Friday, August 14, 2009

PNG Vignette 2

[guest post by Ryan]

Air Niugini Adventures

Wednesday: Make reservation for a round-trip flight to the Highlands. Told we should pay for them and get actual tickets issued Friday at 3.
Friday at 3:05 (at international terminal): “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Friday at 3:20 (at domesticterminal): “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Friday at 4:15 (at downtown office): “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Friday at 6:00: “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Saturday at 8:30am: “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Saturday at 11am: “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Saturday at 3pm: “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Us: So what can we do? … after trying for a couple hours, we get them to book us stand-by tickets for the next day's flight, but they can only book the outbound flight and it costs 90% of a round-trip ticket.
Sunday at 3pm (trying to buy return ticket): “We're sorry the system is down. We cannot book tickets. Come back later.”
Tuesday at 2pm: “The airport has just been held up. It's closed now. Come back later.”
Tuesday at 5pm: Now business as usual at the airport and can finally buy our return ticket.

Also of interest is Air Niugini's listed reasons for canceling flights for which it won't reimburse travelers for expenses:
(1)Volcanic ash
(2)Tribal war
(3)Thunderstorms/floods
(4)Civil disturbance

[Welcome to developing world airlines 101.]

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Wow. quite the ordeal. I'm glad that you finally made it to/from the highlands and out of the country...