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When two call centres go to war…

When two call centres go to war…

So, via eBookers, I booked a flight to take my parents to the United States. But when I checked the booking details later, the middle names of my parents hadn’t been transferred over. Although the middle names of my sisters *had* been transferred over.

So I called the eBookers call centre (which turns out to be in Manila) to query this, and after speaking to a curiously disembodied woman on the other end who was either Dutch or Irish, but was definitely in the middle of a sandstorm in the Sahara desert, I was told that:
– their GDS system didn’t allow for the insertion of a middle name
– (eventually) that it didn’t matter anyway, since the names on a ticket don’t need to match the passport.

Then I called Air France to check on this, and was told that yes, the names on a flight ticket DO need to match the passport if you’re visiting the United States.

So, back to eBookers. They end up putting me on a conference call with Air France, and asking to speak to an Air France supervisor.

After 30 minutes of being on hold, I’m eventually told that:
– it’s recommended (but not *essential*) for the names on the ticket to match that on the passport
– because it’s recommended – but not essential – then I’d essentially have to cancel the ticket and buy a new set of tickets, according to Air France
– eBookers aren’t willing to make the name change, because it’s not essential

and then I get cut off. After 50 minutes on the phone. I then try to call eBookers back, only to find that I’ve been put through to a different call centre in Bombay. (!)

The upshot of it all is that Air France would probably allow my parents onto the plane, but not necessarily. Especially if US immigration insists that the name on the plane ticket matches the name on the passport.

Does nobody know anything any more?

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