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Longhaul rebooking woes - Asia

(21 Posts)
Watchagotcha Sun 05-Jul-20 16:48:05

Hi all

Not sure what I'm looking for - advice? Shoulders to cry on?!

We had booked our first BIg Family Trip to Asia for this summer, flying into Singapore (Lufthansa), then Malaysia (Kuching), Lombok and home. The internal flights are all Air Asia, the accommodation was all booked through We were due to leave on 27 July.

Last week, Lufthansa finally cancelled the whole of our flight with them. Singapore is still closed to tourists.

I'm starting to sift through the wreckage. TBH we would probably be happy to rebook everything for next year? July/Aug 2021? Are things going to be up and running by then? Who knows.

Here's where I seem to be atm:

Lufthansa - the "free rebooking" and voucher options seems to have disappeared, and they are only offering refunds (which the Interweb tells me we'll be waiting a long time for. Even if I was to rebook, they haven't put the schedule for July 2021 up. The cynic in me thinks that they know flights prices are going to be much higher by then, so they aren't going to let people rebook at current prices. They'd rather we took a (much delayed) refund, then booked again at the new prices if we are going to.

Air Asia - the offer seems to be a credit note that is valid for two years, but I'm not sure if that means BOOK within two year, or FLY within two years. - the most expensive hotels are non-refundable. I can request a change of dates... but I can't do that until the flights are settled (see above) and I would have to request that now, as the first booking starts in 22 days.

Argh boom head explodes! Has anyone got any tips or found any solutions to all the above?

OP’s posts: |
Sausagis Sun 05-Jul-20 20:00:34

I got a headache rebooking Canada. If you purchased your travel insurance before a certain date they may cover Covid related cancellations (mine would but I sorted it before needing it). I had some accommodation ( which stated 40% cancellation fee, and had no contact me option. I went direct to the hotel and begged and they sorted me a full refund. Good luck 🙂

underneaththeash Wed 08-Jul-20 16:37:10

I’d ask for a voucher instead from the hotels and then you can decide if you want to re-book. If they’re Worldwide chains, I’d ask if you can have a voucher to use elsewhere in the world too. We’ve just done that for a couple of hotels on without issue.

Are the Air Asia flights actually cancelled? If they are and they’re refusing a refund, go through your credit card to get a refund.

Sorry about your holiday.

ladybirdpoppy Sun 12-Jul-20 21:52:34

We had Air Asia flights booked in Thailand. I fought a lengthy process via their ridiculous AVA chat and managed to get a cash refund, due back end of August, 10-12 weeks processing time. It took around 4 weeks from the date of our cancelled flight on April to actually speak to a human via the chat. They fobbed us off so many times with taking a credit note but I insisted a refund. I did try to claim from our insurance at first but as they are offering a credit note, they said it wasn't covered as classed as 'recoverable costs' hence the persistence with a cash refund. I keep checking our account, current status in progress. You can try to do a credit card chargeback but they may ask for correspondence of conversations between yourself and Air Asia in trying to get the money back.

Scheduled airlines usually have a rolling 11 month booking schedule. For July 2021, you could check in August for prices.

PinkiPhone Mon 13-Jul-20 17:23:36

I was initially due to fly back in Feb. I moved the flight and contacted the hotels (also and all non-refundable). Was able to move 1st hotel to Oct, 2nd hotel to August. Recently able to move 2nd hotel to Oct as well. So I feel your pain too and I have no idea if Singapore borders will be open by Oct. So I might have to move dates on everything again! Also, I have been told I can only move my hotels as far out as Feb so you may want to play around with dates on to see how far in advance you can shift. I may try the voucher route as suggested by a previous poster.

Singapore Airlines isn't offering refund/credits for my rebooked Oct flight so I just have to wait it out and see... I too am worried that prices will be higher if I were to take a refund and book a new flight later on.

I would just move the hotel to a time you would like to go, instead of lose the non-refundable booking. Put in the request and see if they accept it? Good Luck!

KoalasandRabbit Mon 13-Jul-20 22:41:22

We had Thailand - Borneo - Perhentains (Malaysia) booked for mid to end August. I have had fun and games getting refunds and no idea when it will be safe to go again.

EVAAir flight to Thailand - EVA were great - 1st of June announced all flights cancelled or not could get full refund. Was back within 5 days.

Heathrow carpark short stay refunded in full and two transfers in Malaysia / Thailand to my surprise refunded in full within a week or so, one via Viator, one Direct. Pets managed to rearrange no charge. Hotels pay on arrival fine.

