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Thai Airways cancelled our flight from JFK to BKK

Thai Airways cancelled our flight from JFK to BKK

Old Dec 7th, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Thai Airways cancelled our flight from JFK to BKK

My family and I are less than two weeks away from our trip to Bangkok when our travel agent told us that Thai Airways just cancelled our flight going over! Gone, just like that. This has never happened to us, and I wonder how often this has happened to you Asian travelers??

Of course we felt like we had the perfect flight with 17 hours of nonstop flying that would get us into BKK at 4 PM. We now had to scramble to look for an alternate way of getting over. We checked the website and found a Thai Airways flight via Frankfurt which arrives at 6 AM and preferred that one, not wanting to lose any precious vacation time. However, our travel agent was then told by Thai Airways that because it actually is a Lufthansa flight, which does not share financial reciprocity with Thai Airways, we would not be able to go on that flight unless we paid an additional $3,000. Therefore, the only other flight over on Thai Airways from JFK turned out to be on United Airlines for the first leg of the trip to Narita, Tokyo, where we change planes to get on Thai Airways to BKK. We were able to be routed on this flight because United Airlines has financial reciprocity with Thai Airways unlike the Lufthansa flight. The entire Thai Airways part of our trip will now take 23 hours (and we have another flight to get on just to get to JFK), and we will be arriving at BKK at 10:15 PM...and still facing a 2 hour drive to get to our destination of Pattaya/Jotiem Beach. What a way to start our long-awaited vacation!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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I am curious - did Thai Airways "just" cancel the flight? Or was it the result of the airline a couple of months ago reducing the frequency of the JFK - BKK flight from 7 days a week to 4 days a week? If so, your TA is not exactly on the ball. If not, then you have made me a little nervous about our own flight in February. We have already adjusted our itinerary once due to the schedule change.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 02:59 AM
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I was about to ask the same thing. Craig. Now I have to wait nervously until thai opens to reconfirm my flight for the 100th time. I'm using ff miles so am in even more jeopardy.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 03:55 AM
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I read this post with some interest, as at first I thought it was a duplicate of a recent post in the Cambodia section of the Tripadvisor Forum. But I soon saw that the two posts were, indeed, separate.... but they were both about the same airline, Thai, and both about abrupt cancellation of flights. In the other case, the airline wouldn't, for reasons I have not learned, offer a refund on the tickets, nor were they able to offer an alternative transport package; consequently, this is about to become a legal battle.

I wonder what's going wrong with Thai Airlines?
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 04:04 AM
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We had the same thing happen for flight from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang on Thai. Poof -- just stopped doing that route. So, we rearranged our plans and are flying Bangkok Air to LP from BKK. Thai apparently has been cutting back on routes that are not running full.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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To answers your questions, our cancellation with Thai Airways just came in. The flight had existed in mid-September when we booked it. Our travel agent only got notice of the cancellation this week...as I said, less than two weeks before our departure.

Thai did offer to refund our money: a lot of good that is when all other flights to BKK are listing between $3,000-5,000 right now! We are also subjected to go through JFK as we have made reservations with a different carrier to get there from our destination of origin so therefore, didn't have the flexibility to re-design our flight plans entirely. Thai Airways also offered to route us on an alternate route to get us to BKK. However, as I said before, we found out that there was not much flexibility with this even though there was space available on other "Thai Airways" flights listed on the website that we would have preferred. But our travel agent was only able to find out that one of the alternate routes was on a Lufthansa carrier when she spoke to Thai by phone, which does not have reciprocity with the financial arrangement, which meant we couldn't use that flight. Hopefully this won't happen to us again for our return trip!

Our travel agent could not get any info from Thai Airways as to reason for their abrupt cancellation. She tells us that this is happening more and more with the airlines which creates obvious havoc and more work for the agents. Are you hearing the same complaint from your own agents?? She spent 45 mins. on the phone waiting to get through to Thai Airways in order to help us re-route. This was also my same experience when calling to talk with the airlines this week. Be sure to have a book or paper work in front of you for the long wait ahead!

Good luck to all of you travellers out there with Thai Airways! I hope that an abrupt cancellation doesn't happen with you!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:01 AM
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please keep us informed of anything Thai advises..we are also booked on that flight for mid january. I was unaware they could just cancel out of the blue...seems very unprofessional. Obviously people book entire vacations around the flight. Thai is more expensive than its competitors, it should not be taking shady shortcuts at the expense of paying customers.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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I agree. We paid top dollars for our flight(3 reservations), given the high season, especially compared to what the price was for October travel which was our original vacation plan. It's really outrageous, and you feel pretty helpless when it happens to you.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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thanks terry for letting other fodorites know of this possibility...
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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I'll repeat my question, Terry - why was the flight cancelled? Was it simply the cutback from 7 days a week to 4 days a week (which was announced quite a while ago) or was it for some other reason???
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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Whoops - didn't see your other post. I believe though that the change from 7 days to 4 days a week was made after you made your reservation in September.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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terry-- what date are you flying (day of thw week)? I'm wondering if your flight was cancelled 6 weeks ago when they changed the schedule and either they didn't notify your travel agent or your travel agent didn't notify you.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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If your outgoing flight was scheduled for Tuesday, Friday or Sunday, then you know it was due to the cutback and that your travel agent should have picked up on this a long time ago. Note that for BKK - JFK the Tuesday, Friday and Sunday flights were also cancelled.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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We flew Thai JFK-BKK on Sunday, Oct 30.

terryr - what was your scheduled date?
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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My Dec. 31 flight is still ok. I figured the reason I was on hold forever was that all the other fodorites were calling in!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for the info. I had planned to call them tomorrow anyway since I leave next Friday. They've already changed my flight once...now arriving a day late...so then I had to contact the serviced apartment office where I'll be living and have the reservation redone. Thai Air has changed my flight both to and from Thailand. It's good I have three weeks vacation. I usually take United where this type of thing I have not experienced. But, Thai Air is way cheaper than United these days so I've taken Thai Air, I think on the last three trips to Thailand. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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i have flown internationally since i was an infant, and have no recollection of an airline canceling a flight on me (except for US domestic flights due to severe snow storms). I am quite distressed to hear this is going on..especially on such a major flight as JFK-BKK. I suppose this is another thing to have to worry about! Our vacation is very compact, and between non-refundable hotels and minimal vacation time, we will have no room for a canceled flight. thanks for the info though, good to know commuincation is smooth here unlike some of these airline providers!
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Jacqui - airlines change their schedules all the time - this is nothing new. Until someone confirms that the cancellation of Terry's flight was due to something other than the cutback from 7 days to 4 announced in a post by Gloria on October 7 on this forum, I am going to assume that this was not some arbitrary action by Thai Airways.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 07:37 AM
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They may do it all the time, but I've been lucky to not experience it.. and have flown at least 2 international flights a year since age 0. I find it is rare on international flights on major, established airlines. I agree, if this cancellation was due to the airline cutting back to 4 days a week, then it might be acceptable. Anything otherwise, I really do not think it is.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 07:56 AM
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I checked on flyertalk and there are no new postings about arbitrary cancellations and generally that's the first place you read about these things -- that's where I first read about the reduction of flights in JFK-BKK schedule in the first place.
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