Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the entire travel and tourism industry has taken a hit. So much so, a lot of airlines have stopped flying and numerous hotels have completely shut. While the Government has been doing all that they can to curb the virus, this has certainly hit the travel industry the most.
In the 1st week of March, I decided to spend my birthday in Goa amidst the beauty of nature and lip-smacking food. I quickly browsed through various travel portals and finally, made my booking through Easemytrip.com at a discounted fare. I decided to fly with Air Asia considering their fly timings which are usually convenient. The flight will depart from Bengaluru at 17:50 hrs and from Goa at 22:35 hrs – just what I wanted. On the other hand, I also managed to book a beautiful beach side property at Anjuna. I was overjoyed as everything went as planned.
D for disaster
In the 2nd week of March, CM of Karnataka state announced to shut the city for a week, and he also gave a hint of shutting it down for the whole month if the situation does not improve. This did not deter me, as there was no official communication from the CM of Goa state. However, within a couple of days, the CM of Goa announced that the state will be shut until the 31st of March 2020.
Alas! My dream of enjoying a trance party on the beach alongside having delicious white cheese pasta came crashing down on me! With the announcement being made, it did not make much sense to me to travel amidst the outbreak. Also, the closure meant that there would be far less travellers and far less things to do in Goa. I decided to cancel my travel plans.
Air Asia flight reschedule is a mess!
I rescheduled my hotel booking in a jiffy as all I had to do was send a text message and they were happy to move it for any later date at no extra cost. Now, it was time to fix the flight booking. I looked up the support page of Air Asia and they were kind enough to offer 1-time free flight reschedule for all travel plans made until March 31, 2020. However, there is no waiver if you cancel the flight, which means the only option was to reschedule it to a different date.
Now here’s the tough part. The only way to reschedule an Air Asia flight is by calling their customer care number 080-46662222 and nothing else – No email. No Facebook message. No chat. Also, you cannot reschedule the booking through your travel partner (Easemytrip.com in my case). The only other alternative way is by dropping a DM on their Twitter page, which I did 4 days ago. However, there’s no response yet.
Since the last 4 days, I have made more than 250 calls to the customer care number. I got connected only once, only to get automatically disconnected after 5 minutes. Every time you call, all you can hear is “The number you have called is currently busy. Please try again later. Thank You.”
Tough times don’t last, tough people do…!
Sure, I understand that there is an acute shortage of customer care reps. at these unexpected tough times. But, if I cannot get through your number for more than 4 days, I am really not happy. Air Asia also has a rule that I need to reschedule my booking within 3 days from the day of departure. Now this technically means, as I write this post on the 21st of March 2020, I have less than 1 day to reschedule my booking.
I have been patient enough to receive help from Air Asia and I will continue to be. Because, I have no other option! All I want is to reschedule my booking to a later date (their rule book says that the rescheduled booking must be within 30th of September, 2020) and I hope, I get through their only contact number that is available on their official support page.
Dear Air Asia, I am still with you 🙂 Are you with me?