HELP a fellow ozbargainer stuck in Shanghai getting home!!!

Okay long story short, airasia delayed their already late departure time (1.30am), and I dozed off, waking up in horror to find that I have missed my flight. Noone to blame here but me as its my responsibility. So im stuck in shanghai right now at 4am, with no place to stay and noone to help me and with no cash left. Im willing to sleep at the airport for a week if I have to…pretty desperate situation I have gotten myself into and pretty silly too.

Can any ozbargainers find me a cheap flight back home to australia? Dates are pretty flexible as I just need the cheapest ticket out of here. Preferrably to land in gold coast/brisbane but right now ill take anything.

Searched airasia for the cheapest of around $300 leaving in early august but maybe someone can do better.

Airasia flat out refused to help me with anything and certainly its within their right to do so but ive flown with china eastern and korean air who was able to help me in a similar situation before with absolutely no hassle. Certainly I dont feel as though im entitled to any help since it was my fault but some generous goodwill would have gone a long way for me to be grateful.

Anyway I would really appreciate some help from the power of ozbargain!

Thanks in advance

Tldr update
Ozb community came through thanks to tonka and Airasia rescheduled a flight for a small fee and thus I dont have to be a hobo at burger king in pudong airport!!! What an awesome community we have here and something im very proud of being a part of! Thanks everyone


  • Shanghai night :z , try checking ?

    • OP should live at the airport and visit the AirAsia counter every hour, empty seats pop up all the time and they should be willing to do one for a really good price..

  • +16

    Head down to the port and start chatting to the ship captains?

    • +1


      Head down to the port and start chatting to the ship captains?

      Read "Bawdy Ballards" first tho…;)

    • +5

      That's always an option… "work your passage" to get home ;)

    • +5

      Befriend the local seamen?

      • +7

        You could always polish their aft and scrub the poopdeck.

      • You could also sell your semen.

  • +90

    Wait.. You've been in this situation a couple of times before???

    • +13

      Narcolepsy is a cruel mistress…

  • -1

    You are probably better off trying to find an Australia Embassy or similar over there. Im sure they deal with this issue all the time.

    • +29

      They are there for people that require consular assistance… not assistance for people that overslept.

      Maybe the OP isn't an Australian citizen either.

    • You are kidding, right?

  • +38

    At least this time they're not locked in their own room.

  • +3

    don't worry mate, your travel insurance should cover this

    • +28

      What falling asleep and missing your flight?

      • +4


        • +2

          unless he breaks his leg quick, and says its health and injury while claiming!

        • +1


          Why break a leg, just get bitten by a dog and you can immediately go back because chances of rabies.

      • Yes some cover missed connections……… ;)

    • +2

      I'm pretty sure most policies don't cover missing a flight through fault of your own.

  • Which airport are you at in Shanghai ?

  • +32

    "You snooze you lose" — often quoted here when someone missed out on a bargain. Applicable here, but a lot more seriously :(

    Hopefully you can find a solution soon. Maybe doing a bit of fund raising here?

    • =)

    • +5

      Hang in there OP. I'll nominate you for the Ozbargain EOFY charity donations next year.

  • +4

    That sucks for the OP.. hope he gets a flight soon.

    I have a CC with a $1K limit which is never used, strictly for emergencies like this. It pretty much only comes out of the box when I go on holiday. Takes a bit of self control not to use it though.

  • +11

    Sell something? You could prob even sell something from home xbox etc on ebay, get the cash and mail it when you get home.

  • +31

    I don't know how people can travel without some kind of emergency backup money for occasions like this?

    • +24

      Yeah, you really shouldn't jump on a plane to anywhere, if you couldn't afford the fare home at a moments notice.

  • +4

    Don't you have friends or family in Shanghai/Australia to help bail you out? You should of set an alarm.. If you buy that ticket for August, you still have to figure out about food, hmmm maybe eat what people leave behind at the food court.. if your desperate. So how much money do you really have? Sell or pawn your jewellery, mobile phone, but write down the numbers you need. Sucks to be you.

