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Those Prices Are Barking Mad

, , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2019

(I am traveling to visit family for a belated holiday as we were spread across the country during the actual holidays. Due to unexpected difficulties, I find myself traveling with five companions, so I choose to take a plane rather than drive across the country. I book online so I can read all requirements fully, as this is my first time flying, let alone with every member of my household. I am incredibly nervous so, per directions on the form, I fill in everyone’s names exactly how their paperwork displays it. This is the rather amusing discussion that takes place when checking in.)

Me: “Hi. I need to check in for my flight to [Location]. Is it still scheduled to leave on time?”

Booking Agent: “As of right now it is, but there is some expected weather so listen to the announcements just in case. Can I get your reservation, please?”

(I hand her my paperwork and wait as she pulls it up, frowns at the screen, does a lot of typing and clicking, frowns some more, and then prints out the tickets.)

Booking Agent: *folding multiple tickets together* “That will be [price eight times the amount I had been quoted online]. Do you want that charged to the payment method you arranged?”

Me: “Wait! What? No, I was quoted [price] online; how did it go up so much?! I don’t have that kind of spare cash on that card, anyway!”

(I am freaking out inside and scared I will miss the get-together as I had not planned over $8,000 just for the flights, let alone hotels and everything else.)

Booking Agent: “You booked tickets for [My Name], L. Milo Hamilton, Walter E. Disney, Ernest T. Bass, Bertram T. Cates, and Fredrick II, correct?”

Me: “Yes, myself and five companions. That is what I believe your website describes them as, anyway.”

Booking Agent: “Well, clearly, there was a mistake while you were booking your tickets; you booked one flight for one person with five animals. You need six tickets as you are six people.”

Me: *looking at the agent, absolutely bewildered* “Ma’am, do you really believe I am flying with five people named after: a famous — and now deceased — sports announcer, the father of Mickey Mouse, two fictional characters from the early 1960s, and what is widely proclaimed to be the last king of Austria? I think you need to reconsider that. Otherwise, I will soon be the richest person alive, as I have either created time-travel or mastered cloning.”

Booking Agent: “People name their kids random names all the time.”

Me: “Please, take a moment and look at the paperwork I handed you. It has proof that those five ‘people’ are actually two cats, a ten-pound dog, and two sixty-pound dogs.”

Booking Agent: *looks at paperwork for the first time, pauses, eyes widen, lots of typing and then the sound of a shredder* “Your price is [price I was originally quoted] and it will be charged to your form of payment set up online. Please take your pets to the agent beside the gate for boarding.”

(I headed off to the sound of lots of suppressed giggling from the line behind me and a wave of relief at the enormous price being dropped to what I had budgeted for.)

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