‘Stranded’ Chinese Petition Outside Embassy
Phnom Penh: On the morning of August 19th, about 70 Chinese nationals gathered at the gate of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, hoping that the embassy would assist them in solving problems with return air tickets.
The person in charge of the Consular Section of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia received the representatives of the petitioners, listened patiently to their appeals, sympathized with the difficulties they encountered , and introduced them to the consular assistance and protection functions of the embassy as a national diplomatic agency. They were informed about what the embassy can and cannot do with regard to consular assistance and protection.
Due to the pandemic, the number of flights between China and Cambodia has been drastically reduced, with high fares, difficultly in buying tickets, and flight cancellations have increasingly become the norm. The embassy has no right to intervene in the private aviation sector, and must follow rules set by the governments. The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia is not only unable to arrange charter flights, but also unable to lower the cost cost of air tickets. It is hoped that Chinese citizens in Cambodia will arrange their itineraries reasonably and adhere to the principle of “non-urgent, non-essential, and non-travel” to avoid unnecessary losses due to flight cancellations.
The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia reiterated that it will always safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Cambodia, and at the same time remind everyone to express their demands rationally, avoid excessive behavior, and not to interfere with the normal working order of the embassy, so as to avoid sanctions for violating relevant laws and regulations.
As a result of the epidemic, a large number of flights returning from Cambodia have been cancelled. Even if Chinese nationals want to return to their country spend a high price of RMB 50,000 to 60,000 ($7700-9300), it is difficult to guarantee that they can buy the return ticket and leave easily.
According to a Chinese news site “New Phnom Penh” report, Xiao Liu (pseudonym) arrived at the gate of the embassy early at 7:30 on Thursday morning. He told reporters that his return ticket had been cancelled 4 times, and now another flight has been cut. In desperation, he went to the embassy for help.
Xiao Xiang (pseudonym) came to the gate of the embassy at 8 o’clock. He said that the flight he bought had also been cancelled. Now there are fewer flights, and he hoped the embassy can help coordinate. On the other hand, the ticket prices have risen dramatically. “I hope the embassy can control it. “
After waiting for a period of time, at around 9:30, the embassy staff allowed two of the representatives to enter the embassy for talks.
But after 10 o’clock, police and the assembled crowd clashed outside the door. A compatriot next to Xiao Liu fell to the ground, “It is not clear whether it is serious or not.”
Xiao Liu said that the crowd was then driven away from the scene with electric batons by the police, “has dispersed and been driven three blocks away.”
The Cambodian epidemic continues to worsen, and the risk of flight cancellations has also increased.
According to a Chinese language “Cambodia Toutiao” report, a netizen recently claimed that he had bought an airline ticket which was cancelled and the refund time was nearly 4 months . The difficulty of refunding has become “the last straw that crushes him”. Now he has no money to live in Cambodia, and he is very desperate, and is thinking of jumping off a building.
This netizen said that he had previously purchased a return ticket on August 24, and unexpectedly the ticket was cancelled, but fortunately the refund was very quick.
After receiving the ticket refund, on July 18, he bought another ticket with a different non-Chinese airline from Phnom Penh to Guangzhou for September 2, which cost a total of RMB 22,187 (around $3,400). On August 4, he received another notice of cancellation of the flight . In order to return home as soon as possible, he had no choice but to wait for a refund.
He originally thought that this time the ticket refund would be as fast as the last time. As a result, more than ten days have passed and the refund has not been accounted for. So far , he has only received 40 yuan returned.
He contacted customer service, and was told the money will be returned to the account in 15 to 20 weeks.
He said that the 20,000 yuan was borrowed from relatives and friends. This money is his only hope for returning to China . He is looking forward to being refunded the ticket, so he can try to book another flight.
He said that the Cambodian epidemic continues to worsen, and he is forced to stay in Cambodia now. He has no job and no income. The money for staying in hotels and meals is borrowed from friends.
Domestic Chinese airlines are reported to offer faster refunds. SOURCE + video