Cancelling flights to South Korea and Japan

expedia accept changes or not

I recently was able to cancel my flights to South Korea and Japan answering the question I prompted about flying to the far east during the Cornoavirus outbreak. My parents will be happy as they were worried. They weren’t the only ones but myself and my partner talked about it a lot. A point she made stuck with me, will a lot of the attractions, places and experiences in South Korea and Japan be mainly shutdown? The idea of going to a mainly dead rollercoaster park in Japan sounds great but will it actually be open? I noticed a tweet from Brian Suda about the Japanese government stopping large public events to stop the spread of the virus.

Japan has banned large gatherings, so this Sumo Tournament is being played to an empty arena.
Japan has banned large gatherings, so this Sumo Tournament is being played to an empty arena.

We were still going up till the point when Lufthansa changed our flights out again. There was a big change and I got a email asking me to confirm the change. I needed to read through the changes so didn’t click ok I’m good with this still a day later. In between a while bunch of new deaths happened in Italy and Flybe went under. People started taking things a lot more seriously as it was clear the incubation period of the Cornoavirus was something of a nightmare with people not showing signs of infection for 3-7 days. I was keeping an eye on the British FCO site, but noticed Lufthansa changed their policy.

Once I saw this I was straight on the phone to Lufthansa who were very helpful saying I could get a complete refund, then directed me to Expedia where I had booked my flights. After 2hrs 20mins waiting on the line for Expedia. A couple of call backs I finally got the verbal confirmation that my whole holiday would be cancelled and I would get a full refund.

The next day my partner did similar and after long calls and having to call back the next day was told the same. However within a day she got a confirmation email and told the money will be refunded in 5-7 days.

Days later I still haven’t received my conformation email or any refund (expect that not to come quickly). So I called up again today, this time after getting cut off (but it taking only 50mins on hold) I got verbal conformation again. But even at the moment of writing this, there is still no email.

I did notice they now (in the last day) have a form to do it without calling up… I’ll be filling this one in too.

I’m sure its all fine but I’ll fill the form because 3 times is a charm?

Although we are keeping an eye on the worldmeter for the virus, as we may take advantage of one of those very cheap flights to somewhere with minimal infection?

Update 11/March at 22:17

Expedia refund

I finally got my email from Expedia… Took a long time but finally I can relax.

In light of the coronavirus, is a holiday in Korea and Japan a good idea?

Smuged Tokyo street

I booked a holiday to Korea and Japan last year. Thinking this would be a great idea and the flights were a decent price. Interestingly I was thinking about a stop over in Hong Kong for a week but it was getting expensive so decided against that.

Of course with the political tensions in Hong Kong with China last year, I was thinking that was lucky. But then the coronavirus suddenly made the holiday plans a lot less appealing.

I’m looking on the brightside of it all, ignoring the media hype engine. But the notion of a pandemic does make think its likely a bad time to go away on a flight, let alone to two super crowded places?

Everything is refundable except the flights; like many others I’m waiting watching the Foreign office site for South Korea and Japan to see if the advice changes and the airline will offer a refund?

I do think things will be ok but the risk of getting caught up in something which is developing fast doesn’t seem like a great holiday, especially if having to self quarantine in a hotel room for a week!. Add the potential health risk to myself, partner, family, friends and the general public.

Right now if the airline refunds the flight, then Korea and Japan can wait I think? What would you do?

Everyone needs a little self-care time

IMG_20190625_161128-EFFECTS
Nothing better than a little self-care, by indudging my love of rollercoasters

Its a lesson I’ve learned after many mistakes from a previous life (before my brush with death). Taking some time for myself to chill out a little, especially after one of those busy weeks that I sometimes post.

A while ago during my sabbatical after my brush with death, I did read (listen) to a lot of things, this is also when I decided to get hypnotherapy for my fear of needles. Another thing I picked up was the idea of self-care.

Selfcare is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good selfcare is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

I tie it directly to the conscious living lifestyle which is simple in concept again but being mindful is more tricky that it first seems. For example one of the things I do is plan in self-care time in my calendar, especially when I identify a potentially stressful period coming up. It could be a great time away for work but flights are always full of stressful moments and finding hotels etc. For example last week, I flew to Madrid to talk at the xR fest. It was great but the weather temperature hit a maximum of 41c and my flights were via Brussels. I knew the connection was tight with 55mins between landing and the connecting flight leaving.

Express connection ticketOf course we didn’t actually get into the air for 45mins from Manchester, giving me no time to run across the airport through passport control with the express connection ticket and luckily catch my flight as it was also delayed and they couldn’t quite close the gate with people arriving from previous flights. Trust me it was a close call!

This is all the stuff I thought about while resting in the hot tub at the Hilton Hotel Manchester Monday July 1st. I had planned in a day off and took advantage of a treatment some kind friend had bought me for my 40th birthday.

While listening to The Nod recently I was impressed with the discussion about Self-Care. There were two aspects I liked quite a lot (wish I could transcribe it). In summary the conversation was about getting men (especially black men, being a black culture podcast) to consider self-care as part of being masculine. The discussion reminded me of a discussion I had a long while ago about the game being a self-help book for men who usually avoided self-help books.

Self-care is clearly important but its equally important to find what works for you. The example of a yoga retreat just doesn’t work for me although it might work for others. My kind of self-care is certainly spas and rollercoaster parks

Maybe your more a sleep in long hours type person or rearrange and clean the house hygge person. What ever it truly is (and I mean truly deeep down) then a little self-care when things get tough is really a life savor!

Flying into storms

Landing after a storm
The scene after landing in Manchester Airport

Finally back from Amsterdam after IBC 2016; the weather was incredible. Weather wasn’t far off in the UK it seems. However on flying back to Manchester, we hit a massive storm. The flight was only meant to be 55mins but we were up in the air for 90min.

On tweeting the above, Andrew sent a tweet.

On the review, it certainly looks about right, I certainly spotted a coast line.

Flying through and around a storm

To be fair once we finally landed and I tried to get a train home, I found out the train line was flooded and no trains were running from the Airport. They said the same was true of the tram but James seemed to get through? Ended up getting a Uber and being very surprised it wasn’t surge pricing. Felt a little sorry for most of the other people who were stuck waiting for trains. I was a little miffed but I didn’t know how bad things could have been or was in Manchester.

https://twitter.com/bbcradiomanc/status/775772530489470976