Ticketing Scam in Shanghai

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Mar 9, 2019
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#61
But there should not be a difference in the price I was quoted. I have significant distrust in the Chinese as they are so known for scamming and worse things.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#62
I have flown so much in the last several years (I make photography shows of different countries around the world have over 65,000 photos) and numerous times arrived at the ticketing counters within under an hour, once being the last passenger on Ethiopian due to my printed at home boarding pass not scanning at the airport and having to literally run back to ticketing to get one printed (Isn't that a stupid problem? Would I loose a $900 flight if that plane took off without me?), that I took it for granted that I would have no problem in Shanghai. And only a year ago I was in the same airport at Shanghai and no immigration nonsense was required - went right through security (I continue to ask why I am going through security more than once even though never having left a secure area from a flight? God what absolute nonsense!) up to the gate with no problems.
You are not understanding certain issues. Reprinting a boarding pass is not the same as checking in the first time. A boarding pass means one has checked in. So yes that can be reprinted as one is in the system.

Immigration can change — due to threats — CDG sometimes has passport controls for Schengen flights because of terrorism concerns.

You wrote that you never heard of checking in 60 minutes prior to a transcontinental flight— every one of my confirmations has that requirement and That information is available on the website.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#63
But there should not be a difference in the price I was quoted. I have significant distrust in the Chinese as they are so known for scamming and worse things.
The person quoting in dollars may have made an error in conversion from the Chinese Yuan— if you think China is full of scammers why fly through the country? There are many flights from Seoul to the US.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Mar 9, 2019
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#65
I had no choice but to walk up to the gate and pay full price so this is another reason why I deserve a credit or refund. Forced into a situation I had zero control over. I guess I could have swam across the Pacific Ocean to come home - LOL!
 

Neil Maley

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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#66
I had no choice but to walk up to the gate and pay full price so this is another reason why I deserve a credit or refund. Forced into a situation I had zero control over. I guess I could have swam across the Pacific Ocean to come home - LOL!
Unfortunately that’s not how it works when everything is on separate tickets. Again- if you had everything on one ticket this wouldn’t have happened. You didn’t get to the gate in time to check in. That’s not United’s fault . All they know is you weren’t checked in on time and have to buy another ticket at the walk up price.

No sense in discussing it any further because it doesn’t change the facts. We undershand you are frustrated but it’s not the airlines fault- it is the ticket you chose to book through Cheapo with separate tickets . I hope that United will give you a credit (less a fee) to use within year from when you bought your ticket. I think that’s the best you will see.

Since you travel a lot, take this as a learning experience and book directly with the airlines using a multi city ticket.

Put your efforts into trying to get an executive at Cheapo to help. United might not budge but wr’ve seen instances that a well written letter has been able to turn a no into a yes. Let us know how the correspondence goes and we are here to advise you as you go up the corporate ladder.
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#67
Here's another way to think about it. Booking the whole trip on one ticket is a form of "insurance". If you miss the connecting flight, they put you on the next one.

If you book separate tickets, many hours-long layovers are your "insurance" giving you a cushion in case problems arise.

In this case, you booked the riskiest combination available (separate tickets and short layover) which is fine for people willing to assume the risk to save money.

My family of 4 flew to Europe on separate tickets in 2017 with a 4-hour layover in Heathrow. It worked out and we saved $400/person compared to booking all on one ticket but we knew the risk going. So I don't blame anyone for doing this but they need to know it's a gamble.

What you're asking for is the price of risky tickets without the risk.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#68
I had no choice but to walk up to the gate and pay full price so this is another reason why I deserve a credit or refund. Forced into a situation I had zero control over. I guess I could have swam across the Pacific Ocean to come home - LOL!
But you did have control over certain things. You had control over what ticket you booked. You had control over familiarizing yourself with the 60 minute check in rule for transcontinental flights -- a rule that has been in place for over a decade. You had control over checking in with UA 24 hours in advance.

No one forced you to buy separate tickets via Cheapo.

