For those who have never try budget airlines before.
So you are excited to start your vacation. The airfare seems to be good to be true. With a small luggage you arrive at the airport. You look at the Arrival/Departure screen, hmmm, can’t find your flight. Ok, I am too early, they do not have my flight details yet. So you wait and wait…and wait. Still no flight. Anxiously you approach the counter staff only to be told there is no flight and the airline tried calling you many times to no avail and had emailed you about the flight cancellation. The staff then ask you to fill up a form for the refund of the credit card bill. Your blood pressure shoots up while you check your phone and email and there is no such email or missed calls! Arggggh!!!!
See, this happened to me. So what are the lessons learned?
- Check you email that the airline have received your booking and there is a bill confirmation of our booking.
- Check your email daily for any update on your flight. It is important to use your regular email as you may have forgotten to check the less frequently used email accounts.
- Check your credit card if the airline has billed you.
- Two weeks before departure, call the airline to check if the flight is confirmed. This may be a fruitless exercise as the airline does not usually confirm flight till the very day of departure.
- The day before departure, check again. Yes, it may be another useless call because you may hear the same answer.
- Call again on the day of departure.
- Arrive at the airport and immediately go to the counter if you do not see your flight schedule.
- If flight is cancelled, check if the airline will re-schedule another flight. If not, demand your money back!
This is not a diss on budget airlines. I don’t mind cheap travel – I get what I pay for. An informed customer may not complain if there is a mess-up and and the reasons explained. This goes for any service provider, not just airlines. A first time customer will either come back or be totally turned off by the experience. Needless to say, I am into the later category.