  • +11

    I hope you figure out a way soon. I just did a quick search with Air China and China Eastern and I see what you mean. All the one way tickets to Australia are over 2k! Maybe you can catch a different Air Asia flight to somewhere close, for example, Singapore, Malaysia or Philippines and then buy a connecting flight from there. I just saw that Philippine Airlines has a one way ticket to Australia for about $800 departing next week. A ticket from Shanghai to Manila should be about $200. It's still a lot of money but at least you don't have to wait till August! If you know your way around in Shanghai, there are a lot of local hotels/motels you can stay at for only $30 a night. It's a shame that we're not there right now, otherwise I would happily help you out in any way possible. I'm going in October unfortunately.

  • Any chance an email campaign to Air Asia will help?

    If you want to share some details I will be happy to send an email saying how concerned I am that they couldn't help and that I would be too worried about my safety/wellbeing to travel with them.

    • AirAsia won't pay for some idiot's lack of responsibility, even with the terrible threat of one guy not flying with them held over their head.

      • +34

        Dude, hope you can look in the mirror and call yourself that the day you make a mistake and need help.

  • +36

    let's social media this motherf**ker all the way back to australia.

    • +4

      let's social media this motherf**ker all the way back to australia.

      Your words came true!

    • +1

      We have an oracle over here

  • -1
  • -1
  • +1

    can anyone think of a suitable hashtag?

    • +1

      Bring Zarcady (need real name?) home.

      • +13

        …. because he fell asleep which wasn't in any way the airlines fault?

        • +4

          No it wasn't, nothing wrong with helping out our own though is there?

        • +2

          Nothing wrong with helping him out, however I think picking outside AirAsia saying that they left him "in such dire straights" is a bit of a stretch.

        • +6

          Why not, they have.
          As the OP mentioned and as I am aware many airlines are helpful in this situation.
          I can only assume the OP is being accurate when saying they flat out refused to help with anything.
          And yes it can be said it is the OP's fault, but the OP is only human and made a mistake. The mistake only occurred as the flight was late and I don't think it unreasonable for them to help on some level.

        • +12

          By the way, if you are negging me for trying to help a complete stranger…. Well enough said.

  • +1

    Zarc where did you go? Maybe he finished the battery on his phone or he got a flight home :)
    Man, if you truly don't have any way post your bank account details - if each of us donate some coins you would be able to find a solution soon :) let us know, all the best

    • Chances are he/she is sitting on a plane back to Australia.

      • +8

        I wish that was the case :( unfortunately im still sitting in the same burger king in the pudong airport for the last 20 hours or so…and I havent even bought anything because they cannot accept credit card.

        I called airasia in australia/malaysia/china and they all said the same thing. I booked a qantas plane ticket from brisbane to townsville which I was meant to catch to go home when I arrived at the gold coast and when I called them, they were at least able to give me a credit shell (minus $77 processing fee) to use on another flight. All im saying is, yes I know it is completely my responsibility to make sure I am ready to board…I checked in, got my passport validated and was waiting for the delayed plane that changed the boarding gate to half way across the airport…and fell asleep (so dumb I know). I didnt plan for such an event to occur and I cannot afford to pay for a brand new ticket. I called my mate to pick up some of my stuff to sell on ebay and hopefully I can get back hom from then…in the meantime, looks like another night spent at the airport for me until I get some sort of accommodation sorted out.

        Its an expensive lesson learnt but I cannot believe airasia would leave a customer out to dry like this, even when I pleaded my case multiple times. None of them would let me talk to their manager, saying they cannot help and will say the exact same thing as them. Buy a new ticket. Oh well

        • Do you know how much a new ticket is going to cost yet? See my post below about offers being available in the $1100 to $1200 mark, possibly about $600ish just to get back to anywhere in Australia (even if it's far from your final destination).

        • +12

          Surely you have a friend/parent/uncle/aunty who can buy you a ticket and you can sort it out when you get home and pay them back?

          I know I'd help out a close mate who was in your situation like that.

        • +1

          Cardboard and pen. In front of their counter.

        • +5

          Its an expensive lesson learnt but I cannot believe airasia would leave a customer out to dry like this, even when I pleaded my case multiple times.