Anyone reading your letter will wonder why you purchased separate tickets and why you did not check in with UA 24 hours in advance and why you never read the check in time limits for the transcontinental trip. These are all things within your control.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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#69
I understand what you are saying but with so much experience I have flying and never running into any problems I never even thought about such rules. I have purchased separate tickets many times with no problems at all from various sites. I just always assumed check in rules were the same as boarding times.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#70
jsn35, are you insinuating that it is my responsibility for a long immigration line? Isn't 3 hours supposed to be enough for a basic flight transfer? I am very experienced with international flying and have been in nearly 60 countries and never had any such problems. I have followed all rules and done nothing wrong so obviously should not pay a price nor will I.
I am not insinuating anything. What is the definition of a basic flight transfer? What entity is responsible for the long immigration line? It's not you and it's not the airline, right? Is the Chinese government to blame? Stating that you don't trust "the Chinese" will certainly not help your cause. An experienced international flyer would probably not book a connection in Shanghai for less than 5 or 6 hours. It's a matter of the unknown and not wishing to miss a connecting flight, allowing extra time is a good idea.

I may be repeating what others have advised; this thread is so long it's hard to tell. You can probably salvage something from this awful experience if you write to the airline; a concise polite statement of the facts. Use our Company Contacts. You repeatedly state that you're not going to pay for the new tix, but you already have paid for the new tix. I suggest you ask the airline for assistance.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#71
Thank you. I am exhausted now from writing to several sites at United, filing for charge back with my bank. One thing is certain - I am not paying for two tickets to the same place no matter. Gotta stay grounded in principles. Yes I was booked to BWI through San Francisco and Chicago for a total of three flights. Originally I was booked to LAX to BWI, the second leg on Alaska Airlines. I filed with Alaska but we will see. Cheap o Air will not refund the original flight.
As infuriating this might be, "not paying" is just going to cause you more grief. Your credit card company will have paid United and will expect you to pay them as it certainly wasn't the credit card company's fault either. As far as checking in, most mobile phone plans allow you to roam for about $10 a day on your American plan, so this would have been an option for you to use rather than missing your flight. Given the number of flights you've taken overseas, I'm sure you have become familiar with how the roaming works. It is too bad that this happened, but aside from politely asking United for a credit. Good luck.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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#72
As infuriating this might be, "not paying" is just going to cause you more grief. Your credit card company will have paid United and will expect you to pay them as it certainly wasn't the credit card company's fault either. As far as checking in, most mobile phone plans allow you to roam for about $10 a day on your American plan, so this would have been an option for you to use rather than missing your flight. Given the number of flights you've taken overseas, I'm sure you have become familiar with how the roaming works. It is too bad that this happened, but aside from politely asking United for a credit. Good luck.
I am certainly NOT throwing a thousand dollars in the garbage no matter what. With all the flying I do I have only used free Wifi in my hotels and airports and in countries like India and China one can not buy a sim card unless they are citizens of that country without major hassles to get it no sure about roaming plans why would one get one for only a three hour layover? I have never needed data in other countries.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,705
15,318
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#73
James, continue your writing to Cheapo. I honestly don’t see a good outcome but you never know.

Take this as a learning experience. Just because it never happened before doesn’t mean it won’t bappen again. You now know the worst case scenario so you have to decide if booking your way is worth an extra ticket if this happens again. United did absolutely nothing wrong so it’s a long shot that you will see anything and you may not have a choice about spending another $1,000.

