Wednesday, November 26, 2003

One Last Bitch Before I Go

The story so far: I wanna walk on a glacier in New Zealand. (Yes, they have glaciers there. Who knew?) I asked my travel agent to book me a three day tour that gets me from Queenstown to the glacier, lets me walk on it, and then sends me on a train on to Christchurch. Sound good?

I get my vouchers from my travel agent. They do not include the address of the hotel I'm staying at near the glacier, so I write the Glacier Tour Company. They send me an email back saying that I'm NOT on the three-day tour, but the two-day tour with an extra day. The difference, they note, is that the two-day tour does not include the glacier walk.

I call my travel agent. She apologizes, and books me separately on the glacier walk (on my free day) with the Glacier Walk Company. She sends me a voucher. Says it departs from their office at 9:30 a.m.

I go to the Glacier Walk Company's website (just to see packing requirements and stuff). They have two kinds of walks. Neither one departs at 9:30. This strikes me as odd.

I send Glacier Walk Company an email. "Which walk am I on and when does it leave?" I do not hear back.

This morning ... figuring that I'm leaving tonight and would like this straightened out ... I call my travel agent. I get her on the phone and inquire. She says she'll check with the person who booked it and get back to me.

OK ... now, I've been really good about not naming actual names here (to protect the guilty) ... but you have to realize how many companies are involved in getting me on a glacier. I call My Travel Agent. She calls Her Australian Contact. Who has apparently booked this through A Local Company. Who has itself booked with the Glacier Walk Company. So there are FOUR organizations involved in this. It's like a bad game of telephone.

I get a phone message back from my travel agent. She tells me not to worry; the walk has been "confirmed and reconfirmed" with the ACTUAL GLACIER WALK COMPANY for 9:30. So I can go on my trip with a light heart; the walk is all set exactly as she told me.


I just got an email back from the Glacier Walk Company. The walk is at 9:15. I'm to show up at their office at 8:45.

I can't decide whether to be relieved that I've caught this in time, or livid that my travel agent TOTALLY LIED TO ME.


mlraminiak said...

The more hands on a project, the greater potential for it to get f***ed up. It's one of Murphy's Laws, I think. Have a good trip! :-]

pegluh said...

A couple of places lost our reservations as well, so it's not entirely your travel agent's fault. The 9:30 is when helicopters take off to take you to the icefall. You show up before 9 to get the paperwork done and so they can give you shoes and gear that won't really fit.