Friday, 14 September 2007
On the raod again
Somehow managed a rendez vous with a friend I met in Peru back in July, and spent (what I though were) my last few of South America in peacful Punta Sal. A really good few days in the sea, pleanty of sun, and campfires banter on the beach =)
Moto, broken down combi and bus delayed by four hours got me from Punta Sal to the Panamerican to Mancora and finally to Lima in time to catch my flight home.
At check in KLM (the self procalimed "reliable airline") helpfully informed me that my ticket was refunded by a UK travel agent on 15 August... given the lack of third party involvement in my booking it seemed pretty unlikely, and my bank balance certainly doesn't support such a claim. After three hours of, ummm, "discussion" with check-in staff, their supervisors, Lima office, Santiago office and Amsterdam office they still wouldn't let me get on the plane... not until they've spoken to their accounts department in Amsterdam, who are only open 09.00-16.00 GMT+2 on weekdays (very convenient for an international company with flights taking off 24/7). Continued to reason with them until the plane took off (delayed due to my fuss - ooops!) and they did seem to accept what I was saying, but "computer says no". Stranded in Lima for the night. Spent the morning on the phone to Santaigo, who in turn spoke to Amsterdam and finally confirmed that I would be on "the next flight to Amsterdam". Tonight? No, Thursday... or Friday. In order to have my e-ticket reissued had to go to the Lima office (an hour away); arrived at 12.05 to discover their two hour lunch break finishes at 14.00. Sat on the street. Waited. Eventually got inside to be greeted with "oh, so you're the girl who can't get home?" Gee, that really helps the situation. Ticket reissued with an hour to get to the airport before check-in closes. Passport was scanned, and it was explained to me that I couldn't board the plane becuase I had already flown to Amsterdam on Tuesday. Hmmmm. Boarding card in hand [until my experience with Copa, I would have assumed I was therefore guarenteed a seat on the flight, but now I'm not so sure...] Flight was delayed on the runway for two hours due to "technical reasons" (although I have always wondered what else can actually stop a plane taking off...??) As a result I missed my flight from Amsterdam to Edinburgh. They tried to put my on the next flight, but my ticket was "invalid". In return for my multitude of booking reference numbers and change of detail codes they said I could go tomorrow. Eughhhh. The next flight today was full, but finally got her to admit there were two free seats in business class on the last flight of the day. Me and my bag landed alive and together in Edinburgh. Met off the plane =) and back to my flat...
Thanks to KLM for extending my travels.... but next time please tell me in advance; I'd rather spent the time in idylic Ecuador rather than Lima airport.