It is 15:45. I was supposed to be wheels up to HKG at 14:20, but alas when I awoke at 05:45 I was greeted by an email informing me so sorry, flight is delayed to 20:45 causing a 75 minutes connection to become a 19 hour layover and a 24 hour delay to the destination.
Stuff happens. The irritating bits include when I first rang the airline at 06:00 and asked about a reroute via SYD they responded no seats. Full flights happen. We rang the travel agent for options and they were on the phone to the airline.
Agent was on hold for 40 minutes listening to how important his call is…then after considerable discussion at 10:34 a resolution is proposed - some seats are available on the SYD-HKG flight but we need to be at MEL for an 11:00 departure to SYD. Right.
An alternative route was then offered to include downgrading our tickets on another airline with more legs that could individually be delayed or cancelled, with no compensation as part of that deal, but only a 4 hour delay to the destination if all those flights were on time.
edit - ETD rolled back again to 21:25, now 22:05. Maybe that 19 hour layover will collapse into a just in time connection. Is there a cancellation in the works? Lucky I did not go with the alternative! /sarcasm
Elected to stay put with ‘assistance’ of a gratis hotel and vouchers in HKG for the 19 hour layover. But, a failure can cascade.
- Want to do anything in Hong Kong during those 19 hours?
- Taxis are cash.
- HKG was not on our travel advisories as we had no intention to stop there except change of plane. Lest one’s card be blocked by the fraud system or worse, eaten by an ATM.
- In countries such as ours one needs a short stay transit visa, not available at short notice, not always available at the airport, and not always free. Fortunately no worries in HKG.
Then the obvious, advising the hotel we would be a day late (lucky it was not a prepaid non-refundable). Yes, we have travel insurance and multiple cascading changes to the flight schedules in hand for evidence if we were out of pocket, but just recanting some of the joys of being stuffed around from an airline fail.
For want of adequate phone staff and some empowered reservations agents what could have been a delightful low stress journey was transformed.
Someone will bring up airline safety, but that is not the topic of this thread.
[Not seeking or asking advice, just contributing to ‘how it can go’ and letting off a bit.]