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Stranded in the Dominican Republic + US State Dept Resource @ 888.407.4747

Stranded in the Dominican Republic + US State Dept Resource @ 888.407.4747

Old Mar 18, 20, 8:19 pm
  #1  
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Stranded in the Dominican Republic + US State Dept Resource @ 888.407.4747

I’m scheduled to fly home on Friday, March 20th 2020, POP-EWR on UA 1484 in paid business class (P). Last night (17 March) in a 9pm TV address, the President of the DR announced that he was “closing the borders effective 6am on Thursday, 19 March. After then, no flights would be allowed with the exception of ferry planes which will be allowed for the departure of foreign citizens that want to return to their country”.

i checked the UA website multiple times last night and today. All showed my flight “on schedule”. According to the seat map, the flight was approximately 50% full.

Today, 18 March, UA 1486/1484 made the round trip EWR-POP-EWR as scheduled. So I figured that even though they would not be able to bring new passengers down on the 20th, they would send UA 1486 to POP empty to return as UA1484 with all of us returning tourists.

But I guess I figured wrong. This afternoon my return flight is listed as “cancelled”. I’ve received no notifications from UA. And I can’t find anything on their website regarding this situation.

So what do you think? Are we on our own? Or does UA normally just need some time to get alternate plans together to “rescue us”?

NOTE: UA has been flying one daily non stop EWR-POP and return POP-EWR since before Christmas (in the fall the frequency is usually reduced). So there has to be hundreds and hundreds of passengers that UA recently transported here that are now stranded.
Both UA 1486/1484 are now showing as “cancelled” on the flight status tool for March 19th and 20th. And “flight search” now shows no availability at all for future flights to any of the DR airports.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:27 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by ErikStratton View Post
I’m scheduled to fly home on Friday, March 20th 2020, POP-EWR on UA 1484 in paid business class (P). Last night (17 March) in a 9pm TV address, the President of the DR announced that he was “closing the borders effective 6am on Thursday, 19 March. After then, no flights would be allowed with the exception of ferry planes which will be allowed for the departure of foreign citizens that want to return to their country”.

i checked the UA website multiple times last night and today. All showed my flight “on schedule”. According to the seat map, the flight was approximately 50% full.

Today, 18 March, UA 1486/1484 made the round trip EWR-POP-EWR as scheduled. So I figured that even though they would not be able to bring new passengers down on the 20th, they would send UA 1486 to POP empty to return as UA1484 with all of us returning tourists.

But I guess I figured wrong. This afternoon my return flight is listed as “cancelled”. I’ve received no notifications from UA. And I can’t find anything on their website regarding this situation.

So what do you think? Are we on our own? Or does UA normally just need some time to get alternate plans together to “rescue us”?

NOTE: UA has been flying one daily non stop EWR-POP and return POP-EWR since before Christmas (in the fall the frequency is usually reduced). So there has to be hundreds and hundreds of passengers that UA recently transported here that are now stranded.
Both UA 1486/1484 are now showing as “cancelled” on the flight status tool for March 19th and 20th. And “flight search” now shows no availability at all for future flights to any of the DR airports.
call UA asap. They will likely rebook you on any other flight
Best is if you search your self and give the agent specific details which flight you want
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Kleinnaf View Post
call UA asap. They will likely rebook you on any other flight
Best is if you search your self and give the agent specific details which flight you want
thanks, but there are no more flights. I tried searching for alternatives today, but all were full. Some Canadians here have told me that some of the Canadian Airlines are sending “ferry flights” on Saturday and Sunday to bring their customers home.
I'm wondering if United will do the same? Still no emails/texts/calls from them, and can’t get thru to them on the phone.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:19 pm
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you might have to get a ticket on American or jetBlue to get out and get you money back later from united or the best outcome would be that united rebooks you on american
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Old Mar 18, 20, 9:24 pm
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If you are a US citizen, I would call the US Embassy immediately and look for guidance.

https://do.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:14 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ErikStratton View Post
... and can’t get thru to them on the phone.
It may take some time (hour or more), but wait it out. I can not imagine there is anything more important.

Some have call the Hong Kong office or some other english speaking call center or a country where you are fluent with the language.

