So I’m better now…still disappointed, but better. All of the follow-up items have been taken care of; not exactly the way I had hoped they would, but at least for now we’re not out any money.
So first, a little bit on the airline tickets. As I have previously mentioned, we had found non-stop flights on Air Canada from Toronto to Beijing and then back from Shanghai to Toronto. Not cheap, but definitely more convenient. While the airline canceled our first flight, they didn’t cancel our second flight, which means we would have to cancel the reservation instead of them. The significance of that is that since we were canceling the reservation, their cancelation policy would kick in and our options would be a flight credit or a travel voucher – no refund.
While I understand, I still don’t like the policy. Once they cancelled the first flight, that should have made us eligible for a refund. Though I like Air Canada and Pearson Airport, it will mean that any recommendation I would offer up to folks will come with a caveat.
That said, we did get a travel voucher, which is essentially a gift card that we can use for any future flights. I don’t think they’ll be going out of business any time soon and they do fly to locations we like, so we’ll get to use that up eventually.
As for the travel agency, here’s where my bias towards doing things myself proves out once again. The trip is cancelled. They can not send Americans to China, however the best we can do is a travel credit. Our three choices were to postpone the trip until a future date, take a travel credit that we could use towards another tour (both with a two year expiration period) or just cancel and walk away – giving up the 25% we’ve already put down.
We took the travel credit and are hoping that we’ll be able to use it towards another trip when things settle down. Hopefully, they’ll go somewhere we want to go and somewhere that we’ll need help with.
So our next step will be to think about where we might want to go if life normalizes. Wherever that might be, it will be somewhere that Air Canada flies and Audley provides services, so we can recoup the money we have tied up in credits.
But before that, we will be be doing a Chinese staycation in October. We’ll have some recipes ready to cook, decorations around the house, a travel video or two to watch and, of course, a big stuffed Panda that will hang out with us.
生活仍在继续 Life goes on…