Air China, Say What? “Your Flight is to Busan, We’ll Only Take You to Seoul”


Air China, say what! Air China, say what? Today I asked the gate agent that very question when I inquired as to what the hell he was talking about. Mind you, I’m in Puerto Rico, not Beijing. This Travel Nightmares anecdote is not about me getting deported from China again. It has nothing to do with me. Instead it’s about Ms.TPOL, who flew JAL first from SFO-HND, then ANA business from NRT-PEK, and was ready to go from Beijing to Busan, peasant class, first thing in the morning. That was the plan until her flight got cancelled, and nobody from Avianca (booked through LifeMiles) or Air China bothered to tell her. It only got worse from there. Air China said there were no other flights that day and that she would have to come back the following day. They would not provide hotel accommodations for the cancellation. Instead, the only flight they would book her on was to to Seoul (Incheon).

Livid, I asked to speak to the gate agent, who kept repeating his scripted speech that she could not go to Busan, only Seoul. To which I said, “That’s like booking me a flight to Nanjing, when I want to go to Shanghai. How is that a solution?” He concluded the conversation by saying there was no manager and that was that. Furious, I called Avianca, and after a long hold my call – say what! – dropped. Calm, I called back and was finally told that they could not change her booking to Asiana, and the only option was to call Air China.

So, as I type this post, Ms. TPOL is en route to Incheon where she will take the train (and pay out of her pocket) down to Busan. Not receiving any help from an airline from a cancelled flight is halfway to be expected. Wasting a whole day at the airport instead of getting a good night rest or being able to switch to an another carrier for a points booking is maddening.

All should end well for Ms. TPOL as she is flying SQ first from ICN-LAX.

Ah the good life. Stupid Air China. Stupid Avianca.

Air China did get me out of Mongolia. Here’s me going in, not knowing the shit that was in store. Read about all my Mongolian adventures here.


    • She took the train. $48. We already planned on her taking the train back to Seoul so we were prepared.

  1. Air China is infamous for their cancellation of award tickets and bad customer services. Avoid Air China at all cost. When I go to China from Taiwan or Japan, I never fly Air China even though I may have to connect in Hong Kong.

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