[FoRK] Never, ever book through Orbitz.

Stephen D. Williams < sdw at lig.net > on > Tue Mar 21 10:16:18 PST 2006

Never, ever fly through British Airways, especially if they insist on a 
paper ticket.
They did with me last year flying from Dulles through London to Helsinki.

Paper ticket.  Purchased 5 weeks ahead of time.  They were extremely 
slow processing a small number of passengers, including that annoying 
guy from American Idol.  When I got in line, I had time to go back home 
and return.  When they asked me for my paper ticket (my what??), I didn't.

Actually, I am part of some Orbitz VIP thing, so I called their number.  
After pathetic head scratching at British Airways, they all agreed that 
Orbitz could fax my transaction to them to validate the ticket.  If they 
had done it 10 minutes earlier.  They did give me the same flight the 
next day, but come on...

Paper tickets?  I hadn't seen those for something like 8 years.

What's your story?

I know that you never want to book a hotel or rental car with an online 
agent because of fees for or rules against cancelation.

Air France however, has nice flexibility built into their rates for 
itineraries connecting through Paris.  I was recently able to schedule a 
24 hour layover in Paris for free, which worked out well for a couple 
reasons.  I rented a scooter (69EU; they advertise 25EU) and stayed in a 
cheap hotel (59EU) and drove 70km (at up to 80km/hr.) all around Paris, 
day and night, taking pictures.  It was a good scouting trip for almost 
nothing.  The scooter was a great idea, much faster than walking to/from 
trains, connecting, etc. and you could stop in great locations in the 
middle of the street to take pictures.  I basically had never driven a 
motorcycle before.  I only got lost and drove out of Paris twice, once 
at 2am when I was freezing.

I've always said that the best way to get to know a city and your way 
around is to get lost a few times.

The free, or almost free layover, could have been: 3, 7, 11, 16, 20, 24, 
or 32 hours.

sdw

Russell Turpin wrote:
> Fair warning.
>
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