Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nothing ever works here the way it is supposed to. Take buying a plane ticket, for example. You go to the website, find the flights you want, pay with a credit card, they take your money, and presto! E-ticket!

Well, in Africa, you go to the website, find the flights you want, pay with a credit card, they take your money, and….and….um, still waiting here….

Yeah, no tickets.

Even though our credit card was charged by Kenya Airways two weeks ago. Jorge has been to the Kenya Airways office 3 times, we have called the Lilongwe Airport, and we have even called the head office in Nairobi. The reservation is confirmed, but there are no tickets associated with it. I don’t quite understand this. And apparently the people at the Kenya Airways offices can’t do anything about it, because the ticket was bought online.

I really don’t need this stress right now.

Jorge thinks it’s no big deal. They took our money, we have the reservation, he says. They have to give us the tickets.

Only this is Africa. They don’t have to do anything.

Once, while traveling with my family, I did a really stupid, Gwynnie thing and lost my plane ticket from Kenya to the U.S. (And my sister’s. She shouldn’t have let me hold it in the first place). We got to the airport 12 hours before the flight was to leave, and started trying to get the ticket reissued. The British Airways person in Nairobi said this would be no problem at all. “I just need to get authorization from the head office.”

Fastforward 11 hours and we have no time left – we need to board the flight. No one in London had answered the phone in all that time. The British Airways person tells us sorry – she can see that we have tickets, and that we have reserved seats, but she can’t let us board the plane. My dad, bless his heart, finally had to whip out the Visa and buy us new tickets, so that we paid twice for the same seats. They eventually re-funded his money, but the lesson was learnt.

In Africa, just because they take your money, it doesn’t mean you get the tickets. We are a little stressed here, folks. Let’s hope it all works out.

5 comments:

Joan said...

Keep on bugging them. Hope it all gets sorted.

Tina said...

Seriously why are you still there? And weren't you just on vacation for like 6 months???

Jesse said...

I live my travel life without tickets - you have truly freaked me out!

Hope it all works out alright...you didn't even mention how Jorge's epic UK visa application is coming along!

Dad said...

Remember when I bought new tickets in Nairobi I had to point out that we knew there were empty seats on the plane because we owned them and they weren't letting us use them?

Miriam said...

I like how you tried to push the blame off on to me. Just know that I will NEVER let you live that down.