But £1.1k of AirAsia flights, to be honest I don't think we will see any of this money again. They appear close to bankruptcy. Its 6 flights and 3 of them they cancelled and have put in a 2 year credit note - was very quick into that, within 24 hours £536 equivalent. But we can only use it if they don't go under. Other three flights are not cancelled so we lose the money unless cancelled later and they don't go bankrupt. Hotel owned by AirAsia refused to refund or change dates, Tune Hotel, after going on social media, we now have been promised a refund mid August, I doubt we will get it. I've done a chargeback but its likely to fail as was a non-refundable booking. It was £124 so not a huge amount. Other hotels one will shift dates a year but has just given an e-mail saying that and when asked for actual move didn't process it. One refundable one refused to refund, after 2 months and social media got a refund back. One on Avios points got back for £35. We got all our money back in cash refunds apart from this last £1.6k. AirAsia is full of people complaining on social media, some have been promised cash refunds since March and not had them. Our vouchers in theory go to 1 July 2022 but we can use them for any flight for sale then if not bankrupt but they've just filed for a year's protection from bankruptcy and no-one is bailing them out like the big airlines, huge losses. Insurance won't pay out anything as FCO advice is now travel to Thailand and Malaysia is fine though can't get through to insurance but doesn't cover internal flights anyway except last one so our max claim would be £240 less £60 excess.

KoalasandRabbit Mon 13-Jul-20 23:48:21

We had two hotels through both non -refundable, the first refunded in full (took 30 days for to pass it on) with FCO travel ban link (obviously gone now but some countries aren't allowing us in). The other one was Tune Hotel, they refused to help at all and were quite blunt to us and Tried Twitter and they said to DM but they've blocked DMs. Tried Facebook and got promised a full refund in 60 days. Nothing so far but changed price to zero. Got a chargeback in but that takes 45 working days and as it was non-refundable expecting it to fail.

Lufthansa you should get full refund as covered by EU laws. Air Asia can unfortunately do what they like as Asian consumer law gives very few rights. It is 2 years if they cancel, nothing if they don't and its anything on sale then so can go past 2 years. Auditor did give bankruptcy warning a few days ago - on BBC.

PoisoningPigeons Tue 21-Jul-20 11:16:21

Insurance won't pay out anything as FCO advice is now travel to Thailand and Malaysia is fine

The irony is that whatever the FCO say, at the moment, Malaysia is not admitting non-resident foreign nationals. And even people who are allowed into the country have to be quarantined for 14 days. Not exactly practical for holidaymakers.

We should have been in Malaysia this past week sad Our travel agent says we'll get our Emirates flights refunded eventually (12 week processing time) but the hotels could be a problem.

Watchagotcha Wed 22-Jul-20 22:12:33

thanks all.

Lufthansa - we have requested a refund, though the confirmation email made it sound like we had cancelled the flights, not them!

AirAsia: Singapore-Malaysia flight was cancelled, I managed to get onto the live chat, who agreed to submit the request for a refund after trying to get me to take a Credit Account. It will take 12-16 weeks to process. The other 2 flights are not yet cancelled, the Chat chap said that they can't do anything with these ones, unless they are cancelled later on.

Singapore hotel - non-refundable booking, paid in full: they aren't even open to tourists and we are meant to be there in 6 days! They haven't cancelled the reservation. So I cancelled as prompted by (probably a mistake) and contacted them to ask for a refund as they are not able to provide the service that we have paid them for. Who knows what the response will be, they have been pretty unfriendly in our other exchanges.

Malaysia hotel - non-refundable booking, paid in full: as the pp said, Malaysia is shut to tourists until at least the 31 August, so there is no way that we can be there! I have contacted the hotel to ask if they are even open, and if they will refund us of they are not.

The others (Indonesia) sadly the cheapest ones, i have just cancelled as we hadn't paid anything up front and it was free to cancel.

What a bordel de merde. So sorry on your behalf too @PoisoningPigeons, it's crap isn't it? We should be running around packing right now :-( I guess it's a first world problem.

OP’s posts: |
W1ngs0fChang3 Thu 23-Jul-20 08:50:32

Flights booked in March, which the airline cancelled

Airline kept offering voucher
I kept asking for refund
They have finally agreed to refund this week, still waiting the money refunded all hotel money promptly. However, it was NOT booked with a NON refundable booking

Still missing with some other airlines for refunds

ladybirdpoppy Thu 23-Jul-20 08:51:37

For those who have bookings with Air Asia, to my surprise I have received my refund today back to my credit card. I must admit it was a long battle in trying to contact them back in April, at first they insisted on a credit note saying it was the best option but after explaining I am from the UK and will be not be travelling to Asia in the next 2 years they agreed to refund. They give you case number which you can view in your account as to the status of the claim. My flights were Chiang mai to Phuket, cost £340.

KoalasandRabbit Fri 24-Jul-20 05:21:23

Thanks for updating on that Poppy I was wondering if it would ever come through. The twitter is not very reassuring so its good to know you did get yours after a few months. They told me on domestic refund is not an option and they've given us a 2 year credit note on 3 of the 6 flights but we have one international left with them (and 2 domestic) which I am hoping will be cancelled between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. After a big battle their Tune Hotel is supposed to be refunding after 2 months, one month to go. The 2 domestic look like they will go ahead so thats lost. Thailand banned entry until 31 August now so more hope the one international one will be cancelled.

Watchagotcha Sun 26-Jul-20 15:12:18

Meh, I think AirAsia must have toughened up as times have got harder. They processed our refund request overnight and have refused it: "We regret to inform that refund is not applicable as does not regulate the airlines industry for the refund.". I have no idea what this actually means - but I assume it means that they are not obliged to give a refund, so they wont. It's the cheapest one (219€) - the other two flights were 500€ each, and they haven't been cancelled, so no refund / vouchers or anything.

