Whenever you buy an airline ticket, you probably enter your email address and pay with a credit card. You will then receive an email confirmation and see the flight purchase on your credit card. If the airline makes a schedule change, they *should* send you an email with the new schedule details or you might receive an email alert from Award Wallet. But what would you do if the airline cancelled your flight, never rebooked you on another flight, never told you your flight was cancelled, and never refunded you credit card? That was the situation I was in recently when I was flying Amaszonas from Salar de Uyuni , Bolivia(UYU) in southern Bolivia.
Let me back up a little bit…
Jim and I were able to check in for our Amaszonas flight from La Paz, Bolivia (LPB) to Salar de Uyuni (UYU), but we kept receiving an error message when we tried to check in for our Amaszonas flight from Salar de Uyuni (UYU) to Santa Cruz, Bolivia (VVI). We didn’t think it was a big deal, so we planned on checking in for our flight at the airport before we boarded. Luckily, as we were waiting for our Salar de Uyuni salt flat tour, we saw an Amaszonas ticket office and walked in. We told the rep that we couldn’t check in online and asked if she could help us check in. She looked at our ticket, typed on her computer and told us the bad news that our flight was cancelled several months ago. We bought our tickets 8-10 months ago, so it was very strange that we never received an email or refund to our credit card.
We asked her to put us on the last flight of the evening from Salar de Uynui (UYU) to Santa Cruz (VVI), but she told us that flight was completely sold out. After lots of pleading, she put us on the standby list and told us to go to the airport to check in and pick up our boarding passes. Unfortunately, the new flight was leaving about 2 hours earlier than the flight we booked, so we had to coordinate a private airport transfer from our tour company to the airport.
Long story short, we got to the airport early (we were actually the first 2 people to check in at the airport) and got our boarding passes without any problems. After a long wait in the airport, we boarded our 19 seat plane (8 rows of 2 seats with 3 seats in the back). We finally breathed a sigh of relief after we took off.
We could have prevented this whole crisis if we would have manually checked our airline reservation closer to the day of the flight. Or we could have checked to see if the flight still existed. Unfortunately, neither of those thoughts crossed our mind until it was too late. In the future, I will set up Google Flight alerts for my flights (assuming Google Flights can track the flight) and manually check the flights and airline confirmations every month.
Has this ever happened to you? What did you do to resolve the problem? If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!
P.S. Stay tuned for my second PSA of the day where I talk about sleeping in the Managua, Nicaragua (MGA) airport because I did not have a Yellow Fever Vaccine. Stay tuned…
Here are all parts of my Central / South America trip:
- Adios Amigos! I’m Traveling Around Central / South America (LPB, UYU, GUA, SAL, MGA & LIR)
- PSA / Tip: Always Bring a Pen When You Travel
- Riding the Cable Cars (Mi Teleférico) Around La Paz, Bolivia for Under $3
- Salar de Uyuni: Bolivia’s Magical, Mirror-like Salt Flat Oasis (2018 Dakar Rally & Crazy Photos)
- PSA: Check Existing Airline Confirmations for Cancelled Flights a Few Days Before Travel
- Hotel Review: Courtyard Marriott Guatemala City & Amazing Guatemalan Restaurant Nearby (Casa Chapina)
- Visit the Amazing (93 Years Young) Guatemala City Zoo for $5
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Presidente San Salvador Hotel (Great Location, Lounge & Breakfast)
- Day Trip: San Salvador Volcano & Restaurant La Pupusa Loka
- PSA: Get Yellow Fever Vaccine Before Visiting Nicaragua (& Some Other Central / South American Countries)
- My Incredible 14 Seat Cessna Flight from San Jose (SJO) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)
- Andaz Papagayo Resort Part 1: The Resort is Beautiful
- Andaz Papagayo Resort Part 2: The Room was Great
- Andaz Papagayo Resort Part 3: The Food is Expensive, but Delicious