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I had a situation in Bangkok yesterday. I was coming with Finnair joined ticked Vilnius -> Helsinki -> Bangkok (landing 7.25) and then my own separate Bangkok Airlines flight (boarding 8.55) Bangkok -> Phnom Penh, which I bought through Expedia.

When I tried to do online check-in for Bangkok -> Phonm Penh on the Bangkok Airlines website, it showed my flight details ok, but it gave me an error instead of barcode, so I contacted Expedia online.

Their response:

Dear Matas,

Your itinerary: 123456789

Thank you for getting in touch in regards to your booking for Bangkok Airways about the email confirmation.

This is to inform you that the flight reservation stands confirmed and paid for. I have sent the booking confirmation to your registered email address "xxxx". This email confirmation will serve as your electronic ticket.

When checking-in at the airport please carry a print out of the itinerary with the valid passport.

I hope you have an enjoyable holiday.

Kind regards,
XXX
Expedia.co.th Customer Support

Website was giving an error like there is an error in flight details please contact the booking agent. However on the Expedia itinerary it claimed that I don't need to do anything, just bring it printed to the flight, which I did...

The flight in Vilnius took off 40 minutes late and I barely made it to the Bangkok flight, which also departed late and landed at 8.05 in Bangkok, when it was supposed to be there at 7.25. However I managed to get to the boarding gate at 8.20, which was plenty of time.

When I gave the printed itinerary from Expedia at the gate, they were about to let me through, but then one girl decided to go ask someone at the desk, which was 5 minutes away. They then talked in Thai for another 10 minutes at the desk and said that I have missed my flight because gates are now closed at 8.40.

When I asked what the problem was, as I have paid for the tickets and arrived on time and all they needed to do just let me on the flight and be gone with it, she said that I was supposed to do the check-in 50 minutes before the flight and that if I wanted she could sell me another ticked at 11.30 (everything out of my pocket obviously). I replied that I would have to be a moron to fly Bangkok Airlines ever again after what they had just done to me then took my passport and went my way.

Who should I go after to have best chance of getting my money back?

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    The problem is, if you checked in at the gate (8.20) then you checked in late (sounds like checkin closed at 8.05 for this flight), so you did miss the flight before customer services got involved and there is unlikely to be any refund as a result. – Moo Nov 25 '17 at 9:33
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    Finnair isn't responsible for anything related to your missed flight here as it's on a separate ticket (from the way you've described it). – Moo Nov 25 '17 at 9:34
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    Expedia isn't responsible for anything here as online checkin is not a guaranteed option - they advised you to checkin at the airport for the flight. – Moo Nov 25 '17 at 9:35
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    Eek, you booked that way too tight. – Harper Nov 25 '17 at 17:13
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    I can't think of anything more than what has already been mentioned; except perhaps looking into your credit card that you used to purchase the Bangkok outbound journey; it may offer some manner of travel insurance which you may consider triggering in this case. However, as others have mentioned you'd have to be very lucky to get it as there was nothing wrong with the airlines or airport systems here. – Burhan Khalid Nov 26 '17 at 5:58
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Unfortunately the only person responsible here is you. You knowingly booked separate tickets with a very tight connection, and you lost the gamble.

Finnair has nothing to do with this, they promised to get you to Bangkok and they did.

Expedia has nothing to do with this, they sold you a perfectly valid ticket.

And you not checking in on time for the Bangkok Airways flight is also your responsibility. Yes, it would have been nice if their online check-in had worked, and it would have been even nicer if they had violated their own policies by letting you board without checking in, but they were not required to do either of these things.

Your best bet would have been to accept the offer to rebook on Bangkok Airways and plead for lenience, but that's too late now and storming off in a huff did not help - particularly in Thailand, where keeping a jai yen ("cool heart") at all times is a national virtue.

About the only option you have at this point is to contact Bangkok Airways support and ask if they can offer you credit or a partial refund as a gesture of goodwill, pointing to the broken online check-in.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Nov 27 '17 at 15:24
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If it was a split ticket, your only option is probably travel insurance. Many policies will cover the cost of a new ticket in the event of a missed departure up to EUR 500-800, often at zero excess. Quite often the airline is happy to just put you on standby for the next flight at no extra charge, but it is usually at their discretion.

