Peach: The Unreachable Airline


One of the Better LCCs

Peach are, so far as services offered for prices paid, one of Japan's better LCCs, offering a similar service to Jetstar. Compared to Vanilla Air, with whom they are beginning to compete despite both being wholly owned by ANA, they have a functional booking website which presents all details (including, most importantly, the passengers' names) at the time of booking. They generally provide the services their customers pay for, or at least give a full refund if they can't (see their Terms and Conditions), putting them well ahead of other carriers such as Scoot and Air Asia, which cancel flights for their own reasons and then give (partial) "refunds" as vouchers. Peach services are sometimes a little chaotic, with long check-in queues and crowded waiting lounges, but it's a fair compromise for what are sometimes very cheap fares, especially during their sales.

Peace are Unreachable

However, there's one big catch with Peach: they're totally unreachable. Yes, really. There is no way to get in touch with Peach, not matter how urgent or important you may consider it. There is no email address or online form to submit. There is a phone number (81-3-6302-8991), hidden in their website under FAQ, however it just cuts off, all day, every day, without even an option to leave a message. Everything is expected to be done through their online booking system, which is quite effective for most flyers needs, unless you suddenly find you have a simple, urgent request. For example, most airlines offer a twenty four hour grace period to amend errors in the booking process free of charge, however that's not possible with Pach because there's no way to reach the airline. P

Changes? Problems?

This can be a significant problem if there is an issue with overcharging, double booking or other errors in the booking process, as banks often require the the customer to have made contact with the airline to initiate a dispute of a charge, but that's impossible with Peach. So you may end up with a large credit card bill, possibly in error, with no possible recourse, something I'm sure Peach do very well out of. The only hope is to try to persuade your bank to remove the charge, and I guess you'll then hear from Peach eventually. But I have no idea what the outcome of such a dispute would be, especially if it had passed the deadline for changes, because Peach were unreachable.

Peach have relatively low cancellation rates for an LCC, and in theory they do offer refunds when they do have to cancel (unlike Scoot or Air Asia). But one common complaint is that when the airline cancels for a legitimate reason (such as typhoons, which are a fairly regular occurrence in Japan) then there's no way to get in touch with them if you don't receive the refund, so little you can do to get it unless you are able to cancel the charge with your bank. It really is necessary for an airline to be contactable, just like any other business.

Sales

If you get on Peach's mailing list, they will regularly send you notices of sales. These generally start from midnight the day the advertisement is sent out, and include both domestic and international fares. Their advertised prices are usually deceptive, since they don't include compulsory charges, but some of their flights are still very cheap. But it's important to be especially careful when booking, since there's no way to reach the airline if something goes wrong. While they offer great deals, the time available to book means that many passengers book trips impulsively, before requesting time off work or making other arrangements, and then soon find they can't travel as planned. Nonetheless they offer some great deals.

4 comments:

  1. Do you know if Peach has the same middle name scam you had listed in the Vanilla Air post?

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  2. I don't know I'm sorry. It's definitely possible since they are both owned by ANA, but I've never heard of Peach using this scam or anything like it. As far as I know Peach make their money from people who buy tickets and don't turn up (because their plans change or because they can't get hold of the airline and give up) while Vanilla Air make their money by denying boarding and extorting new expensive fares from passengers who have bought tickets and already turned up at the airport.
    I wouldn't recommend flying either, but if you have to choose one or the other I think it would be better to choose Peach. But make sure all the details are correct!
    But it would be a lot safer and less stressful to just book with a real airline, or take the shinkansen if you are travelling within Japan!

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  3. Our flight with peach was cancelled with no compensation and refunding still hasn't happened. Horrible airline if something goes wrong!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear. It must be very frustrating when there is no way to contact the airline, and this is the whole problem with Peach and why an airline needs to be reachable by phone! Did you try cancelling the transaction with your bank?

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