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I really need to fly home early

ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get alongRegistered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I am currently in Hong Kong. We are due to stay until next friday and I just received some news that requires me to get home as soon as I can. This is my first international trip and only my second time flying. How do I go about this? Who do I call and can it even be done? I'm flying United Airlines if that matters. I have no clue how to go about this but I need to get home desperately.

Shogun on


  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I think you want to call the airline, give them your flight info, and tell them you want to change to as early a flight as possible. They'll probably ream you with fees, but who knows.

    admanb on
  • Mister LongbaughMister Longbaugh Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    checking turns up this number as their international customer service line: 1-800-538-2929

    call them up and explain the situation. you will probably have to pay a fee for changing the ticket, but i've no idea how much it would be. i mean for a domestic flight the cost to change a ticket is like $75

    Mister Longbaugh on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Thank you both I'm going to grab my phone and get working right now.

    Shogun on
  • PongePonge Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Wow, wierd but this happened to me last month.

    I was due to fly back from Hong Kong on the 15th but unfortunately my grandmother died and I had to fly back on the 3rd instead.

    My booking was with Expedia and I phoned them and they booked me another flight (which I had to pay for). Depending on the terms of the ticket you bought you may be able to to transfer it by paying a fee (and the extra costs of the new ticket, if its more expensive) or you may have to apply for a refund. Depending on the curcumstances they may or may not refund your ticket. I had to fax them the death certificate and I'm still waiting to hear on the result of my application. They told me that even if successful it can take up to 3 months to pay me back the money.

    Best of luck mate and I hope it works out for you. I know how stressful it can be as well. If I can be any other help just let me know, I'm in Hong Kong just now (I live here so I came back after Christmas) so if theres anything I can do.

    Ponge on
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I just got off the phone with United. The lovely lady who helped me checked all the way up to my departure date which is the 9th and everything is packed full. It would appear that I am stuck here which is incredibly, incredibly bad. Thanks everyone for your assistance but it looks like I'm screwed for the moment. I suppose this can be locked.

    Shogun on
  • PongePonge Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    As I say depending on your circumstances you may be able to have the flight cancelled (i.e. death in the family) and book with another carrier. My original flight was with KLM but they were full so I returned with Virgin Atlantic.

    Also if you have travel insurance they might be able to help, again depending on the circumstances.

    If you're not able to return hopefully this doesn't ruin your trip.

    Ponge on
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah if it is something like a death in the family you should even goto the airport as soon as you can even though its a hassle, and see if you can be put on standby for any flight possible sometimes this works. Though again its really a hassle.

    MoSiAc on
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  • Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, the circumstances matter in terms of getting a return flight, and most airlines should be fairly reasonable in helping you... Standby could work, but my understanding is that it is a little trickier now with the added security... You could look into seeing if you can get a flight that does has connections at other airports if it is that critical to get home as soon as possible... If you need is not the death of a family member, or something like that, citing a medical emergency of a spouse would garner the sympathies of a female assistant over the phone... (i.e., "Ma'am, it is critical that I get home as soon as possible, my wife was recently in a car accident, and currently in an emergency room waiting for surgery, it is critical that I get home as quickly as possible so that I can be with her!") This would work as they would wish their own husbands were that caring... Granted, your situation may in fact be better than the one above, but just remember, when trying to get something done with a person over the phone, play to their sympathies, most of them will go for the tear-jerker stories and go beyond the extra mile to get what you need done.

    while my recommendation is a bit... Unique... I can assure you depending on the circumstances it ought to work...

    I'm sorry to hear of your abondment and situation, I hope that whatever the problem may be, that it not involve the death of someone you care for... Best of luck in your return efforts..

    Nakatomi2010 on
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  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    you could probably fly standby

    Limp moose on
  • MooblyMoobly Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Many airlines have some sort of plan for hardship travel, or emergency travel or something of the sort. Maybe it's not much help, but probably worth asking about.

    Moobly on

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