Just One Ticket, That's All

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By: leelefever on March 1, 2006 - 7:22pm
 Singapore is supposed to be the place where we plan the next phase of our trip. Being a major city, comparatively western and an airline hub, we figured it was a good stop for travel planning. Apparently, Singapore or the gods of travel don’t want us to get our planning done.

Today was one of those days where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We laughed through it and became quite delirious and in awe at the unbelievable number of road blocks we confronted trying to make one flight reservation. Here is the play-by-play.
All we wanted was to book a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Mumbai, India, two of the major cities in the region.

  • A travel agent was recommended. We walked to it and found that it only booked packages.

  • We went to an Internet café and used Expedia to find the flight. No E-tickets can be issued. Roadblock.

  • We went to Malaysiaairlines.com, but the site was down. Roadblock.

  • We went to Air India, the codeshare airline, the computer we were using did not allow the pop-up necessary to book tickets. Roadblock.

  • We walked to the Malaysian Airlines office. They can only sell tickets leaving from Singapore (our current location). Roadblack.

  • We try a new Internet café. We find the flight, purchase the ticket only to find out the purchase did not go through- no explanation given, only a phone number. Roadblock.

  • We figure the credit card may have blocked the transaction. We enter a shopping center to call an operator, staff tell us that Singapore cannot do collect calls and no one knows how to dial an International Operator. Roadblack.

  • Go to a hotel lobby and attempt to call credit card company collect from pay phone- the operator cannot hear us. Try new phone, same problem. Roadblock.

  • No one in hotel knows how to contact international assistance. Roadblaock.

  • Finally connect to credit card company, but collect charges inexplicably denied, 3 times. Roadbloack

  • Run out of change, must find change.

  • Buy pre-paid phone card for international calls.

  • Leave area and go to subway, find another pay phone. Try international phone card, number to Malaysian Airlines cannot be connected. Roadbloack.

  • Spend .60 to have the operator tell us to dial 104 for international call assistance.

  • Get through to credit card company – no problem with card- it should work.

  • Try to call Malaysian Airlines again with pre-paid card. No Connection. Roadblock.

  • Call int’l operator again. Tells us to try using credit card.

  • Switch to a pay phone that accepts credit cards. Slide Card- “Card Error”. Try new card: “Replace Handset” was all it said. Roadblock.

  • Give up on calling Malaysia Airlines – decide to go home. Need to get Subway tokens, no change smaller than $10. Machine will not accept higher than $5. Go to office, no one present. Roadblock.

  • Find change, enter subway, walk to platform, realize wrong platform, exit and return to new platform. Go home with nothing to show for 6 hours of trying to get one ticket.

I’m quite surprised that we made it back to the room without getting hit by a car or accosted in some way. Our issues were certainly part ignorance and part bad luck. Live and learn I suppose.

Later that night, Sachi got the tickets online and we rejoiced. Yaaaay.

Post From: Singapore, SG