Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buying my plane ticket

Wow did I have trouble buying my plane ticket.  A friend of mine had offered me his frequent flyer miles and I knew from someone I had already met in Kobuk that I could use Alaska miles to fly on Era.  However, I could not do this online.  The Alaska website said to call the reservations number for mileage flights on Era, so I did.  The woman who answered the phone had no idea how to book the ticket.  She said she would transfer me to the partner desk.  I got a busy signal and then the system disconnected me.  I then called the number again and got another guy.  He was able to book the ticket for me, but it was still quite a challenge.  After apparently looking for a minute or two he said, "I can't find it on a map.  How do you spell it?"  I said "K-O-B-U-K and the airport code is OBU"  Then it turned out for the Era flight I could only book a round trip ticket.  After much checking and a long time I booked it round trip to Anchorage with my returning to Anchorage for Thanksgiving.  However, I still need to check with my friend to make sure he's okay with it using so many miles (because he has gold miles I can cancel the return to Anchorage portion of the ticket and get his miles back, but I would still have to have a round trip ticket to Kotzebue).  So then I thought I was done.  I was wrong! We hung up the phone and I waited for the e-mail confirmation.  I waited and waited and waited.  I had just about given up with finally my phone dinged and the e-mail was here.  Well, it turns out that the legs between Anchorage and Kotzebue and the legs between Kotzebue and Kobuk Kobuk were under separate reservations.  More importantly my name was wrong.  I called Alaska again and got a third person.  She was able to easily correct my name on the Alaska portion of my trip, but she couldn't change the Era part.  She put me on hold and spent a LONG time on the phone with an Era representative.  When she came back on she told me that they had discussed many options including canceling my reservation and re-issuing it, but because there is only one super-saver seat per flight to Kobuk she was afraid to release the seat.  Additionally, she said they don't immediately appear as available after canceling the reservation.  They tried some other things, but in the end Era had made a notation in their system, but she was pretty certain it would still print on my boarding pass wrong.  Hopefully, since this is a Bush plane flight out of Kotzebue TSA won't be a problem.  I guess I'll have to wait and see if I end up with trouble or not!

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