Monday, January 12, 2015

The pre-Christmas pickle.

December 14, 2014.

Hubby had to leave from Muscat to his home on emergency, which left me and Aaron in quite an unforeseen situation. Our tickets were booked for the 19th of December and we had four more days to go. 1. I had to manage work, home and Aaron alone for four days. 2. I had to control him at the airport alone on the day of travel. 3. I had to pack our stuff and keep a tab on the weight 4. Last but not the least, I had to calm down.

On the first night without the hubby I realized that I was not a brave parent. So we slept with a small light on, so that any ghosts, thieves or serial killers wandering in the corridor may find us sooner than they intended to. For a three year old, ignorance is bliss and he is a testimony to that. He ate, drank, watched TV and slept peacefully. It was me who stayed awake till 2 am trying to hear imaginary noises.

After successfully staying alive for three nights (yoohoo!), came our last day before flying off to our vacation. It was an extremely busy day at office, but I took a few moments off to check-in online and I logged on to the airline website. The website was sophisticated well designed and had all possible options an airline website could provide. I was impressed.  The air hostesses on the cover page of the website looked like they just fell off from heaven. I clicked on the link ‘Online check in’.

I entered the confirmation number from the ticket only to get a message that said ‘We are unable to check in using this number. Please contact customer care’. My heart raced.  I called up customer care and the conversation went like this.

Me: ‘Hello?’

Useless female 1: ‘Hello, Good Morning, This is Airline office. How may I help you?’

Me: I have two tickets tomorrow on your flight  XYZ. I am unable to check in online.

Useless Female1: ‘No problem Ma’am. Please give me your ticket number’

Me: “It is 12345.”

Useless Female1: ‘I am sorry Ma’am your ticket was cancelled five days back. You may want to book ticket again at our revised ticket rate’

The revised rate of the ticket looked like the approximate net price of the aircraft.

Picture courtesy: Here
Me: “This is ridiculous! My husband had booked three tickets, and he cancelled only his ticket. Just his. My son and I are travelling tomorrow!”

Useless Female 1: “Madam, we have refunded the amount of all the three tickets”

Me: “ WE DID NOT request cancellation of all three tickets!

Useless Female1: “Hold on, Madam, I will pass your call to the concerned Department”

Why did this female answer the call if she was not the “concerned” person? From the way these people handled airline booking I dint think that anybody was really ‘concerned’.

Useless Female 2: “Hello, Madam, you should know that the entire amount for all three tickets was refunded, you have to purchase ticket again”

Me : “What the hell are you talking about? Does it occur to you that unless it is mentioned explicitly you cannot cancel tickets at your own discretion?”

Useless Female 2: “Then you have to talk to that person who sent the cancellation number!”

Me: “What do you mean ‘THAT PERSON’. Who is THAT person? Do you have someone who can solve this issue? A phone number you can give ? How responsible are you?”

Useless Female 2: “We can’t do anything about this Madam…”

I disconnected the call. I had emptied the fridge, packed and informed all my colleagues. Our minds were anticipating this trip for months. That’s not all. To make matters worse, I wished my colleagues a happy new year in advance as I was going on vacation, and now I dint know how to undo any of that.

This was a kind of pickle I did not expect to be in the last moment. I could somehow explain the situation to my parents and Aaron, but showing up at office another day, after broadcasting my itinerary to everyone as if I was going to Malibu was beyond me. I quickly made plans B and C in my head, one of them being taking my laptop and working behind the office Christmas tree. Meanwhile I logged on to another website to check if there were any other flights available for the 20th of December. And there was one at a reasonable fare.

Finally when the aircraft touched down my home grounds, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I took immense pride in myself, for all the things that happened in the last moment and how we managed to see through it. It was like a Christmas suspense thriller with a Bollywood climax.

I am now back from a blissful vacation. J

Thank you, Jesus, for the strength. May be next time you could consider giving me surprise tests at other occasions and not Christmas. Just saying.  Hope you had a great birthday!


17 comments:

  1. HAHAHAHAHA....This was so hilarious. Oops, not laughing at your plight but the way you described it.

    Are you sure it wasn't your husband who cancelled your tickets?

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    1. No he cancelled just his ticket ;-) Otherwise it would have been a horrible joke for which he'd pay his entire life :D

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  2. Glad you got a decent flight on time. But who actually cancelled your tickets?

    Wish you a wonderful new year Anita.

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    1. Hubby booked three tickets. He had to leave early so he cancelled just his ticket. Ideally the other two should not be affected. But those airline guys cancelled and refunded all three.

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  3. Oh the joy of getting home for all Christmases and the anxiety in the process!!! I have been there, last minute bookings... waiting lists... RACs etc. The Ultimatum is to get there somehow even if it means hanging by the doors of a bus or even a flight maybe. Then later on I learnt to take a few days off before Christmas and thus avoid all the hassle!!
    Nilu.

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    1. Yeah I know !! Anxiety of packing up and going is actually exciting...but when all is set and I am told there are no tickets...it is not anxiety...it is a mix of anger, disappointment and some other things. :-(

      Happy New Year !!

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  4. Hehe.. That was one hell of a pickle. Imagine if you didnt go for an web checkin and had directly gone to the airport only to find out that the tickets were cancelled? Worse, isnt it? But all's well that ends well.. Happy New Year Anita. God Bless..

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    1. I know, right! Also that flight was at midnight...so imagine Aaron and me getting stuck at the airport then ! Worse like you said..! I am so glad I chose to check in online !

      Happy New Year Binu !

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  5. Oh God! You were saved because last minute air fare can really touch the skies!!
    And you would have looked so cute sitting behind the Christmas tree and working on your laptop! Just saying :)

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    1. LOL Nisha :D If I had to hide behind the tree and work on Christmas day I'd be crying buckets there :-( And you are saying I'd look cute then :D :D lol!
      Happy New Year Nisha !

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  6. happy that everything ended well

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  7. OMG! I would have panicked like anything if this would have happened. Last moment bookings always cost a bomb and almost always are booked, you were blessed to have this vacation. Happy new year :)

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    1. I know ! I almost broke down too ! Happy New Year Maithili ! And you guys look cute together (fb and insta pics) :D

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