Flight cancelled and dates moved forward

13
Posted 16th Feb
Hi,

Just wanted to see if anyone has experienced or have any knowledge of having their flights cancelled and the dates changed to earlier dates.

I originally booked flights for 4-17th March to Singapore with Cathay Pacific and this was booked through Opodo. Within the last week or so, Cathay Pacific changed the dates to 3-16th March and then changed them again to 2-16th. Due to work commitments, we cannot travel out earlier so are looking to see if we can get a refund for the flights. Also, we don’t really want to cut our holiday shorter either. In addition to the Coronavirus, we thought it might be best to cancel this holiday and go another time in the future. We are also looking at getting a refund for our booked accommodation too but we did not select the refundable option so I’m not sure if we can.

Does anyone know if we could receive a refund or possibly claim on our travel insurance?

Should also add that I’ve contacted Opodo and Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific said they couldn’t help much and we need to speak to our travel agents. Opodo don’t seem to helpful and they’ve just contacted Cathay Pacific for further options and we are waiting to hear back.

Thanks
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13 Comments
In regards to the hotel, I'm guessing you booked this seperately to the flight and not as a package? if you haven't booked a hotel option with free cancellation then you will need to check the specifics of your travel insurance to see if you can claim with them as all policies will vary. You might have signed up for cancellation cover which might cover you in this instance, but to be honest I think it's quite unlikely that you'll be able to claim otherwise. Definitely worth checking though!
With a minor flight change, there is little that you can do but accept it . However with a major flight change you would be entitled to either a refund or re-booking whichever you wish. The thing you need to establish first is what Cathay Pacific (generally with many airlines it's 12 hrs but varies between different airline) regards as a major change, check their T&Cs , or e-mail them and ask them . I suspect however that as your outgoing flight is changed by 2 days this would be a major change . Once you establish this you need to contact Opodo for a refund as i believe your contract is with them and not directly with the Airline.May also be worth ringing your Credit Card Company and inquiring if you get no joy with Opodo. Even if you do get a Refund there maybe some form of admin charge deducted again all down to T&Cs.
Regarding accommodation not sure if you didn't accept cancellation cover I think you are at the mercy of Opodo , could check you Travel insurance thou.
WIth Cathy Pacific why would you use an agent like Opodo (and Expedia), what was the advantage in not buying direct from Cathy Pacific?
I would buy direct from an airline, which I did a few times recently, as this method is easiest to handle when there is an issue.
splender16/02/2020 16:18

WIth Cathy Pacific why would you use an agent like Opodo (and Expedia), …WIth Cathy Pacific why would you use an agent like Opodo (and Expedia), what was the advantage in not buying direct from Cathy Pacific?I would buy direct from an airline, which I did a few times recently, as this method is easiest to handle when there is an issue.


This advice is spot on.

I got bumped* off a virgin flight along with another 20 or so others. Chatting with them, we all had one thing in common - booked with a travel agent. I got a really good deal, so my best guess is they resold the seats that were sold cheap via agents to higher paying passengers. I'm guessing, if I had booked direct I wouldn't have been effected. Virgin wouldn't speak to me either - had to 'deal' with opodo.

*I think the term is bumped - instead of a direct flight, I went via somewhere else
Thank you everyone for taking time to read this post and reply. Some very useful information here
Psychobunni16/02/2020 15:30

In regards to the hotel, I'm guessing you booked this seperately to the …In regards to the hotel, I'm guessing you booked this seperately to the flight and not as a package? if you haven't booked a hotel option with free cancellation then you will need to check the specifics of your travel insurance to see if you can claim with them as all policies will vary. You might have signed up for cancellation cover which might cover you in this instance, but to be honest I think it's quite unlikely that you'll be able to claim otherwise. Definitely worth checking though!


