PHUKET: Low cost carrier AirAsia’s decision to cease operations from Phuket to Bali and to Ubon Ratchthani has sparked a storm of angry comments directed at AirAsia’s call center by passengers feeling that they have been left stranded.
Staff at the AirAsia office in Phuket told the Phuket Gazette that they had fielded many queries, mainly asking what travellers can do now.
AirAsia announced on its Thai Facebook page, “Due to the 34 per cent increase in Chinese passengers over last year to Chongqing and Wuhan, we have decided to ‘move forward’ and open a third route to Xi’an.”
It goes on to say that due to high demand from the Chinese market, AirAsia found it necessary to ‘adjust’ its flight routes to focus on the primary market.
AirAsia had no other option than to cancel some routes. The final flight from Phuket to Ubon Ratchathani will be today (September 29), and last flight to Bali tomorrow (September 30), the official Facebook page says.
In addition to their Phuket flights, the company will also stop its route from Bangkok to Colombo, Sri Lanka, on October 10.
However, many passengers who had already flown to those destinations complained that they were informed of the decision only after they had arrived.
AirAsia gave passengers who had already booked flights three options; adjust their travel plans to meet the last flight times; have the price of their tickets put in credit against their next AirAsia trip, or receive a full refund.
Travellers with questions for AirAsia staff can call the helpline number: 02-515 9999.
In one piece of positive news, the daily service from Phuket to Udon Thani, which had been suspended, will be reinstated from Monday, departing Phuket at 3:45pm.
The major rescheduling of AirAsia services in Thailand comes as the low fare carrier moves its operations in Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang Airport, effective from Monday (October 1).
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