I really hate airports. The irony of having to drag myself out to one two weekends in a row – at 3 hours each way – is not entirely lost on me, although certainly isn’t amusing me at this point.
So the first time I went up there, a week ago, was to change my return flight from the 20th to the 25th. I’d rung my travel agent in Australia, who’d informed me that because Hawaiian are still living in the dark ages, all their ticketing changes have to be done in person, on paper. Good to know that their own records of my booking are completely irrelevant, so long as I have a flimsy, easily forgeable piece of paper claiming a seat. Brilliant.
But of course, after paying my $100US fee to change the flight – $25 more than they told me it would be, if I did make a change, when I first booked the flight – it turns out they screwed up. They’d only changed the Hawaiian portion of the flight, which gets me as far as Sydney. I also, of course, needed to change the transfer to Melbourne. I noticed this wasn’t included on the new ticket (which, by the way, isn’t a real ticket, it boldly proclaims… I’m just going on faith here that this will somehow work out), but figured it was a domestic flight run by Qantas, and I’d just have to get my travel agent to change that. Ho ho ho.
After speaking a few times with her, it turns out that not only can she not actually change the Qantas flight, since it’s technically Hawaiian that booked it, but she can’t see my flight changes anyway. Hawaiian apparently don’t care much for updating their internal records – even a week later. So even if she could have tried to change the flight, apparently with the way everything’s bundled together, it might well have reverted my changes back to flying out on the 20th. Hmmm.
So, I had to go in yet again last Saturday to try again. Of course, it’s worth noting that despite their claim of being open from 7am to 11:30am every day, both times I’ve turned up at 10:30am to find they’ve already left, and have had to be served by someone from another airline. Now that’s customer service.
I explained the situation to the guy. Twice, in fact, before he really understood. He then fiddled with his little PDP-8 or whatever prehistoric monsters they have running there at the airport, and came back with an affirmative “no”. He claimed since it was another airline’s flight, Hawaiian had no control over it. Ah.
Of course, at this point I was sure as hell not going back to the airport again, regardless. And it was about 6am on Sunday in Australia, so I couldn’t call my travel agent to work anything out. So I didn’t do anything. I just stood at the counter looking mildly unamused, until after a few minutes of him nervously trying to somehow avoid me, he finally caved in and called up his management. Within a few minutes it was all sorted out. Oh yes, apparently they can change other airline’s flights. Oh yes, apparently they do actually have to for this flight. Who would have thought.
Well, at least I know never-before-hell-freezes-over to fly Hawaiian again.
So, hopefully I’ll be arriving in Melbourne sometime nearish midnight next Sunday. Of course, for all I really know my actual flight left two hours ago. At this point I can’t do much beyond pray. I hate flying.