The first thing that struck me about Alternative Airlines, was the kind of, well, rubbish website. Don't get me wrong, it was informative and functional, you could say it offers more functions than its competitors, but, it still looks rubbish.
|I'ts Grim Up North. The Henan Agricultural University, in the North of Zhengzhou, China. My Current Residence.|
This worried me. Before I booked, I looked around for reviews, I needed to make sure they were legit, sure they had an IATA logo, but I didn’t even know what the IATA was. Besides, anyone with a brain could cut and paste a bit of HTML code. But, to my surprise, I found that they were indeed a real travel agency and I took the plunge (well, it was hardly a plunge).
I was to travel on a China Southern Airlines and KLM code-share, the cheapest way of travelling between Zhengzhou and Heathrow, through the hub of nightmares, Beijing Capital Airport.
My flight to the UK went swimmingly, except for the hot dog of death on China Southern (A Hot Dog of death which I've now come to expect). It was only 3 days before my return to China before my troubles began.
|My China Southern Airlines Plane. Notice the smog in the background, Yuck!|
Halfway through watching Neighbours on 5* I got a call from a man from Alternative Airlines, he rang bearing good news!
"I'm sorry to say that China Southern Airlines have decided to reschedule one of your flights"
"Oh!", I replied,
"Your 19:45 from Beijing to Zhengzhou will now be leaving at 13:25", laughed the man.
"Ooook", I said, not really understanding the implications.
"Well this means that you're going to arrive in Beijing 3 hours late for your connection", he explained simplisticly for me.
The Penny Dropped.
I was furious, how can an airline just change their schedule like this? They've sold me a ticket!!! They have to keep to their Schedule now! Aaaaaaaaah!
(I'm sorry for the rushed and, lets face it, terrible quality of writing in this article. I wrote this in a hurry!)
I rang China Southern Airlines and demanded an explanation, they told me that the small print allowed them to do this and that if I missed my connection that was down to my own stupidity. No amount of arguing could change this.
The next day, the man from Alternative Airlines rang me to say,
"Everything is sorted, I've booked you on an earlier flight from Amsterdam, you'll now get to Zhengzhou 3 hours earlier than you would have, you just have less time waiting. I'll email you your new ticket within the hour".
|Even if they have a rubbish website, Alternative Airlines saved my journey from the jaws of the Evil China Southern Airlines!|
I hate to degrade my blog by writing a post to reminiscent of an advert, but, fair play to Alternative Airlines, they stood up to China Southern Airlines (the world's worst airline) for me and saved me money when most other Travel Agencies wouldn’t have even bothered to tell me.
So credit where credit's due, if you want to check out Alternative Airlines to book your plane tickets, here's a link.