Last week sometime, we e-mailed our company, so they could begin the process. The man who handles these things - let's call him RoboCop (what?) - sent us an e-mail. The e-mail convo was like this.
RoboCop : Here are three perfectly good flights from which you can choose.Us: Umm, that's like one good flight and two that leave at 3am. Plus, that good flight isn't on Emirates, it's Delta. We want us some Emirates!RoboCop: Our travel agent doesn't have a contract with Emirates.Us: What if we forward you this itinerary we found ourselves on the internets? Can you book it?RoboCop: You can book it yourself and we'll reimburse you later.Us: ...
So, we called someone else and got them involved in a scheme to use the company credit card to book the flights and then the company could reimburse themselves. Or even preimburse if they so chose.
Today we get an e-mail from RoboCop.
Dear Meekers,I am trying very hard to book your tickets, but I am having problems. I will keep trying.Love,RoboCop
Angie was all "Problems? Pshaw. I'll show him how it's done."
And then we had problems and couldn't do it either.
I kept trying and eventually got to the right itinerary. Then I found a new problem. I could only get a paper ticket and then pick it up at an Emirates office within 5 days (2 days if I was flying from UAE). Needless to say, there are 0 Emirates offices in Iraq.
I gave up and called the office in LA. Why LA? Well, I thought I might talk to someone famous down on his luck working for an airline. Also, I knew they'd still be open.
I talked to William. That conversation went like this:
William: Hi, thanks fa' callin' Emirates. Ma name's William.Me: Hi, William. I am calling from Iraq. I need to fly from Dubai to Columbus, but I need an e-ticket. The internet says I have to buy a paper ticket. Can you...William: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Sir. Sir. Sir. SIR! I'm gonna put you on hold.
William: So you want to fly from Iraq to Columbus?Me: No, Dubai.William: Hello. Hello.Me: Hello?William: I'm still here.Me: I am calling from Iraq. There's a...William: Iraq to where?Me: ... delay. There's a delay!William: We don't have flights from... delay? What?Me: STOP TALKING AND LISTEN TO ME, WILLIAM!!
The outcome of the above conversation was William telling me that I needed to use a travel agent.
I gave up.
Dear RoboCop,I am defeated.Please book the Delta flight with the travel agent.We love Delta.Delta, Delta, Delta can I help ya', help ya', help ya'? Remember that?Yours Truly,Rdmeeker
Then I looked at the Delta flight. The flight identification began with "EK."
Do you know what that is? It's freakin' Emirates. Delta and Emirates are partner airlines.
The same flight we worked so hard to find and secure was the EXACT same flight we'd been sent by RoboCop in the very first e-mail, except booked through Delta. Delta will issue e-tickets through the travel agent.
I sent RoboCop a little note apologizing for any frustrations we may have caused...
Unfortunately, this all came too late to book the flight before the travel agent closed for the weekend. Please pray that the flight doesn't fill up before Monday morning or we'll have to fly home with a baby at 3:03 am or some nonsense.