How to deal with cancelled international flights?
December 26, 2010 12:13 AM Subscribe
The Great Blizzard of Christmas 2010 has severely derailed my plans (love snow as I do). I was supposed to fly from Newark to Hong Kong on Dec. 26th at 3:30, arrive in HK at 8:30pm Dec 27th, then fly Air Asia Hong Kong-Bangkok on the morning of Dec. 28th with a connecting flight immediately following from Bangkok - Luang Prabang, Laos.
Newark is supposed to get a foot plus of snow tomorrow. I am feeling a little screwed. Is anyone out there skilled at making the best of this kind of situation? I've never dealt with it before, and have spent the last eight hours trying to make something work. Details below.
posted by betsbillabong to travel & transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I tried calling Continental all afternoon and evening... but was unable to ever get on the queue. They just said call volume was heavy, and to call back later. On their website I saw that changes were free and I could postpone my flight to Dec. 28th (not the 27th) - but their seat map for the 27th flight showed a dozen empty seats in economy. I found another phone number for Continental, and was finally able to get through to a not very nice person. (Can't say that I blame her, working on a holiday with a ton of pissed off people delayed in a snowstorm). At any rate, while I was waiting to go through with her, I realized that I was now not able to book the same nonstop flight on the 28th anymore. There was another flight that day, with a layover I would have been happy to take, and it was going to cost me $580 extra. Um, no thanks.
In the meantime, I have not been able to get in touch with Air Asia at all. Their website was down all day, and their live chat keeps me waiting for about a half an hour then kicks me off. They have no US number, but I tried calling their Australian office hoping to get someone who spoke English well, and got an automated message that the number was not valid.I can change my Bangkok Air flight, but don't know when to change it to as I don't know about Air Asia.
I am now past the 48 hour window for changing Air Asia flights. Since this is not really my fault (they were unreachable) I have disputed the charge with my credit card. I just don't know how to get in touch with them, and I'm not willing to pay international phone charges for two hours of wait time, only to be hung up on (as has happened to several people).
Is there any way I might be able to get on a Continental flight sooner? Or have I screwed myself by changing it to such a late date? I really didn't want to lose three days off of a two week research trip. And any advice about the other flights? Unfortunately, everything was booked separately, by me, on the internet.
Oh, and I'm a Continental OnePass (frequent flyer) member, if that makes any difference, though I just joined so I don't have any miles.