Travellers lose Sh4bn in expired KQ tickets

Travellers lose Sh4bn in expired KQ tickets

Kenya Airways’ #ticker:KQ customers lost Sh4.48 billion last year after they failed to show up for their flights, leaving them with expired tickets.

The value of the expired tickets have been disclosed in the airline’s latest annual report.

KQ, as the carrier is known by its international code, books revenue from ticket sales whether customers fly or leave the tickets to expire.

Clients who cancel their flights can get credit – representing a discount on the cost of the ticket— which they can use within one year.

Myriad lockdowns and travel restrictions have been a major reason many people have missed or snubbed their flights since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The expired tickets represent the biggest losses suffered by consumers in buying goods and services from one company. Telecommunications operators like Safaricom also have billions of shillings of unutilised loyalty points but they do not expire.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM previously sold airtime with expiry dates but later changed its billing system to allow customers to choose between expiring and non-expiring purchases, with those opting for the former also likely to utilise the resources within the set timeframe.

Losses for KQ customers would have been higher had the airline not made a decision to prolong the period during which customers can utilise their tickets.

“Due to the suspension of operations [at the height of the pandemic], the airline issued tariff notices extending the ticket validity beyond the normal 13 months up to 31st December 2021 to allow passengers more time to travel as travel restrictions eases,” the firm writes in the report.

“At the expiry of the tariff notice, the group performed breakage on the tickets that remained unutilised in any form from the date of prime sale as per the 13 months estimation.”

Passenger ticket sales are accounted for as current liabilities and later recognised as revenue when customers fly or the tickets expire.KQ’s aircraft were grounded between April and July 2020 as the Kenyan government banned domestic and international travel to curb the spread of coronavirus.The airline also cancelled numerous flights as various governments around the world announced bans on flights from other countries, including Kenya.The struggling carrier, like its peers across the world, last year asked customers to accept vouchers that allow them to travel in the future, while conserving the much-needed cash to remain afloat, instead of making refunds.“The timing of revenue recognition for expired unused tickets requires judgment due to the […]

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