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We have just returned from a low cost tour/cruise around China/Japan. We had organized a pick up through the TA from Shanghai port to the airport. The transfer bus turned up 2 hours late and we missed the flight back to Sydney. Despite a few people trying no one could get any response from the TA emergency number . There were 14 of us affected. Shanghai airport is not a fun place to be under those circumstances. We eventually found someone  (the only person I think) who spoke English and worked at the airport. After much heated discussion we were told that there was a Qantas flight leaving that night $1600 each. Take it or leave it. Not really being in any position to bargain we had no choice but to pay. $3200 is a rather exorbitant amount to pay. Slightly more than Qantas actually charge. We were eventually reimbursed by the TA. I will not name the TA or drop any hints. Just do your homework

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Things have a habit of falling into place.

 

Once, due to a train strike in Rome we just missed our flight to Thailand where we were to spend a few days in Hua Hin before returning home. We were flying economy.

 

After telling the counter clerk our tale, with a few well chosen expletives about the Italian railway system included, we were informed that a Lufthansa plane was leaving very shortly to Munich, which would connect us to a Lufthansa flight to Bangkok two hours later.

 

We were told that we would fly business class to Munich, but no meal would be provided. For a one hour flight, who cared? I 

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Continuing, don't know what went wrong just then!

 

In any event, we ended up being fed as well.

 

From Munich we rang our well known Australian travel agent and left a message that we would be missing our land connection in Thailand and told them of our anticipated new arrival time.

 

When we checked in in Munich the counter clerk observed we had arrived business class, from Rome and booked us in business class for the next leg. Great!

 

On arrival at Bangkok our transfer vehicle was waiting for us.

 

Yep, things sometimes work out for the best.

 

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2 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

Seems like the TA wasn’t the problem, other than being uncontactable

 

Yes the TA was totally responsible...They offered and sold the transfer to us. They supplied us with all the details and sent us the receipt. 

 

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Claim on travel insurance?

My sympathies, waited 4 hours in Shanghai Airport for an internal flight that was cancelled, no refund at the time because we had booked through a TA, it did come a couple of weeks later.  

 

Left to our own devices to make other arrangements, we were joining a Yangtze cruise so ended up taking an 8 hour train trip to get there on time.  

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7 hours ago, cruiselover53 said:

 

Yes the TA was totally responsible...They offered and sold the transfer to us. They supplied us with all the details and sent us the receipt. 

 

 

Agreed, I posted a similar tale about Chinese travel (though not as bad an outcome) in a recent thread here on deals. 

 

The problem is when you're reliant on someone else there, where services aren't as consistent, it makes it harder to recover when something goes wrong, as they are relatively more likely to.

 

I'm glad the TA came through in the end, but it equally mars a trip that many may not be readily able to repeat.

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3 hours ago, cruiselover53 said:

The only point I'm making is be careful with the low cost holidays. The organization can sometimes be less than you might expect

Definitely research before purchase, read reviews  about people's experiences with the particular company that are not just on their website but elsewhere as well..

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Not sure that will help much. There's negative reviews about everything - including cruises - so if you read reviews you'll just see that things can go wrong. Nothing's a given, but pretty much anything will have failures some of the time.

 

Even if you organise it yourself - as I recommended in the other thread about the deal to China - things can still go wrong. It's just that you're more familiar with the options and environment, rather than being completely lost when that eventuality happens. And you also can rely on yourself at the time, rather than a travel agent, in another time zone, that only works certain hours...

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We had a private transfer in Paris booked in Paris last year that didn’t turn up so we ended up paying for a shuttle from the airport to Paris Disney. Thankfully the return transfer turned up.

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We had transfers included in the fly/hotel/cruise package thru an online TA deal for Singapore to Sydney a few years ago. All went well, except our ride from Singapore hotel to port never showed. We called from hotel to the car company and were told that our booking was for last week. I said "but you only brought us here yesterday". They insisted our booking was for last week & they seemed confused when I asked "if you only brought us here yesterday, how could you have picked us up last week?" Anyway, no common-sense prevailed & they couldn't help us, so we just got a taxi for S$20. 

When we got back home 2 weeks later I spoke to TA and they said they would refund the price we paid for that 'non-transfer' - I don't know we ever got it 🙂 Ship happens - and we did have a great trip!

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Ship does happen especially with transfers, I have noticed a few packages lately where the transfers are not included for certain countries in Asia (i.e China, Thailand, etc), while others still have them (i.e Japan and Vietnam), most likely due to the unreliability and the fall out.

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