If you thought the global economy was live and operational, think again. SMS Text News fan, Dom Pannell, was trying to board a British Airways plane back to London from India a little while ago.
At least, he was trying to do so.
Dom, like any straight-thinking globetrotter, thought that he was all good to go, with the e-ticket details stored on his Blackberry. You know how this works, right? British Airways already have your booking on their system. You just need to get to the check-in and show them your passport. They confirm that the details marry up and print out your boarding pass. You don’t need a paper version. Not really. You’ve paid the cash, you’ve got the confirmation numbers right there in your email, you’re good to go — at least, you can get to the check-in desk and sort it out, right?
Wrong. PAPER. You need PAPER.
The nice soldier with the dark pink rinse (seriously) at the entrance to Terminal 1, Gate 1, Mumbai International Airport was having none of that fancy electronic-ticket-on-my-BlackBerry shite. “Ring British Airways” he said, pointing at a telephone attached to the wall beside a big sign with a list of airlines and phone numbers.
What a total arse. Dom dutifully walked over to the phone and placed a call.
“There’s nobody there,” I replied after a few minutes of trying “all I get is a recorded voice saying they can’t take my call.” “No ticket, no entry” mumbled my moustachioed friend firmly – I noticed that even his tache had been dyed.
Now let’s be clear: Dom HAD a ticket. An electronic version. And this chappy denied him entry.
I’d be going ballistic at this point, especially given the business class fare.
The net result? Dom missed his flight. He’s now booked on a 2am premium economy seat at an additional cost of 400 pounds. In order to sort that out, he had to arse about checking into a nearby hotel to make sure he P R I N T E D his sodding electronic sodding ticket. Let’s call it another 600 quid wasted.
So, let this be a warning to you.
Electronic tickets are NOT electronic, particularly when you’re trying to board a BA flight in Mumbai.
Make sure you PRINT out the ticket, lest the pink soldier stop you from boarding.
Right. I’m off to try and have the hotel staff print off a copy of my new e-ticket (shouldn’t BA warn travellers that the e-tickets they send out are useless unless printed?).
My first thought? Where the hell were British Airways when Dom was trying to speak to them? Ridiculous. If I was Dom, I’d be going abbb-sollluuuuuttt-lehhhhhhhh NUTS. That needs fixed right away.
My second thought? Goodness me how is Mumbai Airport going to deal with SMS bookings?