Chinese students trapped in USA being scammed by US airlines

Published:  22 May at 6 PM
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Chinese expat students are now trapped in the USA via a cash grab by US airlines.

Chinese students studying at American universities are unable to return home due to a cash-grab by US airlines looking to their financial bottom lines. The young expats are now trapped in a seemingly never-ending loop of bookings, cancellations and fights to get refunds issued. One informer working as a United Airlines flight attendant told the media he’d seen flights marked as available which couldn’t be found on flight schedules nor had any crew assigned.

The trapped students are mostly still living in their student accommodations all over the US, and are now desperate to book flights to Shanghai, Beijing and other major Chinese cities. They’re all concerned about the USA’s inefficient, chaotic response to the pandemic and feel they’d be far safer back in the home country even although secondary waves of the virus may occur.

One university student has purchased several tickets over the past months, but all except his current option have been cancelled at the last minute. He’s endured an uphill fight to get refunds on the cancelled flights, having received three to date but with more still outstanding. Another student was studying statistics at the University of California when the pandemic began and is now repeating the same story of bookings, late cancellations and tardy refunds if any.

Increasingly, Chinese students just wishing to get home to be with their families are believing US airlines are deliberately delaying refunds and selling non-existent flights to boost their collapsing revenues and stave off bankruptcy. Many have been sold tickets for flights which were shut down over the past two months due to China’s travel bans and restrictions on flight arrivals. Whatever the reason, these young people are being taken for a ride, but not in the way they expected.
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