About 2 months ago, I booked a flight from Nashville to Hong Kong, then Hong Kong to Xi'an, since it was less expensive to book that way. The flight from Hong Kong to Xi'an is China Eastern Airlines.

I was notified that my flight has changed and now it will take me to Shanghai, which is not useful to me. After spending about 6 hours on the phone, the only thing they are willing to do is give a refund. My problem with that solution is that while I spent $250 2 months ago, right now a flight will be around $420.

Is there anything else I can do?

NOTE: Hong Kong to Xi'an is around 900 miles, and Shanghai to Xi'an is around 850 miles.

  • its a rip off, i have to spend twice the money, there must be some kind of contract between the buyer and the company. They cant just change my city and then charge me twice as much for a new flight May 20 '15 at 19:26
  • and there is another flight by that same company the same day, they just wont put me on it. So theres a good chance it could happen again. May 20 '15 at 19:32
  • When you purchased the ticket, you agreed to the airline's Conditions of Carriage (or Contract of Carriage), which lays out exactly what they owe you in the event a flight or route is canceled. Offering a refund or rescheduling to an alternative airport are very commonly the only options given. But while they may not legally be required to do more, as a customer service gesture they can sometimes be nudged.
    – choster
    May 20 '15 at 20:03
  • This is hardly an alternative airport; they're almost 1000 km apart! May 20 '15 at 20:25
  • 1
    @choster Yeah, he's probably due nothing but a refund. It's still a dick move by the airline. It's like booking a flight to Washington DC and then being told it's actually going to Boston. At least they didn't do this after takeoff! But another problem here is he booked separate tickets. Maybe he can change the other one. May 20 '15 at 21:49

This happens all the time, and the only thing the airline is required to do is give you a full refund.

Yes you are screwed. No there is nothing you can do. You can try asking the airline for 'ex gratia' compensation, but you can't compel them to pay anything. You could also write a song about them and put it on YouTube if it will make you feel better.

  • 5
    Actually, more and more social media is the 'go to' thing to do. Tweet about it, and hope someone high profile picks it up and re-tweets it. Enough bad publicity and they will pay just to shut you up.
    – CGCampbell
    May 20 '15 at 19:37
  • Not even a song on YouTube can do anything about Ryanair. May 20 '15 at 21:43
  • Your Mandarin would have to be pretty good to do something that China Eastern cares about. And it would have to be on a Social Media platform which is available in China, too.
    – uncovery
    May 21 '15 at 0:00
  • Ryanair doesn't try to look like a nice welcoming airline, it's what it is, cheap and low quality, and they're proud of that. Most other airlines do care about publicity.
    – downhand
    May 21 '15 at 6:08

The airlines should really bridge the gap but sometimes they do not. The problem is that most people do not have time or funds to fight them over a single incident. This happened to be before and in the end it worked out, but it was not easy. Here is what worked for me:

  • Ask to change the flight which no longer connects. Instead of Hong Kong - Xi'an, change it to Shanghai - Xi-an. If you bought a cheap ticket you will be charged a change fee for this.
  • Request a refund for the change fee based on the fact that they could not bring you to the connection point. This takes a while but my refund arrived about 6 weeks later.
  • this is exactly the answer the op wanted an alternative to May 20 '15 at 22:10
  • Maybe rebook is the wrong term? I did not mean cancel but change the flight, there is usually a fee for that but it does not involve buying another ticket. The refund is for the change fee which is easier to get than a refund for the flight after the fact.
    – Itai
    May 20 '15 at 23:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.