Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Life in the Internet Age...sort of

So you know how I posted my itinerary for next week's trip back when I bought the tickets? Eighteen days ago? Does it strike anyone else as odd that I don't actually have tickets yet?

It's not that they're E-tickets - I've gotten used to the ephemeralness of the E-ticket and it don't make me nervous anymore. I know I can walk into the airport with confidence, bearing nothing more than a copy of my itinerary printed out on scrap paper (well, and my passport).

No, it's not that. It's that the airline hasn't processed it yet. I log into my account and get the same page I saw when I first completed the purchase on June 4. It says, and I quote, Your reservation is confirmed. Within 4 hours, an e-ticket confirmation will be sent to: (my E-mail address). End quote.

Ummm, U.S. Airways? Not to be pushy, but a hundred and eight four-hour periods have passed since you told me that. After not receiving my e-ticket confirmation the first day, I kind of forgot about it. I remembered again when my credit card statement came - for under a hundred bucks.

I've called U.S. Airways at two different numbers and in two different languages, and been reassured that my purchase is queued (boy, that word has a mess of vowels in it), and that they have a little man chained to a desk under a flickering fluorescent somewhere, processing payments as fast as his trembling hands can type.

I may be paraphrasing.

The second person I spoke with also explained that they apply a kind of triage procedure, where flights coming up the very next day get special priority in the processing process. And here I was worried there that things would get tight. (Do you suppose this has any bearing on whether the flight will be overbooked, allowing me to graciously offer my seats in return for lots of money and free tickets to exotic lands? Or in my case, FROM exotic lands?)

Now call me crazy (not that you will...after all, not one person took me up on the invitation to judge me last week...), but I thought the whole point of online transactions was that they are efficient and instantaneous. No more calling 800-numbers and being put on hold. But apparently there's some other purpose because, people? I done been put on hold.


Lisa June 22, 2005 8:53 PM  

Four questions:

When did you finish packing for Costa Rica?

When (and, for bonus points, where) did you finish the quilt for me and Scott?

When did you file your taxes?

When are you going to renew your license?

One comment:

If you're trying to convince the family that you're worried about things getting done at the last minute, nice try.

Yes, I'm judging you. JUDGMENT, coming your way. Now I'm judging you with beady eyes and a sneer.

Jennifer June 22, 2005 9:27 PM  

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But that's ME messing up my life. I don't need no stinkin' airline to do it for me. I so bought those tickets weeks in advance. And yet I didn't. See? It's not my fault. The UNIVERSE made me do it.

Jennifer June 23, 2005 11:16 AM  

It occurs to me: Better my tickets than your closing, wouldn't you say?

Dad June 23, 2005 7:47 PM  

Based upon your chilling account of US Airways' efficiency, I've decided not to leave home to pick you up next Thursday until I hear that you've actually landed in the US of A. :)

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