End of (QF-)Days

 
Old Jan 2, 03, 2:12 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 34
End of (QF-)Days

Hi!

This is my little report about my adventure of booking a free ticket during the last days of Qualiflyer.

It all began on 29/12/02. I had some spare miles which were about to expire and given the uncertain future of the new FF programs and the fact that LOT would leave the program I decided to book a free ticket before 2003.

After some planning I came up with the following itinerary (all in C):

MAD-BRU (SN)
BRU-GVA (SN)
GVA-FCO (LX)
FCO-WAW (LO)
WAW-SVO (LO)

SVO-HEL (AY)
HEL-DUB (AY)
DUB-ZRH (LX)

I rang the Qualiflyer Service Centre and the agent entered my request into the system. Initially I wanted to fly LED-HEL but this wasn't allowed because of two open-jaws. So I changed it to SVO-HEL. She told me then that the flights on AY had to be requested in Finland and I would have to call them back to get an update.

A few hours later I was told that I was put on a waiting list for SVO-HEL in C (i.e. U) but got a confirmed seat in Y (i.e. X). We agreed to wait until 30/12/02.
One of the guys told me that I would need to finalize the ticket before 31/12/02 at 6pm at the latest as the migration to the new FF programs would start then.
Another agent told me that we would have to do something on 30/12/02 regarding my booking. He didn't say anything else and I thought he referred to the planned migration. But I was wrong as I found out later.

On 30/12/02 I rang them a few times but nothing had changed. I was still on a waiting list.
At least two agents suggested calling back at around noon on 31/12/02. (Ehm, I almost called hourly to ask for an update)

In the meantime I had contacted FinnAir Plus to find out why I was on a waiting list 8 months before the flight. Unfortunately, I was told that nothing could be done except hoping for the best...

31/12/02 came and I got a strange feeling in my stomach and decided to give Qualiflyer a ring at around noon. Initially I wanted to call them after lunch but I changed my mind because of this feeling in my guts.

I asked for the status of my AY flight and was told that this flight (better: my reservation) had been cancelled - and all other flights as well!

For some reason (perhaps I thought AY had cancelled them, dunno) I called FinnAir Plus again . I told her the whole story and the very friendly agent told me after checking my details the flights had been cancelled by LX in Zurich.

You can imagine how angry I was at this moment!

So, I called Qualiflyer again and asked for clarification. The agent was very friendly and understanding and found out that my initial reservation had a 3 day limit which expired on 31/12/02. So the first thing he did was to set my reservation to unlimited.

He then began to re-enter my flight details and told me again that the AY segments would have to be requested in Finland. I was in panic! Would AY work on New Year's Eve? Until when? I knew the German FinnAir Plus staff would stop working at 1pm and it was already 12.30. But he assured me that AY usually responded very quickly, i.e. within minutes.

As nothing happened during our conversation, I decided to call FinnAir Plus and ask them to confirm my seats. The QF agent gave me his details so I could talk to him again.

I got the same friendly FinnAir agent as before and now she could find the new requests for my flights in her system. Unfortunately, she couldn't confirm the seats as this would be done in Finland. The seats were still unconfirmed. So, she offered to call AY in Finland and get back to me with an update. How nice!

When she got back to me, she said that she had asked the guys in Finland to have a look at my situation but because AY used Amadeus and QF Galileo as their CRS it could take up to 24 hours until everything was confirmed. Another hit in my heart!
During our conversation she frequently looked at my request and suddenly it changed from unconfirmed to OK. Yippee!

I thanked her deeply and called QF again. My friendly agent was unavailable so I asked another one to check my AY status and yes it was confirmed in their system as well!

Then I asked him to print the ticket and another shock: He told me that I would have to pick up my tickets at an airport that very same day!
Now I got angry because my friendly agent had told me they would send it to me. I was asked to hold the line and after a while I could speak to my friendly agent again.

He said he had checked my status every now and then and when he found out that it was OK he tried to call me but my line was busy (as I was calling QF at that moment). So we had a good laugh and he proceeded with my ticket.

To make it all worse he told me that the Frankfurt office had told them that all tickets would need to be printed by 2pm. As it was already one or two minutes after 2pm in Capetown where he was located I got a bit nervous. BTW, in Germany it was only 1pm.

He had some problems as the system initially wouldn't accept his commands and I was close to a heart attack.

But eventually, he finalized my ticket, processed my credit card and said everything was OK! The system only deducted 22,500 miles from my account because I took that one AY segment where I was waitlisted in C in Y instead. Good news in the end!

And now I am anxiously waiting for the paper ticket...

What did I learn from this? Always ask how long the reservation is valid!

I would love to hear your comments about this!

Ulrich

Ulrich is offline  

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