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A while ago I bought a flight+return from Japan to Korea. Now I am in Korea (used the first flight) and have just received an email that my return flight has been canceled (a couple weeks ahead). The email looks legit (correct sending email server, reservation number, flight number etc.). The email is also very short and otherwise not informative, telling me to contact the point of purchase, which is their own website.

Due to work and visa requirements, I need to buy a new ticket for the same date and fly to another city in Japan. This will incur major cost for me, as I will not be able to quarantine at home or reach home without public transport for reasonable cost. I would have to buy a 300km taxi ride home or stay is some quarantine hotel for some days if I do not fly directly to my home city.

Is there a way to make Air Asiana pay for this cost? After all they sold me a ticket and I already paid for it. Now they want to unilaterally change the contract and leave me with major cost. Can I make them fly me to a different city and pay for the quarantine hotel cost and inner Japan travel or a long distance taxi ride home?

EDIT
I tried calling customer support (waiting for about 10 minutes), but they only have Korean speaking staff available today. Need to call another day and wait again. Simply rebooking online on their website also did not work. Cannot find a suitable category. First impression customer service: Very bad.

EDIT2
As promised, I would keep this updated. So I called again. Waiting 20 minutes to get through :-( Once I got somebody, they just told me I could fly on a different date, to a different city, or get a refund. For a different date, they were not sure when another flight would be available. Other cities in Japan are at least 300 km away, and they did not offer a domestic flight or train to transport me to my destination. Now, for the refund, they could not even tell me how much that would be. They don't have qualified staff there at the moment and due to Korean New Year holidays coming up, I would have to call again on Thursday. Talk about customer service, for something which Air Asiana screwed up!

EDIT 3
Final call at the company today (hopefully, had to wait 30 minutes before someone picked up). They flat out refuse to fly me to any city in Japan and then to my destination (which I have bought and paid a ticket for). They also refuse to pay for train transportation in Japan. They also refuse to put me on a different flight on my purchased route, though I admit that I did not find any company currently offering that route. So I took the refund option and will fly to a different city (and with a different company, of coure) and organize travel inside Japan by myself, even though this may be complicated due to quarantine restrictions :-(. At least it is a bit cheaper then just accepting the rebooking offer to a different city. What really upsets me is if I would have known that Air Asiana simply cancels my return flight, then I would have chosen a different airline to begin with. That would have been cheaper then the situation now. Another thing which upsets me is that they said they will refund me in a month. Why? It is my money, please hurry up.

LAST EDIT
Got my money back from the airline, after just about 10 days. Faster than expected, but still a very unpleasant experience dealing with that company.

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  • 1
    Have you tried calling the airline to see what they can offer?
    – mlc
    Jan 21 at 6:56
  • Not yet. I first want to know whether Japan or Korea have something akin to the EU passenger rights which I could leverage to push my demands through. I will report back though and either praise or condemn the airline.
    – laolux
    Jan 21 at 7:10
  • 1
    Maybe get someone who speaks Korean to make the call for you?
    – Willeke
    Jan 21 at 9:14
  • 1
    @laolux Be sure to research flight options in advance so you can suggest a specific flight & date. Jan 30 at 2:47
  • 1
    @laolux very sorry to hear that
    – jcm
    Feb 4 at 6:24

1 Answer 1

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As far as I am aware there is no specific passenger rights legislation in either country. However, the airline is contractually obliged to either get you to your destination or refund your fare (although computing this may be complicated for a half-used return ticket), and in Japan in particular, airlines will generally bend over backwards to make things right.

I would just call them and see what they have to offer. If you can offer a specific remedy, like booking your return on a different airline that has a suitable flight on the right day, or flying you somewhere else and paying for the taxi, it would likely make the conversation easier.

The technical term for flying another airline is "endorsing" you onto the other flight, and while your ticket is almost certainly marked NONENDORSABLE, airlines can and will make exceptions when the issue is their own fault. Endorsing within the same alliance, in your case likely Asiana to ANA, is particularly common, but airlines can endorse with pretty much anybody if they want to.

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  • Wow, that sounds pretty bad. Simply offer a refund if ticket prices go up and they get a chance to sell at a higher price... Anyways, I will try to call and see. Thanks.
    – laolux
    Jan 21 at 8:05
  • No, that's actually pretty good? You seem to be approaching this from the angle that the airline is intentionally trying to screw you over, but they really aren't, a flight cancellation is a massive headache for them as well. Jan 21 at 14:44
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    I disagree. I already put time and effort into finding flight tickets which best suit my needs. Now the airline decided to simply not honor their contract (for which I would have to pay a hefty fine by the way), and I am stuck with investing more time and effort to get a new ticket. Without compensation for my time.
    – laolux
    Jan 23 at 10:46
  • Having dealt with that airline now a lot, I would say they certainly do not feel like they are contractually obliged to try even the slightest bit to get me to my destination. They flat out refused all my suggested ways to achieve that goal.
    – laolux
    Feb 14 at 9:11
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    ANA just cancelled my freshly booked flight. They do not want to put me on an equivalent JAL flight with only 30 minutes difference, but instead ask me to change airports (Gimpo->Incheon, Haneda->Narita) and put me on a waiting list for a flight a couple of hours earlier with a Star Alliance partner. So much for Japanese airlines will be forthcoming.
    – laolux
    Feb 15 at 8:11

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