  • Note that some travel insurance policies would only refund you the cost of your ticket for missed flight - which might be way less than you'd need to pay for a tomorrow's ticket. – George Y. Nov 26 '17 at 4:46
  • Also certain travel agents, who sell you such multi-ticket itineraries, claim to cover you in those cases. Kiwi is one of them. Their guarantee is similarly weak though. – George Y. Nov 26 '17 at 4:47
  • @George Y. You would need to check the wording. Generally I've found 'missed departure' does cover the cost of a new ticket up to a limit, as long as the delay was beyond your control. Refunding you the money would be pretty useless after all, unless you wanted to cancel your trip. – Crazymoomin Nov 26 '17 at 12:09
  • @GeorgeY. kiwi guarantee has been pretty strong and solid in my experience, they get you your new ticket, so I don't know what you mean with 'similarly weak'. – David Mulder Nov 26 '17 at 15:56
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    Going by the asker’s name, airport of departure, and profile location, I’m guessing any travel insurance he may have will likely be either Lithuanian or Cambodian. Now I don’t know anything about Cambodian travel insurances, but I do know a bit about Lithuanian ones, and they tend to have quite poor coverage. If it were a Scandinavian (or perhaps even a Finnish) insurance, he would almost certainly be covered, since his itinerary adhered to Bangkok Airways’ MCT at BKK. With a Lithuanian one, I’d be more sceptical. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 26 '17 at 19:12
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The problem with buying airline combination tickets is that most of the time, you (the traveler) is solely responsible for any missed flights that may arise as you are supposed to reach the boarding gate in time regardless whether the previous flights are delayed or not.

That is the main reason I don't purchase airline combination tickets from third party sites. Expedia, Skyscanner, and other third party sites don't have the liability to insure you against missed flights as they are after all booking agents for you to book a flight. Likewise, the airlines doesn't care if you have a next flight / previous delayed flights because they don't have the liability to do so.

That being said, it is always good to leave a buffer of at least 4 hours between connecting flights especially if the airlines are different. Alternative will be to book connecting flights directly from a single airline. (e.g. flying from Perth to London on a connecting Qantas flight). You're more likely to be covered should there be any delay.

Hope this helps.

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    No, it does not help. It says nothing that is not already said in the other answers and gives no help who to ask for compensation. You best take a tour of the site before you give more answers, and read around for a while. – Willeke Nov 25 '17 at 14:46
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    @Willeke what's the reason for your angry reply to a contributor? – Francisco H. Nov 27 '17 at 17:08
  • @FranciscoH. This is one useless answer in a series I had seen that day. My comment is not an 'angry reply', it has no nasty words and I did not intent nasty feelings behind the words. And the 8 upvotes the comment got signal that I am not the only one who thinks this way. I had not downvoted, but I feel that the upvotes are not right and now will downvote to even the scales a bit. Still not angry, just disappointed in the 'answer' and hoping the user can improve it and do better the next time. – Willeke Nov 27 '17 at 18:37
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    You don't have to say nasty words to convey angriness. The part "You best take a tour of the site before you give more answers, and read around for a while." seems unnecessarily rude and patronizing to someone that just wants to contribute to the site. Anyway, maybe I just misinterpreted you. Please excuse me if this is the case. – Francisco H. Nov 27 '17 at 18:47
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If Expedia sent communications to you from which a reasonable person would conclude that no further action was needed on your part, then they are liable. If Bangkok Airlines failed to properly inform you of their check-in deadline, they are liable (note that more than one party can both be liable for the same harm). If, when you purchased the ticket, Bangkok Airlines made representations that on-line check-in was available, and in was not in fact not available, that can also give then liability, although one factor would be to what extent alternatives were available. If, by the time you discovered that online check-in was not available, you were unable to get a refund, and you were unable to check in in person due to no fault of your own, then they are liable.

Finnair may also be liable; see https://www.cbsnews.com/news/flight-rights-what-youre-due-when-bad-things-happen/

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