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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Dubai 4/12/23

Declining a hop on hop off bus tour of the city, I attempted to check us in for our next flight. The flights have been booked since August and to book special assistance and Mildred onto it you had to telephone the airline. Now this would be straightforward you would think... nope not at all. Despite trying every single number for the airline, searching online and finding alternative numbers, I still failed to get through to them. Dottie, the stupid chat bot was worse than useless and kept sending me to online checkin.... I just want to talk to a bloody human. Is that too much to ask ? Yes it appears so. The airline website stated that they would carry wheelchairs if they had the room depending on how many there were in the hold for the flight. I then thought about trying to add wheelchair assistance when I logged in online. Except it kept kicking me out of the checkin page. At the same time I received 28 text messages from them saying my booking is confirmed. 28 bloody messages that's without the what's apps that were pinging in every 30 seconds.

The worse bit about being kicked out of the online check in was the fact that above the page to nowhere ,was a line saying, Online Checkin is mandatory. Taking the piss or what!

Not getting anywhere online I tried to ring the number that sent the what's app. That was an utter waste of time, the number wouldn't connect. If you can't guess how cross I was getting , I'll give you a clue... my language was what can only be described as ripe. Then popped up a 'your flight has been cancelled by us ' message. WTAF???

You may implement plan B. Plan B is an option where if your flight is cancelled by the airline, you can claim a refund. I decided I would cancel this flight and book another one because the airline website was shite and I was going around in circles. Having got as far as needing a OTP in the cancellation process I turned off airplane mode so I could receive the code. In fairness it came through instantly. The only problem being was I had been sent a 4 digit code for a 6 digit box. That triggered more error messages and the page kicked me out ... again. Si came back from a bit of shopping where he had gone to get out of the firing line, took one look and took me downstairs for a calming hot chocolate and a biscuit. One solitary biscuit? I needed the whole pack ... of chocolate hobnobs with a ginger nut chaser!

Hot chocolate partially restored my good humour and I had the splendid idea to try contacting them via social media. Facebook first. That wouldn't let me log in because it didn't recognise my device. I suspect it's because I use a VPN. Stupid in my opinion as it's the same device I always use. So they offered to send a code to my mobile. Get stuffed. Move on to X . Found them and sent a direct message ... and waited and still not had a reply. Finally tried Instagram. Yay found them. excellent✔️ Sent them a message, got an instant response. Getting somewhere now I think but I was getting a little too cocky. They responded with "we've just tried to call you and it's gone to answer phone. " now I had clearly explained in the message to them we were travelling and my phone was on airplane mode. So I asked them if they could call me via what's app, thinking that as I had recieved messages from them via it that would be a sure thing. The response to that was "we don't have what's app calling" and after

That tumble weed. 🤬

Needing an artic load of chocolate hobnobs and ginger nut chasers by now, I rang Dubai airport and asked if they could put me through to the airline. Result, I'm speaking to a human being, and next I'm speaking to a human being from the airline. I explained the situation and she told me I had to ring India to book the special assistance. Once more I explained that every single number I had tried for India came up unavailable. And yes, I had done it correctly Thankyou very much. To which her response was just turn up at the airport 3 hours before the flight. After all that it was that simple. Also I was unable to checkin for the flight and this finished me. That's because, she said in a rather condescending manner, you cannot check in online for international flights. So why had they felt the need to send me 28 messages to check in online and that it was mandatory for all flights ? Yes it is mandatory, but not for international ones she tells me.. this leads me to the conclusion that it is not mandatory at all. No where on the numerous emails and text messages I have, does it say desk check in only for international flights. Ass holes.

Finally sorted (hopefully) we went back to the room to look for short hop flights from New Zealand , Tonga, Fiji orSamoa to get to New York to catch our ride home. Several options are available to us, Fiji to Hawaii to San Francisco is an option, and it also takes in some more of the world, but the ridiculous prices for accommodation cancels that route out I think. Back to that another day because packing is required for the next leg of the trip.

All presentable (kinda) we went down to meet Dai and Caz for a taxi ride out to The Irish Village to meet the bus hoppers. The hotel ordered the taxi for us and when it arrived it started on 12 AED. Previous ones have been 5, 8 and 15. It may be that the hotel has a cut of the fare, or it could be something to do with the fact that there are all cream taxis but they have red green or yellow accents. I've yet to ask Google, but rest assured when I know I will fill you all in on this vital piece of information. Because you're all dying to know I can tell.

Having bored you to death with the quietist day to date I send you much love . X

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