Insurance policy given back

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Neil Maley

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#22
You have a couple of things going on- she missed her initial flight didn’t she? What I am reading from what you wrote is she arrived at the airport 50 minute before her initial flight was leaving. That’s her fault and has nothing to do with Expedia.
That caused her to miss her connecting flight.

If that is what I am reading in your document- if she missed her connecting flight because she arrived too late for her first flight- she is owed nothing.

That’s what I took from your document. And this is why the OP should post her story clearly on this forum not on a document.


Correct me if I am not understanding what actually happened.


We need to know what time her initial flights get was, what time she arrived at airport. And original arrival and departure times for the rest of her flights.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#23
I see - thanks Neil. Specifically the document says:
  • The Air Botswana flight (operated by Qatar Airways), arrived at Johannesburg late (by a few minutes)
  • I proceeded to the transit area where my fingerprints were taken repeatedly, which I did not and do not still understand
  • At 6:40 PM the status board showed my connecting flight (scheduled for 7:30 departure) was closed for boarding
So she arrived from Gaborone, Botswana in Johannesburg shortly before 6:40 for the connecting flight which was leaving at 7:30. That's why I think that Expedia is responsible.
 
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#24
I took the time to convert your information to bullet points so it is more easily read, but it is still too long to post here. I have attached it to this post as a PDF for you and others to read as desired. The Staff and/or Verified Users here will correct me if I misstate any conclusions and, of course, offer thoughts of their own.

Several things stood out to me as I was reformatting:
  • Expedia seems to have booked you improperly. They allotted approximately one hour for an international connection, and you state you had roughly 45 minutes after landing.
  • The transit area of the airport was lacking in facilities for you and other passengers to meet your basic needs.
  • From your description of events, Qatar Airways should have treated you better.
  • There is room here for reflection on your part as to what you should do differently in future travels. Mostly, you added a significant risk by placing all your "necessary items" in your checked bags and carried little to no cash with you.
What Can You Do At this Point?
As I stated earlier you can use use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your case to Expedia and Qatar Airways. If you do, it is critical that you cover just the facts and let them speak for themselves. Attacking them, deserved or not, will only cloud the issue and may work against you.

It's clear to me that Expedia should refund your airfare. Beyond that I don't have any recommendations for compensation ...


Without the flight numbers it is hard to tell, but this is what I read as the chronology:

Left Botswana, no problem.

Arrived in Johannesburg just a few minutes late.

In Johannesburg had to be fingerprinted -- this is a requirement for all first time transit and incoming passengers
.

DHA spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says the biometric system was initially only implemented for transit travellers at OR Tambo, but was rolled out across all immigration stations at the airport on Friday.

The department says it has identified the capturing of biometrics as a key element in securing movements of persons in and out of SA. According to the DHA, the purpose of taking biometric data at ports of entry is to accurately identify people and determine whether they pose a risk to the country.

By using biometrics, SA immigration is helping to prevent the use of fraudulent documents, protect visitors from identify theft, and stop criminals and immigration violators from entering the country.


https://www.itweb.co.za/content/2j5alr7QZJNMpYQk

By the time the fingerprinting was done and admitted into the transit area, the traveler went to find the connecting flight -- and this was at 6:40 for a 7:30 flight which is 50 minutes

So it is likely that the OP had an hour, given the time for the transit processing -- and leaving the plane.

While 60 minutes is a legal transit time for international to international it is not a wise transit time.

The flight to Doha was closed and there was no one to assist the traveler. Traveller spent the night in the transit area as there was no way to enter SA and no staff.




 
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#25
I was refunded 344 dollars by Expedia. I was returned 66 dollars insurance back. So everyone thinks its normal not to be able to buy a new ticket at the airport?Or pay the penalty?As I said-I offered to buy a new ticket cash or credit card. They did NOT want to accept it at Qatar Airways and Botswana Airways. Second question-you think 50 minutes is not enough to board the next plane?How can I be an inexperienced traveler when I was travelling from the age of 4?
 
