Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Early airline stress

We are weeks from arriving at the airport, and already the process of air travel is causing us headaches.

We worked out a game plan last weekend to book our airline tickets for Thailand. We knew which flights we wanted, times, etc. We even had an alternate plan in case "plan A" didn't work out.

When Monday arrived, we quickly found out we were not in any position to pick any old flight we wanted. There were a couple unforeseen issues causing us problems:

--Our plans call for us to travel on weekends. We knew this could cause problems, but it was worse than expected.
--We're traveling on the first wave of the tourist season in Thailand. Again, we figured this could be a problem, but not as bad as it turned out to be.
--Airfares are ERRATIC! Up, down, high low...just when you think you've got it figured out, they change (up more often than down).
--Inept travel agent. The agent we started with made it clear that we were not her priority, but we persisted for two days before I finally walked down to an agent a few blocks from where I work and had the issue resolved in less than in hour. By the way, she was GREAT...and I made sure she knew it. Perhaps I'm being too polite by not naming the agent who wasted our time.

In the end, we got tickets with prices we're happy with on Korean Air. Although we had hoped to fly direct to Bangkok from the U.S., I'm now thinking it may actually be nice to take a breather off the plane in Seoul. We have to take two flights no matter what we do, so now we avoid the dreaded 17 hour flight across the Pacific for a mere 13 hour flight.

Hopefully the flights will go more smoothly than getting the tickets did. Anyone care to bet on that?



Jay and Chandra Regan said...

I don't know if my news will be helpful or harmful?! I took Korean airlines for my first ever of many flights to Japan. I thought they were great as far as food and service. It was a rather turbulent flight, though. And then when I told my students in Japan about my flight over they all exclaimed, "Oh, that's a dangerous airline!" They all remembered the one that had been shot down over Russia. Well, it wasn't a very comforting thought to me as I still faced a return flight to the States on the said airline. But, the return flight went fine, as well. I thought the food was some of the best that I've eaten on any airline. Perhaps the Japanese are just a little too proud of their own Japan Air Lines.

Julie said...

Glad you found a good agent. I remeber how stressful it was planning our tirp. I have just picked yesterday. It is nice to have it all done and have our tickets in handd. Just packing to do now....