Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Freak Out

I booked my trip to the UK back in August through to fly on AirIndia on Oct 16 out of JFK (getting to LHR Oct 17) and coming home on Dec 22 because my mom wanted me home for Christmas. My flight was US$602, which was perfect for my budget.

They called me today to tell me my flight was canceled and it will take two weeks to get my refund!

The exact conversation went like this:

cgf: Your flight’s been canceled
Me: can you put me on another flight?
cfg: Air India canceled all their flights for the next three months
Me: Can you put me on another airline?
cfg: We can’t apply money paid for one flight to another. We can rebook you using the same card
Me: I don’t have enough money to do that. Did the refund get credited back today?
cfg: It can take two weeks
Me: that’s not acceptable, I need to leave for London on October 16
cfg: We can try to expedite it
Me: Are there any other flights you could put me on after I get my refund and I rebook? Anything in the same price range?
cfg: I will look into it and call you back, but I can only hold a price for three days

…and then I went to their website and the best they have is $760..which I can’t afford right now, and it would even be tight to try to re-book after I get my refund, assuming flights are still that low.

My mom has agreed to letting me stay over through Christmas, so if I can find a cheaper flight that’s longer, that’ll work, but Tim and I have tickets to a show on Oct 21, so I need to be there at least by then. And Tim took leave Oct 17-31 so we could travel, so if I go later, we wouldn’t have that leave available and I wouldn’t actually get to see much of the UK because Tim would be working.

But I can’t book anything until I get my refund. because I don’t have any extra money hanging around to book with.

But the saga gets deeper.

I called cfg back to find out if there were any options. Sam (the guy I talked to) told me I needed to call Air India directly, and gave me their 800 number.

Cue two hours of getting no where. The 800# goes to Bombay, btw, and they have no connection with the New York office. They give me a 212 number, and I call it and get nothing but piano music. So, I call the 800# back. I get another number, but this one goes to a law office in NYC. I call back, get another number that no one answers. I call again, and get another number that goes to the law office. I call the 800# again and ask for a supervisor right away.

Supervisor (which I swear I kept being bounced around. I’d abruptly get told to hold on and then I’d have to re-explain everything) told me that this was all my travel agent (cgf)’s fault, and they couldn’t re-book me because a refund has been issued. I said I hadn’t gotten the refund, so why couldn’t they cancel the refund and re-book me through EWR (which a friend of mine on another message board told me they had been doing to everyone booked with a JFK flight that was cancelled). They told me they couldn’t because of something with cfg. Oh, and this person told me the refund could take two months!

So….I called Sam back and told him what happened. He told me it wouldn’t take two months, and he was trying to get me my refund faster so I could rebook something. He’s calling AirIndia to see what he can do, since all AirIndia would tell me to do was “call your travel agent”.

Tim and I also did some flight hunting before he had to leave for work, and I found a BA flight for $722. The problem is that without the refund, I don’t have $722 to book anything, and if I have to wait 2 weeks? I’m sure the flight will be way more than $722. I mean, I’m supposed to leave in 28 days! 2 weeks for now leaves me with…two weeks to get a flight.

So, I’m at my wits end. I need a way to re-book a flight before the refund comes through and I just don’t have it.

I can’t completely cancel this trip. Tim and I have been looking forward to this and we have tickets to Shakespeare in October and we have loads of plans.


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