The Lusercop (lusercop) wrote,
The Lusercop

Airlines and why I hate flying...

I've never had any fears of flying, I've just always hated dealing with airports and airlines. Perhaps this is because I like tagging the email addresses I give out to people so that I can identify the source of any bulk mail. Perhaps it is because I have a double-barrelled surname with a hyphen. I don't know.

Anyway, I had to book 2 sets of flights today. This means that I will be in Boston, MA between the 10th June and the 18th June, and if you are there, we will have to go for b33r at some point. I booked this one with BA. I put a tagged address with a + sign, and I get back an error message with no indication of what character in my email address it doesn't like, just "please check that you have supplied a valid address". Also, for a company that deals internationally, you'd have thought that it would cope with a "+" sign to mean "international dialling code here" in telephone numbers, but you'd have thought wrong. BA tell you to: "> Please check that the telephone number is correct and contains no lines, dashes or brackets." No, BA, it doesn't contain any of those characters, but you still won't accept it, and what's more, every time you return this page with errors, you reset the checkbox for "please don't spam me" back to "please send me lots of junk".

I like the fact that it informs me (in a slightly weird way) that the price is inclusive of credit card surcharges (or maybe that's not what it says:) and then proceeds to charge me an extra 3 quid for paying with a credit card.

It informs me that I have to enter things exactly as on my passport, which correctly hyphenates and splits my surname, so imagine my surprise when it responds with the two bits of my surname concatenated. Is that what you've supplied to the American Dept of Hopeless Scenarios? I hope they don't have fun trying to stop me on this basis.

I also discover that my greylisting (sorry knell) has been triggered, because the lowercased version of my email address has been ignored, and it's just been happily sent out as upper-cased, which is why my trivial greps of the logs didn't reveal anything obvious.

Then later, I try and book a flight with Aer Lingus (after getting massively pissed off with Ryanair's site, and their baggage handling "fair deal" and remembering that I swore never to fly on a budget airline again), discovering that taking the baggage handling stuff into account, and other Ryanair extras it's only about 10 quid more, flies from an easier and cheaper airport for me to get to, and is a slightly less painful time. Aer Lingus direct me back to their homepage for information about their baggage handling (I'm taking juggling kit, you see), which appears to screw my session. Oh well...

Turns out Aer Lingus also believe that email addresses should be all upper-cased (though not the ones that originate their emails). They also say "no apostrophes" in their email address field. Considering the country where Aer Lingus is based, and one of the most famous forms of surname in that country, this seems an odd restriction...

Ah well. I now have flights to Boston, and to Cork to be able to get to the EJC

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