Sunday, November 8, 2009

Booking Airline Tickets - Simple...or Not

Want to book airplane tickets? Go online, find the flight you want, give credit card info and click "buy now." Simple right? Apparently not.

Last night we decided to book our flight to Rajasthan for the two weeks following Christmas. We had it in our minds that we would fly into Jaipur and fly out of Udaipur, taking trains to all the cities inbetween. So, that's what we did - we booked IndiGo Airline to Jaipur. And booked through "Make My Trip" home from Udaipur.

Then we started looking into train travel and noticed a bit of an error - there is no train from Jodphur to Udaipur which meant that we would have to back-track alot to get a train to Udaipur or hire a taxi. But we have no idea how the road is on this part of the trip. It would have been better to fly into Jodphur and start from there.

Then Michael gets a text from IndiGo Airline saying they have cancelled our Bangalore to Jaipur tickets because his passport and credit card have different names - one has Michael, one has Mike. He phones and explains that both are one and the same. He's booked flights through other airlines in India with no problem.

Sorry, but they aren't going to budge, they have to cancel the tickets. Oh, and by the way they've already charged our Visa, and now there will be a 720 rupee cancellation fee - per person (four of us). What?!! That's about $65 total, PLUS whatever we loose out on with the exchange rate.

Michael kept saying "this is unacceptable, put me through to your manager," and the guy was like a recording, "sorry sir but my manager will tell you the same thing." Finally the guy put Michael on hold and came back on within ten seconds, "OK sir, we will not charge you any cancellation fee."

So, now we have the trip home booked and we think maybe this will turn out ok because now we can rebook (with my Visa) and fly into Jodhpur. Checked the flights, looked good. Then checked the trains - everything is booked with 20 or more on the wait list. Not so good.

Now it looks like the flight home from Udaipur may not be booked as we thought either. Stuck on the phone trying to get it sorted out; on hold, listening to Kenny G...

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