BTW, don't let what you see online to defer your, in this case, UA may want proof of citizenship or other information and therefore may have restricted online booking. Or you might be able to get on a standby / waitlist by calling.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 18, 20 at 10:50 pm
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by ErikStratton View Post
thanks, but there are no more flights. I tried searching for alternatives today, but all were full. Some Canadians here have told me that some of the Canadian Airlines are sending “ferry flights” on Saturday and Sunday to bring their customers home.
I'm wondering if United will do the same? Still no emails/texts/calls from them, and can’t get thru to them on the phone.
JetBlue is still selling POP-JFK for Friday. No idea if they'll actually operate it, but I would not count on UA to send rescue ships personally. No F, but it might get you home.

Note that UA does not have an agreement with B6 to transfer tickets; I don't know whether they would buy you one out of their pocket, but I suspect not. They might (stress might) be willing to give you an ETC to make up part of the difference between what you paid them and what you pay B6.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:51 pm
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If you used a CSR card (or Amex equivalent) the travel insurance might cover the cost of a ticket on JetBlue (minus whatever refund you get from United).
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
If you used a CSR card (or Amex equivalent) the travel insurance might cover the cost of a ticket on JetBlue (minus whatever refund you get from United).
Actually, a lot of credit cards have this cover, so to broaden the advice --at some worth checking the coverage provide by the card used.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:18 pm
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Ok, I now have two plans.

On the UA website the first flight out was on April 5th, from another departure airport (STI) with 2 connections (PTY and NAS) and is 30 hrs+ travel time. First 2 segments on Copa. NAS-EWR on UA. $650 US for coach. It’s 2+ weeks after my original travel date (21 March), but I grabbed it anyway. That will be my “Plan B”.

Because thanks to JSloane (above,) my “Plan A” will be the Jet Blue ticket I snagged for my original travel date (21 March) non stop POP-JFK (my original flight was into EWR, but no biggie) for $400 US.

JB is not selling any seats for the flight down to POP. So I’m assuming they are doing the responsible thing and sending a plane to pick up those Jet Blue customers who have return reservations. (As is allowed by the Dominican Presidents border closing decree). I was just fortunate that they had an empty seat to sell me.

Still surprised and disappointed that United didn’t do the same.

thanks all for your suggestions and help. Much appreciated.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:23 pm
  #11  
 
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If you want to get out tomorrow and brave a heck of an overnight drive to Santo Domingo, you may be able to catch a morning Copa flight via Panama City. You'd probably already need to be on the road, so that may not be practical. Good luck!
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by ErikStratton View Post
Ok, I now have two plans.

On the UA website the first flight out was on April 5th, from another departure airport (STI) with 2 connections (PTY and NAS) and is 30 hrs+ travel time. First 2 segments on Copa. NAS-EWR on UA. $650 US for coach. It’s 2+ weeks after my original travel date (21 March), but I grabbed it anyway. That will be my “Plan B”.

Because thanks to JSloane (above,) my “Plan A” will be the Jet Blue ticket I snagged for my original travel date (21 March) non stop POP-JFK (my original flight was into EWR, but no biggie) for $400 US.

JB is not selling any seats for the flight down to POP. So I’m assuming they are doing the responsible thing and sending a plane to pick up those Jet Blue customers who have return reservations. (As is allowed by the Dominican Presidents border closing decree). I was just fortunate that they had an empty seat to sell me.

Still surprised and disappointed that United didn’t do the same.

thanks all for your suggestions and help. Much appreciated.
I’d certainly ask UA to pay for your JB ticket, and maybe a differential for the Biz flight. (Miles or cash)
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Old Mar 19, 20, 12:49 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
I’d certainly ask UA to pay for your JB ticket, and maybe a differential for the Biz flight. (Miles or cash)
My guess is that UA will balk at that but will agree t provide the remaining balance of the ticket price as a credit.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 5:51 am
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Flight to PR?

Scary times. We just left DR on Tuesday (and actually thought about extending our trip). You might look into flights on Jet Blue to San Juan and fly United to Newark.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
I’d certainly ask UA to pay for your JB ticket, and maybe a differential for the Biz flight. (Miles or cash)
Bad idea if one can't even get through to UA per the OP. Find any way to get back home, these tickets would be inconsequential in the big picture if you are stranded indefinitely.

At this point, the most practical advice: not to travel unless it's a life and death situation, even on domestic routes. The situation is so fluid, and these kind of situations have been playing out quite a bit.

I cancelled my trip to Canada and Hong Kong this week. I was agonizing quite a bit, but it ended up being a good decision after all. Missed out on a visit to the brand new AC SSL at YVR, but there will be plenty of opportunities down the road.

Good luck to the OP.
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