Last Thursday, I got an email from the booking agency that I booked the last part of my trip with saying that my flight to destination #7 had been cancelled. This was not good news, as the booking agency doesn’t refund flights and I definitely don’t have enough money to buy a new flight OR even book a flight home from destination #6. (I’ve already booked a flight from destination #7 to #8 and from #8 back to England.)
There is no contact information for my booking agency, and in the email they sent, they said to contact the airline directly. The problem is that my flight was booked with Tarom, a Romanian airline. Their English website wasn’t working on my iPod, so it wasn’t until Tuesday that I found a desktop computer and discovered that it wasn’t my iPod: the website itself doesn’t work in English, as everything I clicked redirected me to the home page. Since the computer I was using didn’t have Google Chrome, I had to copy and paste everything from the Romanian website into Google Translate until I finally found something that led me to a form I could fill out stating my problem.
When I checked my email that night, I found an automated response saying that someone would address my problem within thirty days. My flight was in just twelve days! Surely there was a phone number I could call for an immediate response. I clicked around on the website but couldn’t find anything.
I thought to check my travel insurance policy, and discovered that it doesn’t cover anything like flight cancellations. At this point, my frustration led to a full-blown panic attack. Once I calmed down enough, I decided to call it a night, and maybe I could think of something in the morning.
Luckily, when I checked my email the next day, I had a nice email from Tarom offering me several alternative flights. It turns out that rather than my original 12-hour journey, I’ll now have a direct flight of about four hours. This flight cost about twice as much as the one that I had originally booked, and now I’ll be getting it for no extra charge. Today I received my electronic ticket for the flight, so I can officially breathe a huge sigh of relief.
I realize that my message to the airline could have just as easily gone unanswered until it was too late, at which point I would have had to get very inventive in finding a way home. However, I was lucky enough that everything worked out in the end, and it was a reminder that when traveling, you always need to take the unexpected into account. And maybe check your travel insurance policy a little more closely before you leave!