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#26
ADVOCATE ADVICE
Use this handy rule for packing: assume that you will never see your checked suitcase again or that someone will open it in transit and steal your goodies. Pack your carryon with everything you need for a couple of days, including during your flights. Wear clothing on the plane that can be hand-washed and dried overnight. Don't allow yourself to be a victim, prepare for the worst.
I packed enough things for the TRANSIT not knowing I will be there 48 hours.
 
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#27
Also wifi info -- 4 hours or 1 gb of data, whichever comes first, http://www.airports.co.za/airports/or-tambo-international/the-airport/shops-facilities/wi-fi

Get 4 hours free* Wi-Fi at all Airports Company South Africa airports

Airports Company South Africa has launched a free Wi-Fi service for passengers in the boarding areas of its nine airports. Users of the service will have either 4 hours of Wi-Fi connection or 1gig of data available at no charge. Once the 4 hours have lapsed, or 1gig of data is reached, users will be invited to top up the facility on a pay-as-you-go basis. This complimentary service is provided as a value-add to enhance the passenger experience at each of the company’s airports and entrench the position of Airports Company South Africa as a world-class airport owner and operator.
4 hours of free wi-fi is not what I received at the Airport. Also, this is not enough when you are 48 hours at the Airport. Finally, there was no possibility to buy more hours. The option was not working.
 
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#28
I have attached here my ticket as someone said it is difficult to say anything without the flight number. Why am I not being refunded my return ticket which I cannot use? Why was I returned 344 dollars?What is the price breakdown?Why doesnt it state on the ticket: insurance only for US citizens. Then no free internet. All the necessary information. Why call me an inexperienced traveler when as a child of someone working for the Airline I had a right to travel free or with very discounted prices until the age of 21. How would you feel that someone tell you that you missed the second flight while the entire time you were in the queue-and when its your time to board they tell you you missed the flight?How would you feel that you cannot buy another ticket for even the third flight because they do not accept cash, credit card, they cannot use their computer to help you and they cannot figure out the penalty that you are supposed to pay. Try googling Expedia Insurance Plan reviews and you will see comments from other more educated USA citizens what they say about it. Also, the insurance wrote me that they cannot refund me because I everything that happened to me is not covered by the policy. Expedia told me something different. We have to refund you because you are not a USA citizen. Now-if you sell tickets to foreigners-why not sell us also the insurance policy?The lady who wrote that this is not a tragedy is completely wrong. This is a tragedy for me. For me it is a tragedy that at the age of 38 with all the money and good will and technology I had to go back to Botswana instead of reaching destination. They simply didnt want to help me at Qatar Airways.
 

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Dwayne Coward

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#29
But isn't Expedia liable here for selling her a short (invalid?) connection?
It is very unlikely. The connection times are established in the GDS by the airline when connections are between the same airline (as in this case). Though it can happen as demonstrated in a recent case. In the end, it will the responsibility of the airline or GDS to ensure the times are valid. If this was, in fact, the problem, then we would expect the booking agent to sort it out with their suppliers (Airline/GDS).

My reading on this one is he missed his connecting flight (probably due to delayed arrival) and was accommodated on to a flight the next morning. Apparently, the airline is claiming he showed up too late to board. It further appears they were not going to accommodate him again with the same ticket, so now that ticket is no longer valid under the no-show rules.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#30
Yes and no, I think:
  • The Qatar Airways flight to Johannesburg met the minimum connection time recommended by the Johannesburg airport
  • That flight was operated by Air Botswana and was late, causing "her" to miss the connecting Qatar Airways flight to Doha
  • The time was late (approx 8:00 PM) and no agents were present at Qatar Airways
  • At approximately 10:00 AM she attempted resolution with Qatar Airways but the agent's delayed response pushed her past the deadline for the next flight to Doha
  • She asked for the flight that evening and was told to go back to Air Botswana or book it on her own
It seems to me that Qatar Airways did not service her well, especially given that they "sold" the short connection time, then arrived late, then essentially left her on her own to resolve this. I do not see this being her fault.

