Getting charged for a stopover

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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:58 am
  #1  
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Getting charged for a stopover

I bought a return BHX-BKK and the T&Cs state:

2 STOPOVERS PERMITTED IN EACH DIRECTION
LIMITED TO 2 FREE AND 2 AT GBP 100.00 EACH
1 FREE PERMITTED IN EACH DIRECTION
1 PERMITTED IN EACH DIRECTION AT GBP 100.00
EACH.

The flights are often sold BHX-SIN or BHX-HKG and all these flights stop in Bangkok so that 2 stopovers are possible in Dubai then Bangkok in one direction.

I had a stopover on the way out to Bangkok in Dubai for a few nights. My understanding of the fare rules is that I am entitled to a stopover on the way home (1 permitted free in each direction) but Emirates won't let me change my ticket to add a stopover without paying both the 100 ticket change fee and another 100 for the second stopover (although its actually just one stopover in the other direction). In addition they want 20 airport tax.

Their rules state one thing but they are adamant I am interpreting it wrong. They have me over a barrel as to change my flight I only have the option to pay or leave my flights as they are.

I don't know whether to pay and then take it up with trading standards or head office.
Can anyone advise?

Thanks,
Alison
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:02 am
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If you need to do it, pay it and then, after the ticket is completed, take it up with your card issuer (bank) and whatever you have locally for trading standards (you haven't provided a location so don't know where you are). Fighting now won't net you anything and fighting while you the ticket is "live" risks stranding you somewhere.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If you need to do it, pay it and then, after the ticket is completed, take it up with your card issuer (bank) and whatever you have locally for trading standards (you haven't provided a location so don't know where you are). Fighting now won't net you anything and fighting while you the ticket is "live" risks stranding you somewhere.
Thanks so much for the quick reply. I'm based in the UK. Sounds like good advice. I kind of do need to be there, but at the +220 instead of 100 I can't afford it.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:08 am
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Also they told me they can't give me a breakdown of the costs, the receipt will simply say the total, but I have been emailed the chat from Emirates website stating their arguments for charging me the 100 + 100.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:11 am
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Have you tried calling back for another opinion from a different agent? Or try take it up with the Twitter team to clarify the fare rules. Are you certain it is GBP100 for the 2nd stopover and not for the fare difference?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Have you tried calling back for another opinion from a different agent? Or try take it up with the Twitter team to clarify the fare rules. Are you certain it is GBP100 for the 2nd stopover and not for the fare difference?
Yes I'm certain. They said there was no fare difference. They were very clear telling me repeatedly that since I took a stopover in one direction that the stopover in the other direction would classify as a second stopover.
The agent in Dubai said it counted as a second stopover at 100, the live Emirates chat page also said 100 with the same argument. They were adamant that I was misunderstanding the rules and that a stopover is only free in one direction, despite the rules saying "one stopover is free in each direction".
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Old Feb 17, 19, 1:19 pm
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I'm wondering since they had availability in the same fare class and refused to sell me the ticket without charging this penalty stopover charge if I could claim back the cost of the original fare for breach of contract.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Alisonnoonan View Post
I'm wondering since they had availability in the same fare class and refused to sell me the ticket without charging this penalty stopover charge if I could claim back the cost of the original fare for breach of contract.
Well, before going all Terminator on them a few things to consider, the same fare class being available doesn't mean there is no fare difference as surcharges and fare basis could differ. So the question arises does the same fare basis remain valid for your new dates for instance (blackout dates and such). If for some reason there's a difference in fare basis then perhaps the cost is the same but rules differ, or the rules have changed for the same fare basis, in which case I'm not sure which would prevail.

I'd have a look on ExpertFlyer what the current rules for your fare are. Lastly you say you were repeatedly told, how many times did you call? I'd honestly try call back again and request for a team leader to review the fare rules and pricing.

Ultimately if you live in a country where these things are easy (UK might be one) just file a chargeback for that portion of the fee.

Does it charge the fee if you try change it online (if you are able to)
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Old Feb 17, 19, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Well, before going all Terminator on them a few things to consider, the same fare class being available doesn't mean there is no fare difference as surcharges and fare basis could differ. So the question arises does the same fare basis remain valid for your new dates for instance (blackout dates and such). If for some reason there's a difference in fare basis then perhaps the cost is the same but rules differ, or the rules have changed for the same fare basis, in which case I'm not sure which would prevail.

I'd have a look on ExpertFlyer what the current rules for your fare are. Lastly you say you were repeatedly told, how many times did you call? I'd honestly try call back again and request for a team leader to review the fare rules and pricing.

Ultimately if you live in a country where these things are easy (UK might be one) just file a chargeback for that portion of the fee.

