I’m pretty sure my head is about to explode from frustration. Allow me to explain…
The situation: I’m leaving for the UK for a conference/research trip on Monday. I wanted to both confirm the departure time for my flight and request a vegetarian meal. Sounds simple enough? It has been one hour since I began this adventure and I have had little success. Here’s what has transpired so far:
Step 1: I go to airline website and attempt to enter flight number to confirm flight. I get automated message telling me that my flight is operated by another carrier under some arrangement between the two airlines and that I need to go to the other airline’s website to confirm my flight. I’ve experienced this before, no biggie. So, I go to the other airline’s website (otherwise known as “the world’s slowest web page”) and attempt to confirm the flight that way. I am unable to locate a section on the website to do this, but get a little pop-up window telling me about the flights this airline operates between Canada and the UK. I notice that my destination city is not listed. Curious. I try various other options on the site, but get nowhere.
Step 2: In a fit of frustration I decide to scrap the airline websites and go straight to the website of the airport which I depart from. From there I was able to see my flight listed (under the name of carrier #1, not carrier #2, but I digress…) and it appears all is well.
Okey dokey. Now onto the “special meals” portion of the competition.
Step 3: Airline #1′s website gives a number to call to request special meals. I call it, go through the excruciatingly long automated messages until I get to the option of “press 4 for information on special meals.” Oh goodie! I press 4 and am treated to a recorded message telling me how this airline is “pleased to help meet special dietary requirements,” blah, blah, blah. Then I’m bumped back to the main menu. How one ever gets to discuss special dietary requirements with a customer service agent remains a mystery to me.
Step 4: Airline #2′s website gives a number to call to request special meals. I call it, and the automated voice asks me to enter the extension number I am trying to reach. (Huh?!?) It then goes on to say give me another toll free number to call if I’d like to talk to an agent. So, I write down this new number (which does not appear anywhere on the website!), and begin to feel quite happy about the prospects of finally getting to speak to a real, live human being.
Step 5: I call the new number and go through the “press 1 to continue in English, press 2 to continue in French” dance. I follow through the steps when it dawns on me that things are starting to sound pretty familiar. I’m being treated to an encore performance of the automated messages that I heard when I called Airline #1′s customer service line (see Step 3 above). I listen to how they are “pleased to help meet special dietary requirements,” and am then bounced back to the main menu.
This is really getting on my last nerve and I don’t feel like putting in any more time on this particular pursuit. I think I’ll just pack a sandwich and skip the airline food altogether.
Ok, rant over…