Travel

Impossible connecting flights

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  • Mar 23rd, 2019 11:05 am
[OP]
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Jul 29, 2007
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Markham

Impossible connecting flights

I booked Hong Kong to Toronto flights with connection in Beijing and just recently realized that the connecting flights are in different terminals. Checked with the Beijing airport and they basically said you have to pick up luggage, go through customs and immigration, check in again and go through security again, and that the 2 hours I have is not going to be enough. The flights are with China Southern (HKG to PEK) and Air Canada (PEK to YYZ) and was booked through Flight Network (linked from Google Flights). Can I get them to change the flights based on them selling me a connection that is not even possible? Nowhere in the booking process did it mention there is a terminal change.
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Deal Expert
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Oct 5, 2008
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call them and ask
Deal Addict
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Nov 3, 2006
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YUL
AC and CZ are in different alliances, so it seems unusual that they are on the same itinerary (unless they have a separate interline agreement?)
Did you get 1 booking reference or 2? If you enter the reference on Air Canada website, do you see the CZ flight, and vice versa?
[OP]
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Jul 29, 2007
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Markham
Swerny wrote: call them and ask
Will do tonight. Just wanted to see if anyone has ever run into this situation.
[OP]
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Markham
twotterdhc6 wrote: AC and CZ are in different alliances, so it seems unusual that they are on the same itinerary (unless they have a separate interline agreement?)
Did you get 1 booking reference or 2? If you enter the reference on Air Canada website, do you see the CZ flight, and vice versa?
There's two reference numbers.
The AC reference number does not bring up the CZ flight.
The CZ reference number is not bringing up anything at all right now. Site just gives me errors.
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goo421 wrote: There's two reference numbers.
The AC reference number does not bring up the CZ flight.
The CZ reference number is not bringing up anything at all right now. Site just gives me errors.
So they are very likely 2 separate tickets. You will have to persuade Flight Network to change one of the flights for you.
[OP]
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Markham
twotterdhc6 wrote: So they are very likely 2 separate tickets. You will have to persuade Flight Network to change one of the flights for you.
But but they were under one eticket?
Regardless...will call tonight and see what they say.
Thank you!
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Jun 15, 2015
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goo421 wrote: But but they were under one eticket?
Regardless...will call tonight and see what they say.
Thank you!
I know you mentioned Google Flights but they link to either an airline or 3rd party site.
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That is one reason to book directly with the airline.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
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I though in google flights has the option to pick an itinerary based on separate tickets or under one ticket?

(Edit.... under “more”, check box for “show or hide separate tickets”)
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Dec 20, 2004
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I've had a few 2 hour connections in PEK before - never had any issues. Also in different terminals. I would not stress.
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Feb 15, 2006
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Two hours should be fine. But before you pay, you would've had the chance to check everything. If you didn't like it, that's the time to change.

Also no problem to book through 3rd party (not directly with airlines), if you can get deals/points. We had TD 1st class visa and booked with expediaforTD to get 4.5% back.
[OP]
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l69norm wrote: I though in google flights has the option to pick an itinerary based on separate tickets or under one ticket?

(Edit.... under “more”, check box for “show or hide separate tickets”)
I did not book the tickets separately. Unless Flight Network booked it separately behind the scenes.
But like I mentioned, I was only issued a single eticket.
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YUL
Turns out Air Canada does have an interline agreement with China Southern, according to their website, so it's more likely you have a single ticket after all.
Do let us know the result of your call.
[OP]
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Jul 29, 2007
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Markham
goo421 wrote: There's two reference numbers.
The AC reference number does not bring up the CZ flight.
The CZ reference number is not bringing up anything at all right now. Site just gives me errors.
Not sure if I was just blind yesterday or something, but when I checked the AC reference number again just now, it did bring up the CZ flight.

Called Flight Network but the guy said their scheduling team will call me back within 48 hours. Will update when I hear back.
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Flight network requires 48 hrs to check and callback? Thats a red flag right there
[OP]
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As expected, I did not get a call back from Flight Network within 48 hours, so I called back. This time, the agent actually saw in their system that the connection was marked as insufficient time. He said it showed as okay when the eticket was originally issued in (Nov/18), but now it's marked as insufficient connection time. The agent put me on hold and then called Air Canada, because it is one single eticket issued by Air Canada. Unfortunately, he was on hold forever and after about 40 minutes, he said I don't have to wait. They will contact Air Canada to find a solution and email me back within 24 hours.

So not resolved yet, but some progress made. And I must say that the Flight Network agent was very polite. In the 40 minutes of holding, every so often, he came back and apologized for the long wait and updated me on what was going on. The "insufficient connection time" flag makes sense to me, because I noticed that I cannot find this same combination of flights on any website anymore, for any date. Air Canada, who was selling this combination, must have realized the connection doesn't work and stopped selling it.

Will update again when I hear back.
[OP]
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Markham
Here's the end of the story...

In my previous post, that call was on March 17th.

March 18 - Called Flight Network again. They are still waiting for response from Air Canada.

March 19 - Called Flight Network again. They said Air Canada insists that there is enough connection time. Called Air Canada to confirm this. I told them Beijing airport says the time is too tight. (I have the email from them to prove this.) But they insist it's fine and that Air Canada would take responsibility if the connection was missed. So neither Flight Network or Air Canada would do anything.

March 20 - Called Flight Network to ask about possibility of changing the China Southern flight from HK to Beijing to an Air China flight that is earlier in the day and was told cost would be about $1,500. (We originally paid about $715 for the round trip.) Ended up changing to a direct HK to TO flight with AC that is about 10 days later for a cost of $1,000.

Seeing as the flight is not for me, and is for someone who has virtually never travelled alone before, I could not accept the high risk of missing the connection, so I had no option but to just pay for another flight.
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Oct 7, 2011
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You had the option to travel in the original flights. Since AC said the'll take responsibility of the connection is missed, you are covered. They'll schedule you to the next flight, give you food, hotel room, etc. You do have the option.
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goo421 wrote: There's two reference numbers.
The AC reference number does not bring up the CZ flight.
This is still legit. I've booked flights from from Toronto to Bangkok where it went Eva Air > Thai Airways > Thai Airways > Air Canada all on a single e-ticket but was given two different itineraries - one that worked for Eva Air and Air Canada, and the other only worked with Thai Airways. I was as confused as you. Though in my case all three airlines are part of the same Star Alliance.
goo421 wrote: They said Air Canada insists that there is enough connection time. Called Air Canada to confirm this. I told them Beijing airport says the time is too tight. (I have the email from them to prove this.) But they insist it's fine and that Air Canada would take responsibility if the connection was missed.
The airlines won't sell you a flight if they don't think you'll make the connection. Remember that they're still in the business of making money and refunding customers isn't what they want to do. If an airline knows that you're arriving (e.g., you're confirmed to have boarded and are on the arriving flight) then they'll try to wait as long as possible for you.

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