7 Feb 2012

And Then, Ticket Fun Time….

I’m not where you think I am. I’m now where I should've been yesterday but for two inches of snow and, to be fair, thick fog.

It all started on Saturday when I checked in on-line for Sunday flights and then, rather than before, checked the weather. Snow morning, fog evening. Better change my flight to midday, where the weather map has two little sunny signs, thought I.

Back on-line to change my booking and that’s when the fun began. Fill this in, move a page, fill that in, move a page, tick all the ‘I hereby...’ and ‘I acknowledge...’ boxes and the little steps slider at the top showed this would be the very last click.

Click. Oh, I’m back a page but now with added red writing, “You need to enter your nationality.” I look and I already have. Click again. I’m back to the red writing page again, “You need to enter your nationality.” I look and I have. Click again.

Four times before I saw, below the last ‘I acknowledge’ box, one more nationality box. Why? Never mind, all done; click again. No red writing this time. Oh no Siree. I’m back at the ‘Welcome’ screen.

Three more goes with the same result. What to do. Take the last resort for those wishing to retain their last bit of sanity; phone.

The recorded message helpfully gave me the Web address where I could do absolutely anything, including juggling with an assortment of kitchen utensils, without the need to trouble real people.

Enough, you’ve all been there. Eventually, through cunning phone key combinations, getting a few riddles right along the way and listening to several interesting works by some obscure Scandinavian bassoonist, I was talking to a proper person.

“I’d like to change a flight tomorrow please. Can you do that?”
“That I can. Just give me your thirty-four digit flight changing authorisation code and I’ll be doing it for you.” Now the chance of randomly punching 34 phone keys and coming up with any sort of match seemed like too much of a long shot so I fessed up, “Don’t have one of those.”
“Monies involved then.”
“Carry on. I'll collect the money when I get to the gate.”
"No, you give us money."
"Whoa! Bit of a surprise there then. Carry on."

Time passed.

“Sorry for the delay, but you’ve checked in and I need to check you out to start again and our web based system won’t let me do it for some reason so I’m trying to contact a colleague far away to try to do it for me but he’s not answering the phone.”

“This sounds spookily familiar. Carry on ticket touting person and I’ll continue my classical music class.”

Time passed. Quite a lot of it.

“It’s done. New ticket coming. Sorry for the delay.”
“No problem, I was going to shave again anyway.”

The sorry end to a sorry story? It was all for naught. All flights were cancelled. This time, tickets were changed at the airport and I got away a day late, with a brain turned to mince, from another airport.

I think that, in situations like those, the phone line people should explain what’s involved, then offer an alternative challenge to the challenge you’re contemplating attempting. If that’d happened in my situation, and the ‘alternative challenge of the day’ had been to single-handedly herd a hundred and fifty cats from one side of the city to the other, I’d a taken that.

Quote; ??

“Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.”

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