Thursday, November 13, 2008

not quite joined-up thinking

As you can tell from the two previous entries - I am going on holiday next month. The trip is booked with Thomson Holidays - no problems there, we've been away with them for the last four years. Like most [all?] airlines they offer seats with extra legroom at at extra cost, so I thought I would ring up and see what was available.

Now this has never been available online with Thomson [why not, KLM have been doing it for years?], but there did used to be 'maps' of the aircraft seat configuration so that you could at least see where the seats were. But no, these have disappeared from the website.

So I rang the number - and at 10p a minute listened to an announcement [call monitored for quality etc] that included the message that I could "... manage my itinerary online .... including flight details ... and seats".

So I put down the phone and went to the website. And guess what, there is nothing on the website where I can perform this function. Or if there is a link to such a section, I couldn't find it [I think you can assume I know my way around a website]. The relevant page is shown below, I clicked on every one of the links - and many links on those links.
So I rang back, and pressed the option for talking to a person to book the seat. When they answered I asked for details of the 'online management' - but the mere mention of that new-fangled geek-only interwebbysuperhighnetty thing threw the call-centre operative into a tizzy which resulted in some confusing stuff about websites which was, well, rubbish [again dear reader, you can assume I know a little about the Internet] before I was informed that the facility was only for 'scheduled' flights, not package bookings. Strange, the phone number is the same - and how did that pesky website know that I was a 'package' traveller and so not show me any links to the seat choice section?

To cap this all off - the 'system' was down and the operative could not book my seat and "could I ring back tomorrow"? Hmmm, another eight minute call at 10 pence a minute. This holiday gets more expensive by the [10p] minute. Haaarrrumph.

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