          That's what happens when you fly with a budget carrier though. I'm not defending them and saying what they're doing is right, but when they offer a service for cheap, they've got to make cuts somewhere and the bottom line is, they can't simply just chuck you on another plane the way that premium airlines might be able to. That's just a part of flying with budget airlines, you can't expect as much.

        • *please delete

      • +1

        Lots of casual jobs available to earn your flight ticket. You can do it!

  • +29

    Dude you are really having a bad year.

    You also seem to have frequent holidays overseas (based on your last post - 4 weeks early this year, another one now). Not a bad life for a student…

    • bad luck brian, hope you got your shit sorted soon dude..

  • +1

    First time sleeping to miss a flight unfortunately..last time had issue with visa so missed the flight but they were able to rebook me onto another flight. I took a semester off to work to come to sh but I guess I didnt plan for such an emergency as this. A big oversight on my part and something I will not repeat again.
    My booking reference number is GGRK2E if anyone can facebook them for help! I cant use it here… I just slept in the airport and waiting until 10pm for the airasia agents to come here (only 1 flight a day out of here..) so I can plead my case but somehow it doesnt look good for me. Unfortunately most places here doesnt take mastercard so Im trying to look for some food! Haha what a predicament to be in for dozing off a little….

    • +17

      Will do but will probably not get much cred without your name. Ie dear air asia please help my friend who I dont know his name.

  • +4

    My name is cheol ook lee. Thank you!

    • +64

      Posted on Facebook. I'll email as well.

      Please help, you left one of your Australian passengers behind in Shanghai? I just heard from a friend who is stuck in Shanghai airport with no way home. After their plane was delayed they fell asleep and the plane boarded and left without them. The Air Asia Shanghai staff aren't able to help.

      What can be done? I can't believe you would leave a passenger in such dire straights, there must be a way. People would be too scared to travel otherwise because nobody can be perfect.

      • +26

        Come on Ozbargain, give me some likes/comments on Facebook.

        I would really love to see if the power of Ozbargain can do something besides crash a site :-)

        • can't find your post?

        • +1

          I posted in the comments of their CEBU Phillippines post as Teetonka.

        • +3

          Great idea Tonka! I gave the Facebook post a like.

          You deserve a special Ozbargain medal if this works!!

        • +1

          Liked and commented. Hope they can assist him!

        • +1

          after we like the post, please copy and paste and post exactly the same thing on their facebook wall…so it will get noticed

        • +1

          gj i liked n comment on it too.

      • +3

        Just saw your post Tonka! You have a great heart <3 I hope you get home soon Zarcady!

  • +3 is what you need.

    I put it on one way, Shanghai (all airports) to Brisbane. 6500 yuan departing Friday, so about $1100. Use 'See calendar of lowest fares' and select the cheapest date. Bear in mind if you choose a later date (August for example) you'll need to factor in the cost of accomodation/food/hassle etc. Good luck.


    Shanghai to Melbourne, $600 on 1 August. Try to catch a cheap Jetstar/Tiger flight to Brisbane from there?

    Shanghai to Sydney, $610 on 31 July. (Shanghai to Brisbane)

    July 28: $1150 to $1200

    • +1

      Or leave tomorrow

      $223 to Hong Kong (China Eastern or Shanghai Airlines)
      $896 Hong Kong to Brisbane (EVA air)

      [or $695 Hong Kong to Sydney (Friday, Garuda)

  • +1

    Do you need a visa for China? If so when does it expire?

  • +1

    Have you tried flights to Singapore, then scoot airlines to AUS?

    When I left Japan I did that because it was cheaper by 200-300 and I got to see Singapore.

    Quick search showed shanghai to sing about 350
    Sing to the coast about 650 (850 to Syd)
    Man they're no longer cheap

  • -3

    your travel insurance should cover this

    • +2

      What policy would cover this?

  • Your countries consular services usually can offer assistance to contact ur fam for emergency funds. They will not borrow u money or arrange u a flight.

    As for eating some banks have agreement with unionpay (I'm surprised no MasterCard acceptance for what is a international airport… Did you spent ur limit?)

