I recently booked an international flight through directflights.com.au and was appalled at the level of service. My flight with China Eastern was over an hour late which caused more than a few headaches, as I was unable to catch the connecting flight (through no fault of my own). I was not offered a replacement flight or given any kind of useful assistance. Upon raising my concerns with the staff at directflights.com.au, I found them to be extremely unhelpful and rude. I asked for a refund for the flight that I missed due to the tardiness of the plane on the first leg of the journey, and they simply claimed that the ticket had been used so no refund could be given. This was obviously impossible, as I couldn't have used a ticket for a flight that had already departed upon my arrival at Shanghai airport. Both the airline and the ticketing agency refused to take responsibility. My emails to directflights.com.au were met with an arrogant and hostile attitude.
I would advise everyone NOT TO USE either the online booking service, nor the airline in question. In fact, my travels in China were riddled with such frustrations due to incompetence and a lack of customer service, so it's probably best to avoid travelling to China at all.
Has anyone had any positive experiences with online booking agencies that are reliable, polite and efficient? I would love some recommendations for the next time I travel. Thanks.
Holy cow. Take a breath.
1.) You're confusing the services/responsibilities of an Airline and those of a Travel Agency/Airline Consolidator. They're completely separate entities. Direct Flights has no more responsibility over China Eastern flight delays than China Eastern has responsibility regarding the cleanliness of Direct Flight's office washrooms.
2.) I assume your connecting flight out of Shanghai Airport was with another airline, correct? In that case China Eastern bears no responsibility for you missing that flight.
3.) Claiming that, "... so it's probably best to avoid travelling to China at all..." is a dumb statement. Period. I'm sure in hindsight you'll admit it was made in the heat of the moment.
I understand your frustration, but instead of misdirecting your anger start your travel education by reading the Terms & Conditions for the different travel companies that you do business with. Airlines, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Ticket Consolidators, etc. are all separate and distinct pieces of the puzzle that is the travel industry.
Good luck with your research and better luck next time.
Also a fantastic case study of reasons to get travel insurance.
Sorry to hear you had a bad trip – did you get any insurance? You may be able to recover some costs by making a claim, although this would probably have been more beneficial at the time the connection was missed. Certainly when a Qantas delay led to a missed connection on the way to Japan, we at least received food vouchers, accommodation for the night, and was put on to another flight the next day. Likewise, when France's entire rail network went on strike, the taxi to the airport was outrageously expensive but travel insurance covered it after making a claim.
Also, I wouldn't let your experience with a small number of companies and individuals colour your opinion of an entire country.
Good reminder about insurance... my main travel Credit Card has mind blowing coverage for missed/delayed flights and an avalanche of other travel related problems and issues...
Say you book multiple flights with multiple airlines always make sure that your travel agency issues ONE ticket. If you hold ONE ticket and one of the flights is delayed or cancelled then you ARE entitled to be put on the next available flight.
Say if you book multiple flights on SEPERATE tickets but in ONE booking then you are not entitled to anything .