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I bought a ticket with Air China specifically for the flight times. (I am picking up several groups at the airport in the evening on one night) I have recently received an email about a flight change for one person on the second flight from Beijing to Guangzhou. It changed a reasonable 3 hr layover in Beijing to a 35 minute layover (with a 15 minute preboarding that allows 20 minutes). I called them and they offered to change the flight to the next day as they did not have any flights left that night. (I mentioned that would not be acceptable because I would then have several groups all delayed and have to get accommodation for several groups)

What is the cancelation policy for Air China and where can I get info on it. Also is there any compensation rules that would apply in this case. The company is cancelling the flight 40 days in addvance so it is not because of weather or an act of God. Is Air China required to compensate with money or travel vouchers in addition to the rescheduling of the flight?

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In most cases, the applicable national rules will determine what is/isn't allowed, what compensation or changes are due etc. Since it looks to be a Chinese domestic leg, you'll need to look up what the Chinese regulations are on this –  Gagravarr Dec 29 '13 at 23:14
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Not a direct answer - may be useful: There are liable to be a number of airlines offering flights on that route at about the same time. You may be able to book one with less than 3 hours layover but still adequate, so that your party can easily reassemble at Guangzho. It sounds like you are liable to be well acquainted with booking Chinese flights but, just in case - where possible I book via 9588.com](ticket.9588.com/FlightTicket/domestic_E.aspx) and have found them reliable and useful. NB book domestic flights via above link - not from their home page. –  Russell McMahon Dec 30 '13 at 3:06
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1 Answer

As expected, the website of Air China is yielding results. They pretty much make it clear that they will either get you to your destination within "reasonable time" or refund your ticket:

9.2.2 [...] if we cancel a flight, [...] we shall, at your option, either:

9.2.2.1 carry you at the earliest opportunity on another of our scheduled services on which space is available without additional charge and, where necessary, extend the validity of your Ticket; or

9.2.2.2 within a reasonable period of time re-route you to the destination shown on your Ticket [...] without additional charge. [...]; or

9.2.2.3 make a refund in accordance with the provisions of Article 10.2.

and regarding the ticket refund they state accordingly:

10.2.1 If we cancel a flight, [...] the amount of the refund shall be:

10.2.1.1 if no portion of the Ticket has been used, an amount equal to the fare paid;

You can consider 3 things:

  1. While your business might be affected by delays and cancellations, you are in no position to claim losses for your business by those delays and cancellations - unfortunately. The best thing you can hope for is that you do not have to pay for a flight that you did not take.
  2. There are 48 daily flights with daily from Beijing to Guangzhou. I would consider changing airline, one might be able to get you there
  3. Delays and cancellations in Beijing are abundant. Even if your clients are coming in to Beijing and continue to Guangzhou on a very tight schedule, there is a reasonable chance that they will make the flight simply because the chance that the flight to Guangzhou is significantly delayed. After Shanghai and Istanbul, Beijing is the airport with the most frequent and severe delays in world among the major global airports. You actually have a more than 50% chance of a delay or worse. I know it's a gamble, but this is how it often works.
  4. If the person changes flights from an overseas flight to Guangzhou in Beijing, consider routing them via Hong Kong. The flights are more reliable and it might solve the problem completely. They can either take a (very short) connecting flight to Guangzhou or the train.
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