And yes, I now understand that Expedia booked a legitimate itinerary ...
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
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Director
Apr 13, 2016
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St. Louis
#31
My second question is-Expedia sold me a return ticket $1.090, 26 but I have never made it to destination as I was not allowed to enter three consecutive Qatar Airways flights:
1. First one as I was told I was late which is not true
2. The next flight in the morning as I was accused again of missing the flight -and that was when I was taking a photo of the Qatar Airways screen which was not working but passengers were boarding
3. The third flihght next evening because the attendant told me she does not know how much the penalty is and they do not accept cash or credit card payments
I'm going by the OPs initial posting, specifically number 2.
 
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#32
Yes. This was explained in her original attachment which, for her own privacy protection, was removed. What I said was taken from that attachment.
 

Neil Maley

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#33
I see - thanks Neil. Specifically the document says:
  • The Air Botswana flight (operated by Qatar Airways), arrived at Johannesburg late (by a few minutes)
  • I proceeded to the transit area where my fingerprints were taken repeatedly, which I did not and do not still understand
  • At 6:40 PM the status board showed my connecting flight (scheduled for 7:30 departure) was closed for boarding
So she arrived from Gaborone, Botswana in Johannesburg shortly before 6:40 for the connecting flight which was leaving at 7:30. That's why I think that Expedia is responsible.
Thank you for clarifying- I didn’t quite understand the whole sequence.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#34
This travel mess is complicated because of the issue of unrealistic but "legal" minimum connection times. While 60 minutes may be legal it is not realistic given that some airlines close their international boarding 30 minutes before departure -- so if there is a delay in getting off the plane, or with immigration even for transit passengers, there is a strong risk of the passenger missing the connecting flight. The airline desks in the transit area (not check-in) for a non hub airline tend to be minimally staffed, and I think this is the reason that the traveler ran into problems getting the flight out the second day. If one does not have the documentation to enter the country of transit then one is stuck with the short times of the airline desks in the transit hall, as one cannot get to check in. This is what I believe happened to the OP.

As for the issue of the insurance offered on the US expedia site, it is for US residents, not based on citizenship. So a US permanent resident can buy it even if they have a Canadian, Greek etc. passport. One does have to click through a link to see that the insurance is for US residents only -- the Expedia Australia has the language that the website without clicking that the insurance is for Australian residents only.

Now what can be done to get some sort of refund, that is the question asked by the traveler. I cannot blame the OTA only for the unrealistic connection time as airlines often do the same thing. Should a letter be written to Expedia, as they were the ones that sold the ticket? This is not quite a trip in vain, but certainly a mess.
 
Likes: VoR61
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#35
Thank you Christina, and I agree. Given that her issues at the airport all seem to be with Qatar Airways, who operated the Botswana flight and were supposed to get her onward to Doha, I think now here recourse is with them.
 
Likes: Christina H
Sep 19, 2015
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#36
I agree that the operating airline was not helpful; but will the airline actually communicate with her or only with Expedia as Expedia sold the ticket?
 
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#38
Yes. I had originally thought Expedia, but they booked a valid itinerary, so the logical appeal is to Qatar. They "authorized" this connection time. They operated the Botswana flight. They arrived late, which was too late for the booked connection. They had no agents avilable that night. They delayed her attempt the re-book the following morning and she missed that flight too. And they then told her for the evening flight that she was on her own ...
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#39
Here is the issue - when you book your own travel, you become your own travel agent and you are the one who is supposed to know that connection was not realistic and that our writer should have chosen another flight with longer connections. A real travel agent wouldn't have booked that connection. It was not practical.

Expedia didn't book the tickets - our writer did. I think that is going to be where she is going to have a fight on her hands.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#40
For clarification, I meant that Expedia offered her this itinerary and accepted her money. After that, It is Qatar's duty to provide transportation and resolve any issues ...