Does it charge the fee if you try change it online (if you are able to)

Haha....I didn't go all terminator on them.
Actually I called back to book after posting here and reading the comments and then all the savers had run out and the fee they then quoted was more than booking a new ticket with another airline. I left it a few hours, called back, and savers were available again. The agent also wanted to charge 100 plus taxes for the stopover, so I said I was happy to pay under protest for the sake of finalising the booking and would sort it out afterwards. She put me on hold and came back and said the supervisor had decided it should be waivered because at best the wording was ambiguous. To be honest, the wording wasn't even ambiguous, but I let that comment go
I had called 3 times earlier in the day. Actually I hate changing tickets over the phone, I like to do it on a computer and see all the options and work out my other logistics, but the system said no. Despite having bought my ticket direct with the Emirates too. Apparently having my ticket reissued to add the complimentary bus from Abu Dhabi to the airport stopped me being able to make any changes online! It would have been much easier if I'd been able to compare options online.
Yes there were too many calls. After the first one I needed to read my T&Cs before booking because I wasn't expecting to pay for the stopover. On the 2nd call they were telling me even higher stopover charges than the first call and after third one I was giving up the will to live and decided to double check what other airlines were offering on new tickets

I do think they need to change the wording of their T&Cs. I have no problem paying fees that I am warned about upfront, but if I'm told I'm allowed a free stopover each direction I don't want to then pay for it. I would rather pay more and buy a ticket from another airline than feel cheated, but that is my issue.

I really appreciate the comments. I had wondered if chargebacks were possible, but hearing others comment about that reassured me. I will get advice when I'm back home to see if them forcing the charge could have made it possible to refund the entire ticket since it is a breach of their terms of contract. I bet if a few people did that they would be less inclined to clobber customers with unfair charges

Thanks again for your input. Much appreciated.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 2:47 pm
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Good result and agreed the rules aren't ambiguous, at least you got there eventually. How long were the hold times? One thing that makes calling EK less of a pain is relatively no hold times in my experience (but status makes a difference there so I'm biased). I generally use ExpertFlyer to ascertain the same fare class is available before calling, the online changes thing has long been an issue which I think we'd all like to see fixed
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:18 pm
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The wording does seem unambiguous to me. I wonder if it's a matter of what they have loaded into whatever makes auto-price work is different than the text description of the fare, and that agents are used to accepting that "auto-price is always correct" and work backward from there when interpreting the text.

Separate from whether your second stopover should or should not be free, there is the matter of the change fee. From the way it looks to me, you are liable for whatever the stated change fee is because you, well, are changing the flights. The fact that you are entitled to a second free stopover is a separate matter from whether the change fee applies - you'd get that for free, had you booked it that way at time of original ticketing.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
The wording does seem unambiguous to me. I wonder if it's a matter of what they have loaded into whatever makes auto-price work is different than the text description of the fare, and that agents are used to accepting that "auto-price is always correct" and work backward from there when interpreting the text.

Separate from whether your second stopover should or should not be free, there is the matter of the change fee. From the way it looks to me, you are liable for whatever the stated change fee is because you, well, are changing the flights. The fact that you are entitled to a second free stopover is a separate matter from whether the change fee applies - you'd get that for free, had you booked it that way at time of original ticketing.
I don't think OP was disputing the change fee
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Old Feb 17, 19, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
The wording does seem unambiguous to me. I wonder if it's a matter of what they have loaded into whatever makes auto-price work is different than the text description of the fare, and that agents are used to accepting that "auto-price is always correct" and work backward from there when interpreting the text.

Separate from whether your second stopover should or should not be free, there is the matter of the change fee. From the way it looks to me, you are liable for whatever the stated change fee is because you, well, are changing the flights. The fact that you are entitled to a second free stopover is a separate matter from whether the change fee applies - you'd get that for free, had you booked it that way at time of original ticketing.
I had this issue a few years back on a J saver so four tickets were going to cost 300 quid each to add a stop over. However in this case the OP may have been on a flex+ ticket..
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Good result and agreed the rules aren't ambiguous, at least you got there eventually. How long were the hold times? One thing that makes calling EK less of a pain is relatively no hold times in my experience (but status makes a difference there so I'm biased). I generally use ExpertFlyer to ascertain the same fare class is available before calling, the online changes thing has long been an issue which I think we'd all like to see fixed
I was on hold long enough to feel my life ebbing away
Yes I had already checked if saver seats were available before I first called so was fully expecting to just pay the 100 date change fee and be on my way. I often buy saver returns and stopover in one or both directions. I'm a musician working in the Far East, but sometimes gigs come up in Dubai that can be added as a cheap stopover on the way to/from other shows.
I'm gold too so getting help is almost immediate initially, but then it can take forever as they check availabilities and tell you a million times that you are misunderstanding the rules and that they are right.....even when you're not and they're not
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Old Feb 18, 19, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
The wording does seem unambiguous to me. I wonder if it's a matter of what they have loaded into whatever makes auto-price work is different than the text description of the fare, and that agents are used to accepting that "auto-price is always correct" and work backward from there when interpreting the text.

Separate from whether your second stopover should or should not be free, there is the matter of the change fee. From the way it looks to me, you are liable for whatever the stated change fee is because you, well, are changing the flights. The fact that you are entitled to a second free stopover is a separate matter from whether the change fee applies - you'd get that for free, had you booked it that way at time of original ticketing.
Yes I was fully expecting the 100 change fee, no issues with that. I have no problem with any fees that are clearly stated upfront, only with fees that contradict the T&Cs.
A saver return with a 100 date change fee is still cheaper than 2 1-way tickets so I often do this.
Maybe your theory is right. They need to look into it though. It was really stressful.
The twitter team confirmed my interpretation of the T&Cs was correct so I have just sent them a lengthy email about my experience.
The worst thing was my hotel wifi wasn't working well enough to support phone calls online and I was on hold so long I ran out of credit on my foreign SIM and had to walk 30 to a 7-11 in the middle of the night alone.
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