Monday, February 20, 2006

Norway, what Norway?

The internet is great, particularly for ordering tickets and making travel plans... all the way up to the point that you need to actually order the ticket. I have now tried three different carriers for tickets from Los Angeles to San Jose. The kind of errors I run into are:

They count Norway as part of the European Union, and don't distinguish between EU and EEC. Understandable error, and no big deal, until...

Provide your home address. Norway is not on the list, because Norway is not part of the European Union. And I can't say no, we are not part of the European Union, because through EEC we are covered by the same rules as EU, so legally, to a US carrier, we are. I guess they think we all use German area codes.

Provide phone number: see above.

I could slink around those by using my NYC connection's numbers - that's a tested way to get around it, and the only way for me to book railroad tickets in the US. But I can't use those when I try to use my credit card. That is really surprising, because normally credit card companies help their customers provide for payment from all over the world. But the same flaws were repeated, and here I could not enter my customary cheats - as they would be considered fraud.

So, thank god for local travel agencies. Same tickets, same prices, I got to speak to a nice helpful guy for 10 minutes and the ticket will be mailed tomorrow and be here Wednesday, paper versions so I have something to hold on to and show off when I get upset at the airport because somebody didn't register my reservation. Not everything is better online.

At least when your country doesn't really register on anything but the "safe to launch violent demonstrations against"-meter.

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