Sitting in the middle of the university dorm room in the U.S., Shuo Fang is recovering to see if he gets on a flight back to China next week.
Shuo, age 22, bought a lot of flight tickets in recent weeks with the desire to quickly return home in order to avoid the strong outbreak of Covid-19 in the US but has essentially been controlled in China. But all Shuo flights set, except for the upcoming flight fate, are cancelled.
As many other Chinese students in the United States, Shuo had to struggle with the airline to receive the reimbursement for the cancelled flights.
“I have been refunded three flights but it takes from 4 to 6 weeks of waiting and is completely dim about his money information. The airline until today has never contacted me regarding the cancellation of the trip, “Shuo said.
Learning the probability of statistics at the University of California in Davis City, Shuo is just one of the series of Chinese students in the United States who are trapped in a vicious cycle of booking-cancellation.
According to Shuo, someone bought up to 9 airfare and they felt that the refund was retained solely for the purpose of helping the airline remain operational. Some U.S. airlines still continue to sell tickets for closed routes during months 4 and 5 months due to the ban on travel and flight restrictions in China.
Shuo says many of his friends have struggled to book tickets from March 4 but were eventually cancelled. “I know airlines don’t currently fly those routes but they still sell tickets. So, you still have to bet “, Shuo said. “You have another choice.”
According to data from the International Institute of Education, the school year 2018-2019 has about 370,000 Chinese students in the USA. However, the number was significantly reduced in the 2019-2020 school year.
“You sometimes give up the hope of getting reimbursements by the United Arlines website to always announce the refund request ‘ hasn’t been processed ‘. It’s not fair! “, Shuo shares. “Before receiving the refund, I had no choice but to buy another ticket… Your flight is canceled, you want to come back home, what can you do? Many people also fall into circumstances like me. “
A United Airlines flight flight in San Francisco gave him or his witness that the airlines sell tickets “for flights that never took off” since the US ordered the blockade to curb the epidemic.
“I think it’s a wrong act of the airlines,” he said. “I feel very bad for those stranded in a foreign country and have to keep paying for tickets that only dare to hope one of them is not canceled. Not only United Airlines to do so, either Delta or American Airlines. “
The South Korean flight tour has begun to start after the American postponement of flights to China, initially on 24/4. “A friend had contacted me about his purchase from early April for the flight to Shanghai scheduled to depart on 19/5. He feared that the flight would be canceled while he did not receive a refund to book another flight, “this person tells.
After testing, the male crew noticed on the flight schedules that the company updated with the crew without any flight to China on that day. He also realized that none of the pilots or crew were assigned to such a flight.
“I keep checking the internal booking system and really shocked to see the flight from San Francisco to Shanghai on 19/5 was still there. This means that the customer can still book the flight even if it is not in the employee’s flight schedule, “he said. The things that took place brought the impression that United Airlines seemed to be intentionally selling tickets to “ghost flights”.
He speculates that the airlines still sell flights to sites blockaded because of wagering that the travel restriction order will be lifted before the time of the plane take off.
“Technically, there are no provisions that prohibit them from doing it,” he added. “Wherefore, this is a situation where all the lines for the airlines benefit. But I think they should be more transparent and clearly inform passengers that the flight schedule may change because of the Covid-19. They do not give any warning when you book a ticket. Most people think if the airline has sold the ticket, what kind of flight also take off, but in fact, there are flights that will never take off “.
For his part, Shuo was only worried when he actually put foot on the return flight Q-Incense at the end of the month.
“I heard that United might not be able to open the flight after 5 months,” Shuo Cho. “I don’t know if my flight has taken off but I have to try. I understand the situation of the airline now… But we didn’t want to give up hope, so we spent the future booking. “
Three days after the interview with SCMP, the flight of Shuo on 26/5 was also cancelled. The airline still did not get in touch with Shuo, he only learned information thanks to self-examination on the website. The next flight can be on April 28/5. However, Shuo is still not brave enough to book the ticket again.
Vu Hoang (According to SCMP