When you book a flight through Cheap-O-Air (COA) which I have never done until now and will NEVER do again, you can’t contact the airline you chose to make a change. COA has to make your change. Let me tell you what I went through to settle our dates for travel. We booked out TO flight with Expedia and FROM flight with COA. I always use Expedia so I guess I just overlooked this very important detail. I got travelers insurance on both, which strictly covers medical or disaster related issues. I wanted to change the return flight so I called COA. They told me 5 different prices. What determines the pricing is a standard airline fee, taxes and the availability of other flights. In the end COA said it would cost $1,170 to change and $1,197 to cancel. I was not willing to pay either amount. The total for all 3 of us to fly was $2,700. They don’t charge for our son to cancel or change so what they’re saying is that 2 people making a change costs nearly half of what the total flight costs were. Now if you remove the cost of my sons ticket from the equation, we would have paid roughly $2,000 for the two of us and it would have cost us more than half of the total flight price to change or cancel. What a rip off! So I explored further. How much does Expedia charge? We changed our TO flight with ease and amazing customer service for $525. It only costs $600 to cancel for all 3 of us. This also has to do with the airlines. Qatar, good. Hainan, bad. Why good or bad? Qatar has more flight options which clearly makes a difference in the service and protection you’re getting. Hainan has limited flights which increases costs and risk. Furthermore, the layovers via Qatar are more reasonable than Hainan. One example of common flight combinations, Hainan: 1:30am departure from Bangkok, arrive in Beijing at 7:10am, depart 1:50pm, arrive in Boston 2:10pm. Qatar: 9:35pm departure from Boston, arrive in Doha at 5:25pm, depart 8:40pm, arrive in Bangkok 6:55am. At least we can try to sleep with Qatar and considering that we have a 1 year old, this seems the best option. They’re similarly priced.
So — in the end we chose a 30-day visa stamp on our passports. We’re going to travel to Thailand from the USA. We’re going to stop over once. The trip each way is about 36 hours. The time difference is 11 hours. Boston is EST -5 and Bangkok is UTC +7. We’ll ask our family to meet us at the airport or we’ll take a taxi to our AirBnb where they could meet us since it’s so close. I’ll hopefully be able to bring my work laptop so I can work from there. My client is working to get it approved that I bring their equipment to another country. If all goes well, then I’ll have no work interruptions. Another system administrator for our critical apps will be away in India for 2 weeks out of my 4 gone. This is why I’m trying so hard to work from there. I don’t want to let anyone down. My boss and the partners of my consulting company said I could perhaps take 2 weeks off while there if all works out. Either way I’m good. Working in Thailand means that I will be working from 7pm to 3am which is no problem for me! I’ll still have the day to hang out. after all, it’s only for a month.
Will we stay longer? Sure, if the opportunity presents itself! I’ll tell you, it’s super difficult to plan from the other side of the world. We will have to see what opportunities present themselves while we’re there. What we know and what we are confident about is that we’re going to a very foreign land for one month. Together. As a family. To be with family. Taking an adventure.