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Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 117
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

January 24, 2014

We've always had OAT/GCT book our air.  But various things happening to our reservations (ie changing flights so we lose seats, etc) have seemed to get worse lately.  Our next trip the "std air" by OAT was substantially more expensive than what I could get on Delta - so we're booking our own.   Fingers crossed that all goes well.   Absent issues, we may be doing our own air from now on!   I don't like having my flights continually changed!   If they are going to do that -  why even tell us what they have until it's locked?

Author: musicmajor

Joined: 7/13/2012
Posts: 18
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

January 24, 2014

 Merleo, there is a very similar thread going on the OAT Forum.  Today someone posted a pretty terrible "review" of China Air.  I, too, was thinking that a stop in Taipei might be nice, but the negatives of the airline switch far outweigh the potential positive of a few hours in Taipei.  

Author: merleo

Joined: 4/23/2012
Posts: 31
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 1996

January 25, 2014

Musicmajor I appreciate your post informing me about the OAT thread. I read the thread and when I saw WORST I immediately pulled up recent reviews on the internet and most were negative. I asked myself and OAT why would OAT/GCT air change carriers going from good to WORST? The response was -- scheduling and increased cost with overnight in Hong Kong.  I sense a cancellation coming up if OAT insists on China Air.

Author: musicmajor

Joined: 7/13/2012
Posts: 18
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

January 25, 2014

 Merleo, I'm following both threads with interest.  We were just outside of 120 days when I found out about this switch.  We are now, unfortunately, within 120 days since our departure date is May 23rd.  I'm not sure what we'll do going forward.  I absolutely wish that OAT had let us know about this change earlier in the process (rather than my finding out by myself just 121 days before departure).  And I wish that more OAT/GCT travelers used the Forums to become informed about situations such as this. 

We certainly have some decisions to make. 

 

And now I'm Editing my post.  Just read the Cancellation policy - and it's a 90 day window, not 120 days.  So we really have some breathing room.  And we'll definitely be looking at other options.

Author: merleo

Joined: 4/23/2012
Posts: 31
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 1996

January 25, 2014

MM, the 90 day policy is what was told to me so my target date is 5/3. The OAT rep I talked to yesterday asked if I had received a letter from OAT advising me of the switch in airlines. I said no but learned about China Air through the Forum. He admitted that the Forum posters knew more about what was going than he. Although my air itinerary is not displayed in My Account he saw my reservations were still with Cathay Pacific. so until I receive an official letter about the switch I'll count on flying with Cathay Pacific.

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 117
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

January 25, 2014

Before cancelling the whole trip - look into booking your own air - you can cancel the GCT air and book your own if it's not that much more expensive.

Author: musicmajor

Joined: 7/13/2012
Posts: 18
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

January 25, 2014

 garyrr, We're definitely looking into doing our own air, although this particular itinerary has a few logistical issues and I'm pretty lazy (rapidly getting over that mind-stance).  Also a consideration is that we're booked on one of the earliest departures of a brand new trip.  Exploratory trips often have issues that get resolved after a time.  So we're thinking of postponing until next year.....

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 117
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

January 25, 2014

musicmajor - makes perfect sense!     In the past I always felt so much safer using GCT/OAT air (if issues, they can reschedule) - but they are throwing roadblocks to that!   My fingers are crossed that we don't get blindsided with something on our next trip - our first booking our own air.

Author: calsandy

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 12
Trips Taken: 15
Traveler Since: 2007

January 26, 2014
I’m posting this on both OAT and GCT forums since they each have threads on this particular issue.
 
Using airline reviews is tricky at best. So many factors—i.e. which flights, internat’l or domestic, particular routes, the reviewers’ personal preferences, incidents (e.g. poor customer service, bad service, etc.) & with China Airlines, confusion with Air China. Air China’s airline code is CA & China Airlines is CI, making evaluation all the more difficult since intuitively you would think CA means China Airlines. It looks like some reviewers had them confused so which airlines were they actually rating? The ratings I’ve looked are neither best nor worst—more middle ground.
 
Bearing that in mind, I look for other more objective factors such as cost, seat pitch, travel time, hubs, etc.
 

OAT’s travel counselor told me last week the reason for the change was that Cathay Pacific raised their prices substantially, hence the switch to CI. However, checking Cathay’s website, I can do better pricewise altho I would have to stay overnight in LA on the return before going on to San Diego the next morning. I would rather have the overnight in Hong Kong or in the case of CI in Taipei. I’m still working on this and will have another discussion with OAT travel tomorrow before making my final payment with or without air. I’m due to leave on Apr 28. 

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