I WILL NEVER, EVER FLY THIS AIRLINE AGAIN WHEN GIVEN A CHOICE!
They were already so rude to me when traveling back from the USA with my students this spring, but that's another story... And really, where I did I get the nerve to complain about being stuck in a window seat, pinned in by a huge, stinking drunk man...
Well, I have a doctor's note, an official letter, that medically I needed to change our travel date. Such a letter entitles you to change your tickets on other American and European airlines (for your whole party) to another date, provided there are fares in your same class, with no penalty fee.
NOT on Enrage-A-Lot.
So then I called tonight to reschedule our tickets for tomorrow. I had been told two days ago that I could indefinitely put them on hold, but that we would have to pay a 100 Euro penalty per ticket. FINE, Jerks, but whatever.
First of all, the sweet operator insisted that we had to choose our next travel day. How can I? No one knows when the fires will stop and when the air will clear!!!! So I had no choice other than to pick the last possible day before I would be seriously late for work, missing out on valuable days I could have used at home were it possible to travel sooner...
And if the fires aren't over by then? "But M'am, there's nothing wrong in Moscow! There's no reason to not return to Moscow right now. Our flights are running just fine on a regular schedule." Nothing wrong in Moscow? Um, 6.5 times the acceptable levels of carbon monoxide? 9 times the level of other toxins in the air? Thick smog? Suuuure... Riiiight... Nothing's wrong...
So if the heat/fires/smog haven't improved by the date I had to choose, I'll have to to pay the penalty fees all over again...
BUT THE REAL KICKER? THE ONE THAT PUT ME SO OVER THE EDGE THAT I VOWED TO BLAST THEM TO LUCIFER ON MY BLOG?
Little Miss Sweet Agent insisted that I had to personally travel to an Aeroflot office by 5 p.m. tomorrow to pay the penalty fees!
Just like that!
Sure... I'll just spend the entire day voyaging to NYC with my darling children, to JFK, only to then turn right around again!
EVER HEARD OF MAKING A PAYMENT WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT, BEFORE THEY GIVE YOU YOUR BOARDING PASSES? Ever heard of this thing called the 21st Century, Enrage-A-Lot? Or, at the very least, ever heard of making credit card payments by phone?
Even though Enrage-A-Lot is an international airline, it is RUSSIAN. You don't make credit card payments by phone in Russia. You barely pay for things over the internet in Russia.
This woman kept insisting that if I didn't make the payment by tomorrow, my tickets wouldn't be held. "Have someone else go for you in Moscow or New York!" Um, everyone I know who actually has 300 Euros has LEFT MOSCOW right now! And I sure as heck wouldn't ask the acquaintances I have in NYC to give up a day to go to JFK for me!
She insisted. I wanted to speak to her manager. She insisted that her manager would say the same thing. So I said I would then want to speak to her manager's manager. And so it went, theoretically spiraling up the food chain of Enrage-A-Lot, until she sarcastically said, "Rules are rules. And you're sure not going to talk to the President of our Company....!!!"
So then I decided to try a different angle, to try to get through to her just how I was NOT going to be spending a day just "stopping by" their JFK office. "Listen. I called earlier in the week to change these tickets, as you might see in my flight records, because I have a doctor's note. I am physically unable to travel tomorrow. So I am also unable to travel all day to JFK and back just to pay your fine. You must come up with a different option for me."
Saccharine sweet voice. "Ohh, yes! I understand! But you must be there by five."
I then laid it on really thick. Oh, the malady. Oh, the theoretical testing in the hospital.
Big whoopee. Get your butt to the Enrage-A-Lot office or forget your tickets.
I then lost it. I DEMANDED the highest manager possible.
And after all that? I can—I was told—just call their Brooklyn office and make the credit card payment by phone tomorrow.
We'll see how that actually goes.
And if our tickets are truly all reserved for that day I had to choose.
And how check-in will go.
GOD HELP THE ENRAGE-A-LOT AGENT WHO TRIES TO CHARGE ME FOR THE DUFFEL BAG WITH THE GIRLS' BOOSTER SEATS FOR THE CAR. LET'S JUST SEE THEM TRY.
Delta? As much as you stink, you've won me back by stinking less.