We are going to try claiming the cancelled one back on the credit card.

OP’s posts: |
KoalasandRabbit Sun 26-Jul-20 16:04:57

We were told no refund to source as domestic though the cash refund offer has been withdrawn probably as at risk of bankruptcy and consumer law there seems minimal. Regulator website basically says up to company if they refund cancelled flights in Malaysia. I have tried chargeback but they have asked me to send in AA terms so suspect will fail, credit card we were under the limit as it's £100 per person I think. Cancelled flights we got credit notes through within 24 hours for 3 cancelled flights, other 3 not cancelled so nothing and insurance doesn't cover internal flights unless within 48 hours of main flight so only one of 3 left plus FCO now says fine to travel even though not allowed in. The credit note if they don't go bankrupt isn't too bad goes to 1 July 2022 any flights on sale then so to end 2022 or so. But will they survive? If our one international flight gets cancelled may ask for refund but not very hopeful.

KoalasandRabbit Sat 15-Aug-20 00:58:47

Noticed our one remaining international flight was unavailable for sale or check-in so messaged AirAsia who confirmed cancelled but forgot to tell us. hmm They said options were move to 31 Oct 2020 or 2 year credit note so opted for 2 year credit note and then they said due to overwhelming demand for credit notes it would take 10-15 days to get it. Last time it was instant. Though not in a rush for it.

The Tune Hotel still haven't refunded but chargeback has put it back in my account but hotel can take it back until 12 October. They said if its still there on 12 October its mine. Think I got it as they offered a full refund in June though their talk was cheap and nothing materialised.

Looks like our last internal flights won't be cancelled so will lose the £300 on that. Insurer won't pay out anything as FCO advice is can travel even though you are banned from entry. Insurer also hid in the very small print excess is per person per item per sector so would pay out nothing on a £300 claim anyway as for 4 people and 2 ways.

Hope everyone else who is chasing refunds is making progress. I'm now acculumating random things - around £800 in Malaysian currency AirAsia for 2 years and £270 in Thai currency for a hotel for 1 year and a load of Avios points back. No idea if I'll be able to use any of that, Avios can use in UK so should be OK but need covid solved before can use Asian ones and no bankruptcies.

Though I managed to get really ill in heat here so maybe just as well had to cancel.

KoalasandRabbit Thu 17-Sep-20 17:36:45

Did you get anywhere with refunds.

Tune Hotel finally refunded after 3 months and huge battle. AirAsia could only get two year credits on cancelled flights so now have about £800 of those, last 2 flights didn't get cancelled so lost that £300 except airport tax. Then 1 Thai hotel would only move dates up to a year, only 2 nights. Everything else refunded. Insurance got out of everything. No idea if we'll get to use the AirAsia flights or Thai hotel, see how things go I guess.

foulmouthflora1 Sat 19-Sep-20 05:55:22

We”d booked a trip for DH”S birthday this summer. First class to Far East and 5 star hotels etc. Obviously it didn’t happen. We always book non refundable because what could possibly go wrong! Famous last words. It was all booked independently so it’s meant dealing with lots of organisations to sort. All flights were cancelled so we’ve had refunds back. Though it hasn’t been straight forward.

Bangkok Airways said we need to get refunded from the online travel agent. Online agent said we need to get the refund from Bangkok Airways. Put a claim in to chargeback via credit card and it was successful.

Air Asia said no refund only credit voucher. Again put a chargeback in, which AirAsia has challenged. But bank have refunded while it’s disputed and say they back our claim, the outcome should be final next week.

All hotels have provided a full refund. Even the non refundable ones. Except one in Cambodia. £320. Will probably let that go.

We have booked an outbound flight for next year but DH doesn’t think we will end up going as corona will still be an issue so we are waiting until after Christmas before booking any more hotels and flights. And will only book fully refundable!

Keep a note of all conversations, it will help with any insurance or chargeback claims.

PoisoningPigeons Mon 12-Oct-20 17:24:05

I forgot to update, but FWIW we recently got our "cash" refund for most of the holiday: Emirates flights and all but one of the hotels. The final hotel didn't give a refund (about £500), but our travel agent offered a credit note for it which we accepted. So yay.

SilkieRabbits Fri 13-Nov-20 08:55:07

Just had an e-mail today from NatWest re AirAsia flights chargeback - we had £1.1k of them and only offered credit notes, all cancelled except to. We got something like £730 in credit notes which last 2 years so better than nothing and would have been exchange rate charges and now in Malaysian currency so around £800 value if can use. Applied to NWB for 5 out of 6 flights which went through my bank account, 2 not cancelled and 3 cancelled and today they have temp refunded £600. Not sure we will keep it as accepted credit vouchers but very surprised. I very much doubt we will be able to use the credits so hope we get this back.

SilkieRabbits Mon 23-Nov-20 11:26:35

Just heard from Natwest AirAsia have taken all the money back and have won as contractually they don't have to refund cancelled flights.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Nov-20 18:38:59

Well they should still refund you but MAVCOM gave them a pass to mess with their customers like this.

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