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THE Big Airline & Hotel Squeeze


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So those of you that have travelled a bit this year will understand somewhat. This post is to help those who are planning to travel , to try and shed some light on problems . By all means correct me if I’m wrong , also feel free to contribute your experience this year to date . 
 

well , I never thought I’d do a layover flight , but here I am stuck at Hong Kong airport. Why ? Well I had to go to Thailand for a funeral and the only way to get here quick was a one way “ stocking filler “ tickets on Thai Air . 
 

the problem is returning. I searched high and low for tickets back before next Monday. The fastest was $7,400 AUD per ticket . The next best was $3,300 for a flight via Phuket , BUT I was too late by the time I got my credit card out . 
 

So here I go , 3 hours on the PC . Trying to get home . So…. I opted to spend $1700 for 2 tickets ! With the savings I guessed I’d be earning ( saving ) $200 per hour via Hong Kong . 
 

Things are going swimmingly, then we land. To be told I cannot go down the road 3 klm to the motel and I must stay in the airport, it made me think of a Tom Hanks movie . Cannot leave the airport . Not allowed too . 
 

here is the kicker , the booking I made with Marriot didn’t mention that HKG was closed , yet they still took my money gladly . I even called the hotel and they said no problem , we can sort a early morning taxi out for you . 
I now realise it’s probably some punk in the USA or Phillipines that is just making things up on the fly . 
None the less, I feel it was the person and their website that should have advised me , not the airport staff . 
 

there you go . So I’m out of pocket $300 for the hotel, but I’m still ahead. 
 

I guess the moral to this story / article / whine is to not assume the rest of the world is open like Thailand. Don’t assume the airlines are craving for your custom , as they are becoming over whelmed . And lastly , triple check your iterneary. I got lazy and took someone’s encouragement on the end of the phone . ( after all it was the Marriott, I thought ) 

 

I can rant on about the finer issues such as the baggage loss issues with split flights and delays , etc , but I’d only be guessing . 
 

In conclusion, In this current climate  

1. book direct flight return trips.

2. Make sure you pay more for a flexible flight as poo is happening out there.

3. If you do book one way , then don’t expect a short notice return flight that’s reasonable .


my experience to date after doing 10 trips this year is it’s only getting more hectic , not better . The Big squeeze is on making up their money by those lost years. Be bloody careful people . 

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I always get return, one of the cheapest (and that never is direct). 
until july some airlines were offering full flexibility included on some fligjts, not all. On skyscaner there was a special temporary option to select only those flights. Probably they were not the cheapest once. Some airlines were offering free health insurance, later reduced to only covid insurance. They are gone since April. 
 

as to china, possible some other one in asia, there are still covid restrictions. Hotels only airside. Sometimes they are just capsule type and charge per hour. They are not cheap, but agoda might have them heavily discounted. I always take small towel and use free showers even if I have short connection. Also my own food for those long layovers, or in case of delays. 
 

but because those countries are in need of transfer passengers, they are the cheapest one, and by large margin. China Airline (or Airline China, dont remember their correct name) through shanghai is a round way to europe, adding many h in air. 
 

you are travelling at summer holiday season now, fares drop to near normal from september.
And airlines still do have sales. Thai airways had already 2 of them this year, the last one all June. 
 

i find travel on my routes to europe near normal. 

Edited by internationalism
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Hong Kong has been and still is one of the most restrictive countries when it comes to the lingering effects of draconian Covid rules. Something to do with being party to Xi's flawed "zero covid" nonsense? I will refrain from saying "I thought everyone knew that" but due diligence is needed these days. I recently traveled to Singapore on business and luckily the airline advised me of the 72-hour pre-flight immigration registration window (includes uploading proof of being fully vaccinated) that's part of their new automated, paperless, online entry/exit procedures. My entry was fast but judging by the immigration bottleneck described by a colleague arriving a few hours later on a different flight from me, it's possible that a lot of passengers maybe were not aware of pre-registering and thus clogged up the immigration aisles? BTW, on arrival in Singapore, if you want to enter but you're not double-jabbed (or offer no acceptable proof thereof) you will be PCR tested and then quarantined for five days. It's in their "small print".

 

I wouldn't say that someone willfully ripped the OP off for an unusable hotel room. Looking at the epic shambles at most of Europe's major airports due to lack of staff and the need to find and train new hires, I would imagine the issue of experience and knowledge also affects the less visible and dynamic aspects of the travel industry like hotel bookings and the like.

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Thanks NaLaew, makes a lot of sense . I’m in the same page. Marriott has admitted they should have been more proactive and I waiting for a refund . 
Diligence should start with yourself , however at the end of the day , if you book with an establishment like the Marriot , one would expect they have protocols in place to fix  regardless of staffing issues . 

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