Tuesday, July 17, 2012

As easy as packing your bag

Travelling can really be a nightmare, especially when you do a lot of it in Africa. I was standing at the airport in Congo when a fellow traveller struggled to get through security because he had no ticket on him to prove he was on the flight. The gentlemen tried to explain that he has his booking number, but that he could not print it because he did not have access to a printer. This is not difficult to understand, but for the security guard at Pointe-Noire Airport who has probably not travelled further than his own home before, not having a ticket to show just did not make sense.

I am sure travelling gets easier when you go to more advanced countries, and the more you travel the more you learn about the short cuts and ways to save time. Like checking in on-line, or checking it at the self-help desk. This makes it easier for travellers to get from one place to another without having to stand in line or fighting their way through security guards.

I like to check in on-line, it does not only save the time of checking it at the airport, but is also gives me the opportunity to choose a seat more to my liking. I get the feeling middle seat is the default for any flight, because somehow I always seems to be seated there unless I have the opportunity to check in on-line or check in early enough to have it changed.

On my way to Paris last week I was very disappointed when I was for some unknown reason prevented to check in on-line. I had less than two hours at Oliver Tambo to change flights, and an international flight is always somehow booked to capacity with travellers waiting hours ahead to get the best seats. So my chances of sitting in the middle again was quite good. When I arrived at the check-in, I was told to make use of the self-help desk, which added to my frustration. Fortunately for me there was assistance and the flight was not full, so I did eventually get the seat I wanted. But I was still a bit upset that I could not check in on-line. Apparently for this flight it was not possible.

I don't know over how many years on-line check-in will be a reality in Pointe-Noire, but today I just realized that we are still moving forward in air travel. I received a mail from Air France with my boarding ticket for my next flight on Air France attached, I did not initiate anything. I even still had the opportunity to change my seat if I was not happy with the one they gave me. Strangely enough I got a window seat which I am happy with. 

Now I am waiting for the next step in air travel where they come and fetch your suitcase at your hotel and check that in for you as well.....

1 comment:

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