    Tbh it seems like u want ozb to get u a flight free through social media, it probably ain't gonna happen so I suggest u look at more realistic options ASAP

    • +6

      They will not borrow u money

      You mean they will not lend you money

  • +7

    become the hobo at central station…but at shanghai airport

  • +14

    all ozbarginers are stuck somewhere these days, one in apartment, one is Shanghai..
    "Im willing to sleep at the airport for a week if I have to" :P you remind me of that movie with tom hanks called the terminal lmao
    mate do what tom hanks done, start pushing luggage trolleys till you make enough money to buy a return ticket.

    • +1

      Unlike most airports in the capitalistic countries, China as a great socialistic country does not allow paid trolley hire to exist within its territory.

      • +5

        Maybe that's a tactic… start working for someone in the airport and do your best to attract the police's attention. Get arrested and be automatically deported :-)

  • what you should do is beg around the streets of shanghai for money. dont be embarassed because from as what i remember there are HEAPS of people begging for money out there in shanghai streets even outside the city

    • +9

      his gonna be begging for a while..

      • +1

        +1, You have to become a busker if u want some money quickly.
        If begging or singing/dancing doesnt work, use ur credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM as the worst case scenario.
        There will be a cash advance interest of something crazy like 20%, but at least u have money to cover bare essentials like food and water. Interest is calculated daily, but to minimize charges, keep topping up ur credit card via ur bank account.

        Hope you find a way to get home.

    • +2
      • +1

        Very certain Zarcady is Asian. His/ Her name is cheol ook lee as above.

  • +57

    Sorry if it sounded like I was expecting to get a free flight from ozbargain..I have neither asked for any donations nor any form of charity. Just that maybe someone can find a cheaper flight if possible or an option that I havent thought of. I dont like asking for help and put burden on friends or family. It is my fault that im stuck and my resposibility to sort it out. Yes im australian, and my lack of a common western last name doesnt mean australia is not my home country. Airasia has contacted me through email to say they need to contact me on a mobile to try and arrange an alternative flight back and I suspect it might have been something to do with the facebook post by tonka to whom im eternally grateful to try and help out a fellow human who have made a mistake. I will update with any new development and thanks to everyone who has helped out. Cheers~

  • airasia facebook page

  • +22

    Garuda flight Shanghai to Denpasar (via Jakarta) - depart 24 July 10:05, arrive 24 July 23:30 - $342.25

    Jetstar flight Denpasar to Brisbane - depart 25 July 23:35, arrive 26 July 06:55 - $381.00

    indonesia visa = $35usd = $37.05

    Total: $760 and you'll be home Saturday morning

    first flight source:…
    second flight source:

  • +1

    I not sure if this may help. If your credit card operator has International Hotline number, then give them a call.
    Also, some might be able to provide you instant emergency cash advance. Good luck!

    Anyway, everyone go and like Teetonka Stoneman post at
    Just a "like" to show we care about each other. Spread the love and kindness

  • +2

    Have authority cancel VISA & be deported back to Oz. Or try catch a train to Nanjing and then Scoot to Singapore and through to the Gold Coast.

    • Is this a realistic option? Any repercussions?

      • +3

        Next time you wanna apply for a Chinese visa it's gonna be rough

      • Some places like Singapore want to know if you've ever been convicted of a criminal offense. Makes entry much more difficult.

  • +35

    Call 108 610 (Chinese operator - cost of a local call)

    Ask to make a reverse charge call to:

    Westpac:+61 2 9293 9270
    ANZ: +61 3 9683 7043
    CBA: +61 2 9999 3283
    NAB: +61 3 8641 9083

    Ask your bank for an ECA (Emergency cash advance)

    They will arrange something with mastercard/visa for you and mc/visa will provide a location you can visit within 24-48 hours (or maybe less) to collect the cash (usually up to 1k AUD).

    • +14

      Wow I didn't know this. Thanks for sharing.
      This is waaay more informative then my Google search for "farts"

  • I haven't read all the comments but if you've got your MasterCard with you, couldn't you just book another flight with Air Asia or Qantas? Sure its going to be more expensive but at least you'll get home quicker…

  • +1

    @OP you can follow this guy footsteps:

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