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Flight cancelled, OTA refused to rebook on another carrier despite airline say yes

Flight cancelled, OTA refused to rebook on another carrier despite airline say yes

Old Apr 10, 19, 9:02 am
  #1  
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Flight cancelled, OTA refused to rebook on another carrier despite airline say yes

Hello, I need some input from other people in this community who has experience dealing with OTA.

I have booked the 9W flight tickets with Flightnetwork a few months back easy peasy lemon squeezy. Then recently 9W got hit with various financial difficulties (not bankrupt yet). They cancelled various route including part of my connection (Mumbai to Bangkok V.V.) I received cancellation email from the airlines and I went to 9W ticketing office in the city with a friends who bought the same itinerary but they bought it directly through 9W website. 9W ticketing agent re-issued my friends ticket to another carrier (TG and QR) without any problem. However, they are not able to change or re-issue my ticket since I have bought the tickets elsewhere. Fair enough, Last week I contacted Flightnetwork by phone and ask them to transfer us to another airlines and re-issue the tickets. They didn't do anything for 4 days until I sent the email for follow up and they said they don't even have a record that I have made a call.

I sent them an email request on Sunday. They get back to me around 24 hours later and give me an option of voluntary refund no transfer. I called to 9W ticketing office and they said you should be received three options 1) Change date +/- 30days from your original departure date 2) Transfer to another carriers 3) Refund.

I sent Flightnetwork an email asking them to contact 9W to reissued the ticket again with the information that I have received from 9W ticketing office. I also provide them with the PNR information of my traveling party for them to see as guidance. Sure enough 24 hours later they get back to me and said "We have spoken with the airline and we wont be able to change to a different airline. We can only provide you with the refund".

The questions is;
Any suggestion how to proceed with this? Are there anyway for me to get my tickets to airline control?
Even 9W has financial difficulty and they employee hasn't been paid for quite sometime. They customer service is way better than OTA. They take time to explained their situation and solution.

I'm traveling with few friends and we all bought the ticket on the same itinerary, fare class and cabin. Only different is I bought ticket from OTA and they bought it directly from the airline.

Any input greatly appreciate.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:04 am
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(1) I would take the refund but I would not hold out much hope that the refund will be processed speedily.
(2) Book future flights with the airline directly.
(3) If you must use an OTA, find one that has a good reputation for after sales customer service. A quick search for reviews on Flightnetworks put me of using them.
(4) Check if your credit card company can assist if no refund occurs.
​​​​​​
As you are now discovering, using an OTA (even the very best) introduces a third party. You asked the OTA to be your agent and so you get little to no help from the airline except for them telling you to contact your OTA. When there are no issues with OTA bookings, passengers don't notice anything different between those who book direct with the airline. It is when problems occur that the difference is seen.

​​​​​ Sorry I cannot be more helpful but hope you get your travel plans sorted. Please keep everyone posted.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 11:38 am
  #3  
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Thanks for your input.

It absolutely absurd that OTA not even try to solve the issued. At this time I'm looking for another flight which the current price cost more than $1k from the price I originally paid.

It is extreme frustrated when other people can get transfer to another carriers but I can't because I just bought the ticket from this particular OTA.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 12:11 pm
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The precise answer is that you are stuck with the rules of the air carrier with the rules of the third-party vendor (OTA) imposed on top of the carrier's rules. The practical question is to ask what the fare difference amounts to. Presuming that you are able to obtain a refund of the 9W ticket from the vendor, how much money will you have to pay in addition?

For the future, avoid using third-party vendors. If highly reputable, they add a level of work in any situation requiring a change. If not highly reputable, you will have a fight on your hands.

Request the refund. If it does not come promptly and you used a credit card or paid with funds subject to local law "chargeback" do that quickly.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 12:23 pm
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".....absolutely absurd that OTA not even try to solve the issued..." Sorry to say I am not at all surprised by their lack of attention in resolving your issue. Assuming you paid the same amount as your friends who booked directly with the airline, I suspect that FlightNetwork makes small margins on ticket sales. Customer service costs money and so they and many OTAs are not interested in having exceptional after care and service.
Again, I am sorry to learn of your experience.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 12:28 pm
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Fare difference are about 1.5k$ at this time and I have 3 passengers in that PNR therefore it about 4.5k$ difference.
Travel insurance won't cover it if I voluntary cancel the trip it by myself. It's really in the limbo here isn't it.

No more OTA for sure in the future. It should be an easy fix but I don't really know where is the problem. 9W told me that if this cancellation happen after the first sector departure they will be able to transfer to other carriers easily (except some that they are not accepting 9W tickets due to 9W financial reasons).

Good example for peoples here in flyertalk, Don't buy the ticket from OTA. This just a simply cancellation with a ton of other options but they said refund only and we are done here.


Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The precise answer is that you are stuck with the rules of the air carrier with the rules of the third-party vendor (OTA) imposed on top of the carrier's rules. The practical question is to ask what the fare difference amounts to. Presuming that you are able to obtain a refund of the 9W ticket from the vendor, how much money will you have to pay in addition?

For the future, avoid using third-party vendors. If highly reputable, they add a level of work in any situation requiring a change. If not highly reputable, you will have a fight on your hands.

Request the refund. If it does not come promptly and you used a credit card or paid with funds subject to local law "chargeback" do that quickly.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 12:37 pm
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Yes! Exactly the same price. The reason I booked it with them because of when I tried to purchased the ticket from 9W. My credit card company block the transaction due to suspicion of fraud. At the time my credit card company is not open (during the night). So I look around and book it with this OTA and voila.