If the thread continues to be argumentative we may have to close it and reopen it if you get any updates from Cheapo.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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#74
Cheapo has called me and is attempting to negotiate with United. I understand that United is not at fault but nobody should have to buy 2 tickets to the same place because a long immigration line made them late for their flight. And the other issue is why I was quoted $879.00 but charged much more. I am doing everything I can to work this out with Cheapo, United and my bank. Worst case scenario, I close my credit card account and never pay for this bill since I do not consider myself at fault.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#75
Cheapo has called me and is attempting to negotiate with United. I understand that United is not at fault but nobody should have to buy 2 tickets to the same place because a long immigration line made them late for their flight. And the other issue is why I was quoted $879.00 but charged much more. I am doing everything I can to work this out with Cheapo, United and my bank. Worst case scenario, I close my credit card account and never pay for this bill since I do not consider myself at fault.
Worst case scenario, your credit rating goes to 400 and you will a) be unable to get credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, cell phone accounts, etc., etc., b) your existing credit cards will be either canceled or your credit limits will be reduced to pennies. All of this will cost you far more and make your ability to travel and work unless you rely upon debit cards only. If you have a good credit rating, you risk things you have never even thought of or encountered.
As distasteful as it seems, it is time to pay the piper and move on. Hope you get some credit for future flights.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#77
Cheapo has called me and is attempting to negotiate with United. I understand that United is not at fault but nobody should have to buy 2 tickets to the same place because a long immigration line made them late for their flight. And the other issue is why I was quoted $879.00 but charged much more. I am doing everything I can to work this out with Cheapo, United and my bank. Worst case scenario, I close my credit card account and never pay for this bill since I do not consider myself at fault.

Cheapo sells these tickets and people should know the risks when buying them.

But United ended up with an empty seat — from a business standpoint why should they suffer.

A through ticket is a form of insurance of being protected on the next flight. Separate tickets can be cheaper but have no such protection. Think of it like driving minimal insurance or have minimal health insurance — one can say I never had an accident in the past or I am healthy now — but when something goes wrong that is when one notices the shortcomings.

There are so many things that can go wrong with separate tickets — immigration, weather, mechanical issues— Now if someone wants to self insure and not pay for a through ticket — that is their choice and the risks that they take. As I said I have done it a few times and know the risks.

As for the charge when buying the new ticket— what did the receipt say? Was it charged in Chinese Yuan? Could the bank conversion be an issue?
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#79
I am certainly NOT throwing a thousand dollars in the garbage no matter what. With all the flying I do I have only used free Wifi in my hotels and airports and in countries like India and China one can not buy a sim card unless they are citizens of that country without major hassles to get it no sure about roaming plans why would one get one for only a three hour layover? I have never needed data in other countries.
The reason I think I understand you is that I used to feel that way when things would happen. It never got me very far. Now I concentrate on trying to make sure that I do not tempt fate and ensure I am not taking a lot of risks. There is only so much they can do. It wasn't your bank's fault . It wasn't United's fault. The bank would be saying "they're not going to throw a thousand dollars in the garbage over someone else's fault". I realize it isn't a trivial amount, but quite honestly, you are lucky this only cost a thousand dollars. Reading other stories, it has been much worse.

Please listen to what other people are saying. And as to why you'd activate roaming for three hours - if you could have avoided this problem for $10, it would have been a pretty good deal.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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#80
How would I activated roaming? Buy sim card in Korea before the flight?
Cheapo sells these tickets and people should know the risks when buying them.

But United ended up with an empty seat — from a business standpoint why should they suffer.

A through ticket is a form of insurance of being protected on the next flight. Separate tickets can be cheaper but have no such protection. Think of it like driving minimal insurance or have minimal health insurance — one can say I never had an accident in the past or I am healthy now — but when something goes wrong that is when one notices the shortcomings.

There are so many things that can go wrong with separate tickets — immigration, weather, mechanical issues— Now if someone wants to self insure and not pay for a through ticket — that is their choice and the risks that they take. As I said I have done it a few times and know the risks.

As for the charge when buying the new ticket— what did the receipt say? Was it charged in Chinese Yuan? Could the bank conversion be an issue?
Insurance over the long run is a disastrous waste of money about 99% of the time. If I bought medical insurance over the last 40 years I estimate I would be out well over half a million dollars including its value invested in stocks - a 100% risk of a poor lifestyle and no exciting world travel. The risk of needing the insurance (One month's health insurance would cost me more than I have spent on health care total in 61 years!) is perhaps 2-3%. The medical industry here is a total scam. Anyways there is something wrong when one buys a plane ticket and lines, bad weather, mechanical failure, etc. cancels or makes it impossible to make a flight causes one to lose the entire value of their ticket - those risks should not exist and the airlines should not have this level of power. I have been an exceedingly responsible traveler for years and never had this problem.
 
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