Saturday, 21 September 2013

We are supposed to be in Paris

Note this post is split into two parts, starting with before we sorted out our problems and after.  

Before 0800

Well here I am, sitting in Karori, Wellington when I am supposed to be in transit to Paris as you know from the previous post. Hmm. Obviously I am pretty stressed so I thought I could pass the time by doing a non gaming post but give you an update on our travels.

So our trip so far goes something like this. We turned up to the airport in a timely fashion and started booking in for our flight. The AIR NZ rep said, you guys are not booked onto the flight despite what your tickets look like. She said that it has been booked in then cancelled. They mucked around for 30 minutes trying to sort it out telling us to not do any further action which made us feel helpless. However there was nothing she could do. We called Etihad who was our main airline but they said flight centre had cancelled it so we could have to talk to them.

Luckily we were already on hold to flight centre's emergency number, which took about 20-30 minutes to get through, this was about 0615am. The man on the phone told us that a guy called Will who we never had contact with cancelled our flight, in April! There was no mention of this in April, we certainly didn't get our money back. They guy on the phone then told us, we don't believe you so you have to wait until flight centre opens at 10am to get it all confirmed with them.

So here I am at 8am. No flights to Paris. I figure we will be able to sort it out but now we will have lost time. So we are going to try and get Flight Centre to do a few things for us in compensation.

  1. Re-book flights of course, and in first class.
  2. Get an extra day or whatever we lose out on due to the delay and flight centre to pay for extra accommodation which is necessary. 
  3. To pay for an extra day/s of Annual leave as necessary. 
Well it might be a tall order however we can only try. If we manage to get to Paris on Sunday our plans will not be disrupted too much. We were originally arriving on Paris at 7am. Wish us luck.

After everything was sorted 1300

We went to the flight centre to fix everything out. The guy who reportedly cancelled our flights, Will, ended up being the guy who we dealt with there. However he was the team leader and I expect this is why his name was labelled as the one who cancelled the flights. However it sounds like the fault was due to our travel agent booking the tickets under my name twice, so the airline cancelled the tickets thinking it was an error. However we were never contacted about this.

It took 2 hours, and they shouted us a coffee to sort it out. Here is the result.
  • We are flying out this afternoon now with Quantas and Emirates rather than Etihad which I believe is a step up. Unfortunately the travel agent did a good job of avoiding my requests for first class by saying "Don't worry we will sort out your tickets" whenever I asked. 
  • We now arrive in Paris at 2030 rather than 0730. 
  • Because of that we are now leaving at the other end of our journey a day later and all extra accommodation expenses paid by Flight Centre. 
After it was all sorted we breathed a huge sigh of relief, our nerves were very shot. I think flight centre dealt with it well in the end, although it was very frustrating. They reluctantly accepted that it was their fault. In the end I think it is a better deal as we get longer in Paris and some time in Melbourne on our way over.
Sorry about a non-gaming post however I felt like a rant.


  1. Relaxing time so far then? :-) It seems like no holiday is complete without a horror story of bad service. I cunningly avoid this by never leaving home! Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly.

  2. Seeing as you are in transit you won't read this for a while, but I'm glad it worked out for you. I felt for you guys. The big day and you turn up only to find out your flights are cancelled. Will all be worth it when you get there.

  3. Glad it has been sorted enjoy the trip

  4. And breathe :)

    I'm planning a multi-stop tour next year (including New Zealand), I hope I don't have any similar experiences.

    Enjoy the trip.

  5. I am happy to hear it worked out in the end, despite the effective loss of a day and more stress than I could've handled. You both sound very stoic, and handled a bad situation very well. I think they should give you some type of compensation though - first class seats would've been a nice start. But...we are living in the 21st Century - i.e. customer service is not what it was. God Bless, and have a great time on your well-deserved holiday! Dean

  6. I shall concur: Very happy that it ended well. These things are a hassle.

    Quantas is a very good company (at least 9 years ago when I last flew with them). Emirates and Thai had lovely stewardesses when I last flew with them ;) A step-up, yes.

  7. Sitting in Kuala Lumpur airport after a re-fuel. Thanks for your support everyone. I think Paul has the best solution, don't travel as these horror stories are far too common! Well better continue on my flights. Oh and yes Emirates is a very nice airline to fly with, though I don't have much to compare with.


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