But at least I can consider myself lucky. I can't imagine, if I travel to the airport to check in and find out the flight was cancelled. Everybody in my party who booked the ticket directly can be accommodated to another flight but I have to phone my OTA, wait for their response and get stuck at the airport.



Originally Posted by IntVic View Post
".....absolutely absurd that OTA not even try to solve the issued..." Sorry to say I am not at all surprised by their lack of attention in resolving your issue. Assuming you paid the same amount as your friends who booked directly with the airline, I suspect that FlightNetwork makes small margins on ticket sales. Customer service costs money and so they and many OTAs are not interested in having exceptional after care and service.
Again, I am sorry to learn of your experience.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by oh101 View Post
So I look around and book it with this OTA and voila.
This is really unfortunate. As much as I rant on about OTAs (and I agree with everything that's been said of them in this thread), there is blame to go around with 9W here, and I would suggest pressing them further.

The OTA cannot just reissue you a ticket on another carrier, it needs to be exchanged for a ticket issued on 9W ticket stock (regardless of operating carrier). 9W has to provide the OTA with appropriate waivers to do this, so the OTA does not come out of pocket for the new ticket. It is possible that, for whatever reason (read: $$), 9W is not giving the OTA the authority necessary to do the exchange, despite 9W's assertions that you are entitled to travel on another carrier.

Also, other than internal policy, there is no reason 9W cannot reissue the ticket itself and put you on any flight/carrier it desires.
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Last edited by NYC Flyer; Apr 10, 19 at 3:44 pm Reason: grammar
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Old Apr 11, 19, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC Flyer View Post
This is really unfortunate. As much as I rant on about OTAs (and I agree with everything that's been said of them in this thread), there is blame to go around with 9W here, and I would suggest pressing them further.

The OTA cannot just reissue you a ticket on another carrier, it needs to be exchanged for a ticket issued on 9W ticket stock (regardless of operating carrier). 9W has to provide the OTA with appropriate waivers to do this, so the OTA does not come out of pocket for the new ticket. It is possible that, for whatever reason (read: $$), 9W is not giving the OTA the authority necessary to do the exchange, despite 9W's assertions that you are entitled to travel on another carrier.

Also, other than internal policy, there is no reason 9W cannot reissue the ticket itself and put you on any flight/carrier it desires.
True, but carriers have little incentive to do anything for anybody who booked through a TA. In this case, 9W is on the rocks so it is less likely to spend its own cash or time.
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Old Apr 12, 19, 11:16 pm
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Some update!

9W has re-booked us on another carrier. They're also provided the waiver and write email instruct the OTA to re-issue the ticket (9W also CC the email to me).

To my surprised again, OTA replied "Airline has given us only one option to provide it to the passengers is to cancel the ticket". despite the email from 9W reservation (and they help us create a new booking with other carrier which is OTA jobs to do that!) I have no idea what to say to them as this point. I have seen the email from 9W reservation department that sent it to them and they are still telling me that airline will not accommodate us.

Time to say goodbye to Flightnetwork for good.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by oh101 View Post
Time to say goodbye to Flightnetwork for good.
Unfortunate that when 9W finally stepped up, the OTA woudn't do it's part. Definitely underscores that most of the OTAs really don't care. I've heard of absurd additional fees (like $250 from Justfly in order to even provide a refund when the carrier cancelled a flight), but this one is pretty egregious. Perhaps this additional documentation will help with some type of claim against Flightnetwork...
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Old Apr 13, 19, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by oh101 View Post
Some update!

9W has re-booked us on another carrier. They're also provided the waiver and write email instruct the OTA to re-issue the ticket (9W also CC the email to me).

To my surprised again, OTA replied "Airline has given us only one option to provide it to the passengers is to cancel the ticket". despite the email from 9W reservation (and they help us create a new booking with other carrier which is OTA jobs to do that!) I have no idea what to say to them as this point. I have seen the email from 9W reservation department that sent it to them and they are still telling me that airline will not accommodate us.

Time to say goodbye to Flightnetwork for good.
It was never time to say "hello." Then you would not have to say "goodbye." Third party vendors are fine when things are fine. But, when they are not, do not expect anything.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by oh101 View Post
Some update!
....Time to say goodbye to Flightnetwork for good.
First, I am really pleased to hear your issue was resolved successfully, with no help from FlightNetwork!
Second, I might also suggest you amend your final sentence to "Time to say goodbye to FlightNetwork and all online travel agents for good."
OTAs add an unnecessary level of complication which is often highlighted in their terms and conditions which the vast majority of us don't read or wade through. OTAs may seemingly save you money but when things go wrong they are detrimental to your health as they raise your blood pressure, increase your stress and anxiety levels, affect your sleep etc. This may sound a bit over the top but Google and read reviews of OTAs and you will see I am telling the truth.
Safe and happy travels.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by IntVic View Post
First, I am really pleased to hear your issue was resolved successfully, with no help from FlightNetwork!
?
You need to read the last msg of the OP again. The issue has not been resolved as the OTA refuse to reissue the ticket. Without reissued tickets the OP will not be able to check-in for the new flights booked by 9W.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
?
You need to read the last msg of the OP again. The issue has not been resolved as the OTA refuse to reissue the ticket. Without reissued tickets the OP will not be able to check-in for the new flights booked by 9W.
My mistake... Misunderstood OP's short post, hence more reason for me to avoid OTAs and their pages of terms and conditions

Last edited by IntVic; Apr 14, 19 at 1:43 am
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