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Old 14.03.2011, 22:37
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Traveling to Japan following the earthquake [airline rebooking fees]

I am due to travel to Japan this coming Thursday. However, following numerous phone calls with Virgin Atlantic Airways, it seems they are only interested in profiteering from the current disaster insisting exuberant fee of CHF 250 per ticket, to postpone my booking by only a couple of weeks. As Japan is currently considered a danger zone, this seems totally inhumane and opportunists for such a large well known company. We are very much concerned if there are other people who are in similar situation like me.
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:40
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:42
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Thank you...
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:46
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

...and that's why we all have our travel insurance, isn't it?!

You what? Oh.

.
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:47
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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I am due to travel to Japan this coming Thursday. However, following numerous phone calls with Virgin Atlantic Airways, it seems they are only interested in profiteering from the current disaster insisting exuberant fee of CHF 250 per ticket, to postpone my booking by only a couple of weeks. As Japan is currently considered a danger zone, this seems totally inhumane and opportunists for such a large well known company. We are very much concerned if there are other people who are in similar situation like me.
How is that possible? To ANY destination in Japan?? Even for areas completely unscathed?
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:49
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

It's terrible, don't you think? By the way, Travel Insurance doesn't cover this, I already checked.
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:51
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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I am due to travel to Japan this coming Thursday. However, following numerous phone calls with Virgin Atlantic Airways, it seems they are only interested in profiteering from the current disaster insisting exuberant fee of CHF 250 per ticket, to postpone my booking by only a couple of weeks. As Japan is currently considered a danger zone, this seems totally inhumane and opportunists for such a large well known company. We are very much concerned if there are other people who are in similar situation like me.
That's shocking to hear that Virgin Atlantic is not going to accommodate you. All other airlines are doing it for free, and have links on their homepages with Japan policy updates.

I highly advise you to post your experience on the flyertalk.com
forums, I am sure there it will raise some eyebrows!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/virgin-flying-club-506/
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Old 14.03.2011, 22:54
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Thank you, Saulius, I will consider doing what you suggested...
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:00
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Perhaps you just spoke to the wrong person. Ask them to reconsider, and tell them you would publicize this if they do not. Then ask for the full name of the person you are speaking with. Do this firmly, and they will likely think twice and pass it on to their superior. If their PR people hear of this situation, I am sure they would change their minds. I'm dead serious.
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:07
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Hi Phos, yes, I spoke to supervisors, a person in charge, as well as a customer service. They all give me the same answer. One of them actually said, "I would not recommend you travel to Japan so soon after the quake." It is truly upsetting...
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:09
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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That's shocking to hear that Virgin Atlantic is not going to accommodate you. All other airlines are doing it for free, and have links on their homepages with Japan policy updates.

I highly advise you to post your experience on the flyertalk.com
forums, I am sure there it will raise some eyebrows!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/virgin-flying-club-506/
I saw a message from Swiss today on Facebook. They have rescheduled some flights. They are offering free rescheduling or refunds
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:11
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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Hi Phos, yes, I spoke to supervisors, a person in charge, as well as a customer service. They all give me the same answer. One of them actually said, "I would not recommend you travel to Japan so soon after the quake." It is truly upsetting...
I am sure that it is, but it could be very good advice. I guess it depends on which part of Japan you are intending to travel to.
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:13
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Thank you Deep Purple for your reply. It is comforting that you guys reply with helpful ideas. I am touched. At this time, Virgin Atlantic is not changing their mind about the expensive charge in rescheduling my flight. They don't seem to understand how serious the situation is right now...
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:21
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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I am sure that it is, but it could be very good advice. I guess it depends on which part of Japan you are intending to travel to.
I am traveling to Tokyo. But the whole of the country is affected following this disaster. Train service is running at the moment 20 - 30 % of the usual service and they are limiting electricity supply for much of the country. Even if I manage to land in Narita Airport, there will be disruptions and difficulties traveling from the airport.

I told Virgin Atlantic that I am concerned for my safety, and I am sure so are many people, who are booked to fly this week. I just wished, they would understand and help. I am sickened that they take advantage of unfortunate situation like this. It is so wrong.
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:27
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

musa361

you might want to take a look at this link which is Virgin's page regarding current flight disruption to Japan. Is the flight actually going? It's not obvious that this option is available to people whose flights aren't cancelled, but you could try nevertheless and refer to the webpage. It might just help...

http://virginatlantic.custhelp.com/a...xCN0lvaw%3D%3D
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Old 14.03.2011, 23:34
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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musa361

you might want to take a look at this link which is Virgin's page regarding current flight disruption to Japan. Is the flight actually going? It's not obvious that this option is available to people whose flights aren't cancelled, but you could try nevertheless and refer to the webpage. It might just help...

http://virginatlantic.custhelp.com/a...xCN0lvaw%3D%3D
Thank you Snoopy, just like others who replied, you went out of your way to find a link for me. I am so thankful that you guys are so kind. Isn't it ironic? You guys have never met me yet so helpful. And Virgin Atlantic? ... as long as they have my money... they just don't want to help.
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Old 15.03.2011, 04:09
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

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I am traveling to Tokyo. But the whole of the country is affected following this disaster. Train service is running at the moment 20 - 30 % of the usual service and they are limiting electricity supply for much of the country. Even if I manage to land in Narita Airport, there will be disruptions and difficulties traveling from the airport.
No, the regions south of Kanto are not affected. Cities like Nagoya, Osaka and anything south is as per normal, electricity and and transportation. The planned outage is only happening in the Kanto region and up north. My friends in Osaka are getting a bit annoyed at CNN, who are making it sound like the whole country is a mess, which it is NOT.

I do find it a bit too much if people started demanding free cancellation to ANY destination in Japan, to those that are not affected. But yes, in OP's case, it is understandable... I hope it works out for you. Singapore Airlines is accepting any changes, and cancellations at no charge for the time being...
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Old 15.03.2011, 05:30
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

Found this on CNN:

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U.S. carriers Delta, American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines will waive ticket reissue charges for flights to and from Japan within specified time periods.
source: Japan travel updates: Travel alerts and airline ticket waivers
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Old 15.03.2011, 07:01
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

The British Foreign Office is now warning to stay away from that region unless necessary:

Quote:
We advise against all non essential travel to Tokyo and north eastern Japan given the damage caused by the 11 March earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunami
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...-oceania/japan

Given that Virgin is a British airline, they may start to become a little more amenable.
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Old 15.03.2011, 09:06
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Re: Traveling to Japan following the earthquake

I would make them very aware that than any delays on their part would be heavily penalised by you. Make sure you pay with a Credit Card, this way it's not yolu directly who attacks but the credit card company

If you have paid withg a credit card, it maybe possible to cancel due to "unforseen circumstances" by asking the Credit card to do chargeback on your card. Best bet would be phone them and see.

Anyway, going to Japan at this time unless it's for a humanitarian cause is about as much use as a vegitarian tiger
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