Yeah, flights and hotel were separate. I’ll be contacting my travel insurance for sure to see what they can do about the accommodation
oscarcat16/02/2020 15:31

With a minor flight change, there is little that you can do but accept it …With a minor flight change, there is little that you can do but accept it . However with a major flight change you would be entitled to either a refund or re-booking whichever you wish. The thing you need to establish first is what Cathay Pacific (generally with many airlines it's 12 hrs but varies between different airline) regards as a major change, check their T&Cs , or e-mail them and ask them . I suspect however that as your outgoing flight is changed by 2 days this would be a major change . Once you establish this you need to contact Opodo for a refund as i believe your contract is with them and not directly with the Airline.May also be worth ringing your Credit Card Company and inquiring if you get no joy with Opodo. Even if you do get a Refund there maybe some form of admin charge deducted again all down to T&Cs.Regarding accommodation not sure if you didn't accept cancellation cover I think you are at the mercy of Opodo , could check you Travel insurance thou.


Thanks for the information. I’ll check what they consider as a major change as it’s 48 hours early. I’ve read that Opodo can be a bit tricky so I will be calling them again and maybe seeing what the credit card company can do too. Hopefully the insurance company can advise us too
splender16/02/2020 16:18

WIth Cathy Pacific why would you use an agent like Opodo (and Expedia), …WIth Cathy Pacific why would you use an agent like Opodo (and Expedia), what was the advantage in not buying direct from Cathy Pacific?I would buy direct from an airline, which I did a few times recently, as this method is easiest to handle when there is an issue.


I think from now on I’ll be booking direct. I guess from using travel agents in the past I’ve managed to save a bit of money but it’s not worth it when things go wrong
If you book flights direct and accommodation through a different supplier. You’ll never get cover under Atol or Abta or what ever they’re called. Should one party suddenly fold, you could be stranded. Not likely but a consideration.
We are in the same dilemma, booked to travel in march to HK, after several email, they say they can't action the refund option through that channel (?). It's like the left hand don't know what the right hand is doing. Also hotel was booked in HK, but through Agoda. Email sent to the hotel booked (went through Agoda though) requesting refund was refused because we booked through an agent(talk about who wears the trousers in this partnership).
Pandamansays16/02/2020 18:42

This advice is spot on.I got bumped* off a virgin flight along with …This advice is spot on.I got bumped* off a virgin flight along with another 20 or so others. Chatting with them, we all had one thing in common - booked with a travel agent. I got a really good deal, so my best guess is they resold the seats that were sold cheap via agents to higher paying passengers. I'm guessing, if I had booked direct I wouldn't have been effected. Virgin wouldn't speak to me either - had to 'deal' with opodo.*I think the term is bumped - instead of a direct flight, I went via somewhere else



04muim16/02/2020 21:28

I think from now on I’ll be booking direct. I guess from using travel a …I think from now on I’ll be booking direct. I guess from using travel agents in the past I’ve managed to save a bit of money but it’s not worth it when things go wrong


I have not used Expedia/OPODO etc., for at least 6 years, except for rare incidents.

This is Opodo's terms, "6.3 The limitation of liability of Opodo is in accordance with the current applicable legislation and particularly in terms of the sectorial regulations of travel agencies. In any case, Opodo assumes no liability for any damages arising directly or indirectly from the contract between the Travel Supplier and the Consumer relating to the purchase of a product or service offered on its Website."

+ the killer new explanation , "Please note that as this situation (coronavirus) is considered as "force majeure", many insurance policies, plus our "Cancel for any reason" and "Flexible Dates" products, will not be applicable. " (On Opodo's web site virus alert.)

In contrast to, Virgin, which I just used (always bought direct with airlines like BA and Virgin, they simply are superior with after sales service and the helpdesk agents are native British (maybe not for BA out of hours), "You will be entitled to claim for a full refund on unused tickets and a partial refund if travel has already commenced. This will be regardless of your ticket type. If you have booked through a travel agent or third party, please contact them directly to arrange a refund." (Due to coronavirus, simply better terms for customers to reschedule and to get refunds, from my recent experience.)

You get the service commensurate with what you paid for (when you need it most)! Avoid Expedia and all the other online agents.
Simon Calder, just said on LBC just now:-
1. Price comparison web site are great to find a deal,
2. Contact the hotel to get a deal as when things go wrong, contacting the hotel has customer service.
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