Monday, November 28, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray!

Jumping for Joy

Is it really only Monday still? It seems like days since I faced the anticipation/anxiety about whether I would still have my free flight to France (a bit of a misnomer). Would my Monday email indicate that wheels had been turning over the weekend somehow to make it so?

Alas, when I flicked on my computer at 10 EST, there was no reassuring receipt and ticket from Air France. There was no new charge against my credit card. All 63,708 miles were intact in my Flying Blue Awards miles account.

I was told on Friday that the problem with processing the payment on this type of ticket had to be solved by Flying Blue. Flying Blue was closed for the weekend. So I had to call them this morning.

Cutting through the conversations, transfers and one long wait, the upshot was that they didn't have my birthdate and passport info. When I had entered my trip information, those items had been prefilled, but she wasn't seeing it. My options were to have her fill them in for $22 or do it online myself. Aside from not wanting to pay the $22, I panicked. My passport is kept in the safe and I couldn't bring to mind where else I had its number noted.

She assured me that once I entered the information online, my email would be on its way.
Exactly as I've done year after year, I found that info was and is in my passenger profile. What the heck?

I reviewed my reservation again. All the different categories are displayed with a "modify information" button to make changes. Then I noted the new section at the bottom, "Regulation information." I remember seeing it when I reserved. It's governmental. It's mandatory. It wanted my middle name, to match my passport, plus the birthdate. I remember filling it out while I was booking. Now when I saw it at the bottom, I think it said "Regulation Information" and had an "Introduce" button. There must have been a "Save" or "confirm" that I overlooked the first time.

This was taken care of by about 8:30 AM. I began my vigil for my email receipt and ticket and/or any indication of a change. After awhile I filled out another one of their email contact forms.

The morning passed. I took a late shower before I had to run errands, but I was going to call again before I went out.

At 11:45 AM the phone rang. I hadn't put my glasses on after my shower yet, but what I could discern from caller ID looked weird.

I gave my I've-just-risen-from-my-sick-bed-to-answer-this "hello" (not hard today, given I actually have laryngitis) so I can credibly answer "Not so good" when the political or charitable solicitor gives me the falsely cheerful "And how are you today, ma'am?"

The person on the other end had a very heavy accent and it took awhile for me to understand "Flying Blue" somewhere in the flow of words. (Yippee!)

I recovered from near-death very quickly. I think she recited my entire itinerary -- at least I hope that's what she said -- and asked if I wanted to make any changes. Meanwhile I'd found my glasses and my way to the computer. No changes. Did I know I had to change airports in Paris? Yes. Did I know I'd have to claim my baggage and go through security again? Yes. (Er, I could have guessed as much.) Would I like her to check for a flight from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Strasbourg? No, this is fine. (I'd pretty much checked that when I booked.) (There were none.)

Do you want to continue with this booking, with no changes? (Gosh, I hope she read me the correct one at first.)

Yes. Yes, I do. Can you email that to me right now?

Yes, I've just emailed it.

Don't hang up until I see the email.

It might take a moment.

Just stay there. (I found the Send/Receive button.)

. . . Receiving, receiving . . .

Hooray! Thank you. It's here!

Blessed paperwork.

My spirits lightened.

Tonight on my reservations page it's in a format I've never seen. Did they redesign the Air France website this afternoon while I was napping? My page is called "Modify Your Booking." It's kind of strange.

Then the thought came to mind that I've never had a reservation that could be modified. Life among the Premium Voyageurs!

See you soon.


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