Finally I have a proper flight ticket, a proper receipt, and that’s not thanks to the Korean travel agent.
At first, when I left Korea, I was supposed to go back home today in a TAM Airlines flight. Ki -the travel agent – sent me an email friday saying there was a problem and after pushing him hard I could aknowledge that my reservation was canceled by the air company and he couldn’t know why. But it was his responsability. So, he made me a reservation in another flight company (AIR FRANCE), but he didn’t want to pay for this new one, so he kept trying to talk to TAM over the weekend. The result was that: when TAM told him they couldn’t rebook me it was late to make a confirmation about the AIR FRANCE flight, so he put me in the waiting list – but he sent me a document saying the reservation was confirmed. Kinda lame, isn’t it?
I found out I was in the waiting list because I was very nervous, checking everything. I called AIR FRANCE and they said the waiting list was really delayed and the travel agent knew about it and could never said the flight was confirmed.
I am lucky because my friend Paulo Pires is a travel agent also and so he helped me. We were informed that it was impossible to make to the flight today because the waiting list was really long due to snow storms in Europe and that I was probably going to stay in the airport for more than a day, loosing the conection as well. So my friend and not the travel agent called out a personal favor to his friends in AIR FRANCE and managed to put me in a confirmed safe flight thrusday, Christmas Eve. For that I had to pay the alteration fine. It cost me 25 euros. I had a flight ticket to go from Lisbon to London to catch the AIR FRANCE flight. This ticket would cost me about 115 euros to make a change to 24/12 because of the alteration penalty. So, I used my personal miles to buy another ticket from Lisbon to London and paid 45 euros for the taxes. Ki can get a reimburse for this ticket, about 80 euros (I checked this amount with the air company; the reimburse goes to Ki, because his travel agency paid for this, that’s the rule).
It was the most despicable mess. I have all the emails I sent to my coordinator at CPI program and Ki about this subject, and my first contact was in August. I tried for a long time to make the changes without hurry, because I knew this could be a problem. I told: “if we do that right now it is going to be easy, but if we take time it is going to be too close to the end of the year and we could have problems”. And I also always said: “I just need to be home by Christmas. We can adjust the dates, but I need to be home by Christmas”. And I paid 728.000 won to him, as he asked, to pay taxes and fares, exactly to avoid this.
In the end all the problems I announced happened. Unnecessarily. I had to deal with the problems by myself, with the help of my friend and his friends. I had unexpected extra costs, I had worries and headaches, and I don’t get to be at home by Christmas.
I left Korea owing KLTI 180.000 won for the apartament service bills. My costs due to this mess were 70 euros + 80 euros of the lisbon-london flight I had to use my miles. That makes 150 euros or 254000 won. So, I think that now, instead of sending them the money as I negotiated, they should ask Ki for the money I owed. If we were going to be fair, I should even get the 74.000 won difference back, but I don’t care anymore. I just don’t want to have more losses.
For an oficial government program, this is surely a bad finale.