Sometimes things just don´t go as you planned. This can happen in any life time situation but also during travelling. Imagine you are going to travel for a few weeks to Asia, you spend a LOT of time planning, looking for your hotels, flights, researching all the places you want to see and then in the middle of your trip something happens. Something which will interrupt your entire schedule. It can be stolen passport, credit card, cancelled or delayed flight, lost baggage or a natural disaster.
Luckily, I have only experienced a 24 hr delayed flight – which actually worked out quite well for me at the end. Not only it gave me one extra day of holiday but also an opportunity to spend a whole day in a lovely hotel with full board. Few days ago my flight was cancelled due to the bad weather conditions in a quite vast area of Southeast Asia. What I did and how can you manage these situations with calm mind? Continue reading…
Your flight will be delayed or cancelled either because there is a problem caused on the airline company side or due to the bad weather conditions. If it´s the malfunction of an airplane, the company should provide you with compensation. If they delay and you have to spend one extra night at the place of your departure, they have to provide you with a hotel and food. If they cancel, they need to give you your money back including all the fees.
Although, don´t expect too much from the low cost airlines. For example Air Asia has a ridiculous customer service. It might not even exist because when you read their replies to complaints on their Facebook page, you´ll see what I mean. We were about to fly from KL to Langkawi. We checked-in, proceeded to the gate, the time of our boarding passed and still no plane to board in. There was no information about the delay at all and after about 30 minutes people started to gather in the corner where some random guy (not sure whether he was an employee of AirAsia or the airport) was saying that the flight was cancelled because of the haze.
Couldn´t they just announce this so everyone could hear that? NO.
Couldn´t they announce what to do next? NO.
We followed the instructions we heard from other people. We had to pick up our luggage which took about an hour and half to arrive. Then queue up to get to the counter where we could claim our refund which took another hour. The girl at the counter knew nothing. Obviously, we didn´t want to fly to Langkawi the next day as the haze situation there was pretty bad and we had enought of the polluted air in KL. We ended up cancelling our flight and claimed the refund which was meant to arrive into our mailbox within the next 24 hours in the form of some points which we could use for booking another flight with AirAsia. How smart!
Anyway, 24 hours passed and still no email from AA. What a surprise. 48 hours later we happened to be at the airport again (luckily flying to Thailand) asking at the customer service when our refund will be sent. Not only the girl didn´t speak any English (at the international airport!), she absolutely had no idea about this situation and sent us to ask further to a wrong counter. After we figured out what the correct counter is, the person there claimed the refund was sent. What a liar! It´s been a week now and we still didn´t receive it. Not only we wasted our money but also killed one day at the airport. We were left with no place to sleep and no idea what to do next. Shame on you, AirAsia!
We booked into a hotel for two nights, arranged tourist visa at the Thai embassy and flew to Bangkok two days later.
Try to prevent this situation as much as possible. Watch out your pockets and bags. If you go to a night market keep your eyes peeled because it will be crowded and you will hardly notice anyone trying to get inside your bag. If you find out that you were robbed, immediately inform your bank and block your phone. If you were smart enough to register your iphone, you might be able to trace it. Don´t forget to report it to police as you will need a report from them to claim your loss at the insurance company.
how to deal with it
- don´t panic, worse things could happen so be grateful you are ok
- sit down in a nearby café and make a list of other options
- give yourself some time to think about new plans, don´t rush your decisions
What other unexpected situations did you get yourself into? How did you solve them?