administration’s online consumer complaints mailbox!

Do you have any comments or suggestions on airline and airport services? You can submit them directly through this letter box.

In order to improve the efficiency of our service, please indicate your real name, e-mail address and phone number when prompted to do so in order to help the relevant departments understand your needs and properly deal with the problems you’ve experienced. We cannot move forward with your request without the above-mentioned information.

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Clicking the button at the bottom will lead you to the next page, which will ask you to fill out more detailed information on the case you wish toreport.



The Civil Aviation Administration of China hopes that all airlines and OTAs can comply with their new policies and regulate themselves. Failure to do so will result in punishments.