Japanese mother-son pair cost hotels over 100 million yen in no-shows

Kyodo News

Posted at Feb 12 2020 05:53 PM

KYOTO - A mother-and-son pair in western Japan arrested on suspicion of obstructing business at hotels allegedly cost accommodation facilities 115 million yen ($1.05 million) in damage after they made around 3,200 no-show cancellations in 1 year, investigative sources said Wednesday.

Yukiko Kishida, 51, and her son Yukihiro, 31, were arrested last month for allegedly ditching reservations made through the Japanese online booking site Ikyu.com at 4 accommodation properties in Kyoto last August. The pair is suspected to have acquired high rewards points and used them to stay at different hotels.

On Wednesday, they were served a fresh arrest warrant over similar charges for not showing up for around 94,000 yen worth of bookings at 3 properties in Shiga, Kyoto and Nara prefectures last November.

Using fake names and contact details, Kishida and her son created a large number of accounts for use on Ikyu.com and booked stays across the country.

Ikyu Corp., the operator of the booking site, is a subsidiary of Z Holdings Corp., which runs Yahoo Japan online services and is a unit of SoftBank Group Corp.

Customers usually acquire 1 percent of their accommodation fees in rewards points, but can get up to 20 percent back in points for same-day bookings. The pair is suspected of making false same-day reservations to acquire the high rewards points.

In some cases when a hotel forgets to notify the booking site of a cancellation, customers still receive points even in cases of a no-show.

The pair allegedly stayed in hotels using around 2.5 million yen worth of "T-Points," which they had obtained illegally, the sources said.