Subject: From Les Thompson in Thailand - Avoid Thai Air!
Les Thompson, an escapee from Edmonton's winter to Northern Thailand for five months, has asked me to forward the following to the list on his behalf:

Subject: Avoid Thai Air!

First, please do not reply to me personally - I do not have access to my email box and cannot receive mail until I return home in April.

As many of you know, I've taken my dog with me on my winter escape to Thailand. One of the reasons I booke with Thai Airways International was that someone in the L.A. cargo office had assured my travel agent that the dog would have his cage tagged as baggage and as long as it didn't exceed usual size restrictions, would be consiered my second trans-Pacific piece of baggage and there would be no additional charge for him. My agent later confirmed this with him, and still later re-confirmed it.

Imagine my shock and distress when I arrived at LAX and was told that I now must pay USD$218 for him. They denied the existence of anyone by the given name in the L.A. Thai ofices, and refused to phone the number I had been given for him. Because of their delay, I had no time to do it myself and had no choice but to pay at that time. I also anticipate a repeat fee of the same on our homeward journey in April!

I wrote and asked my travel agent to pursue the matter most vigorously. If an employee of TAI made an error, either the phone informant of the check-in supervisor, I do not see why I should be the one to pay for it!

Several weeks later, I received a note from my agent. Yes, having the dog as a second piece of luggage is fine, and the cheapest because simply as cargo the cost would be over $600. But, gee, I guess we forgot to mention that there are still charges to transport animals. The charge is either double or triple the excess baggage charge because of the extra care required in the safety of the animal.

It should also be noted that this was the only flight which failed to provide me assurance that the dog was actually on the plane.

For those with more standard criteria for judging airlines, the meals were only mediocre to adequate, and tehre were absolutely no amenities such as toothbrushes or razors, etc. provided in the washrroms despite the fact that it was an overnight flight.

It is only by working together as travellers and as members of this list that we might effectively protest and initiate improvements. However, as my subject states, Avoid Thai Air !

Members of this list who work in the travel industry might like to post a copy of this email in their offices. After I return home in April, I intend to mount a small campaign for a refund for these unexpected charges from Thai Airways. I'll be sure to ask for suggestions from all at that time.

Everyone, please, I encourage you to publicize this information. Feel free to forward it to others, and other mailing lists. *Together* we *can* make a difference.

Les Thompson