Had a flight booked yesterday from Tallinn, Estonia to Barcelona, Spain. KLM to Amsterdam and then changeover to Barcelona.
Arrived at the airport 2 hours in advance. Went to check-in. Amazingly, no queue. Granted this is Tallinn airport, not exactly Heathrow. The woman at the check-in desk started to do her magic. Then looked up slightly confused and started speaking Estonian to her fellow deskclerk. Uh-oh, I think. My bags are definitely going to end up in Thailand or something. But after a few minutes of consultation things started to go fairly smoothly. I was given my boarding pass and sent on my merry little way.
Went up to the restaurant upstairs and plugged myself into a wall socket while munching down on a surprisingly good blintz with red caviar, onion and sour creme. Sent a text message to the wifi provider and received my 24 hour pass for only 50EEK (roughly $4.00 – BARGAIN). Things were looking really good as the rest of my waiting time passed.
Finally the flight was due to board so shuffled my butt through the security and passport control. Again, no problems.
Arrived at the gate. No one was boarding. Flight was delayed for about 20 minutes, but that was OK because my wireless still worked at the gate.
Flight starts to board. I get into the queue. I manage my way to the front shoving off over ambitious first time Russian travellers. I hand over my boarding pass.
The agent looks at my boarding pass and asks where my ticket is.
I have no ticket. My travel agency booked ticketless travel.
I am asked to wait while the rest of the plane boards. I’m still OK at this point assuming that the newbie ticketing agent just pushed some wrong button hence all the confusion at the frontdesk. I sit down and continue enjoying my wireless connection.
The agent calls to the ticketing desk. Then informs me that I haven’t actually paid for my ticket. Which prompts me to ask – why the hell did yo give me a boarding pass then???
Turns out that P & O travel somehow ignored my request to issue my ticket yet still sent me a confirmation of my flight and reservation number. When I phone them, they admit their mistake but somehow try to pass the blame back to the airline by asking the same question that I had. Why the hell did they give me a boarding pass?
In the midst of all this confusion and telephone calling, the agent REFUSES to speak to the travel agency by stating “I don’t talk to travel agents”. Then proceeds to call someone and tell them to offload my bags. At the same time, the travel agent is saying “I can issue your ticket right now, it will only take me 1 second, please tell them to hold on”.
I look out the window. I see a little yellow luggage cart drive up the aircraft. I see them open the cargo hold and disappear inside.
My suitcase magically appears and all of a sudden the entire plane is gone.
And I am still sitting at the gate with nothing but my wireless connection and my hopes of arriving in Barcelona squashed.
So whose fault was it? Amazingly, both parties managed to blame each other thereby deflecting any actually responsibility. Gotta love a scapegoat…