Friday, July 08, 2011


So I STILL don't have my plane tickets.

I have the information from the airlines that there is space on the plane for the pets.


The flight is book through a United Airlines flight number. United does not allow parrots. At all.

So if I am booked through United, I have to make pet reservations through them. So no parrots allowed.

But in order to be booked on the same flight but with a Scandinavian Airlines flight number, I have to get permission...a "Foreign Flag Approval." In other words, I need to justify why I am not "flying American."

And remember, the ticket to be on this flight is going to cost me $1600 over what the government will pay because it is the only flight my bird can go on but not the cheapest flight the government could find for me.

But wait. It gets better.

So I looked online for one-way tickets to Tallinn....really expensive. More than the rate that I already have reserved.

But if I buy a round trip ticket for the SAME FLIGHT, it will cost me $1336. That's right...round trip will cost me less than I have to pay one way.

So now I am thinking the smart thing for me to do is buy my own damn ticket. I can schedule the return for January so I can help my wife packout...something I was planning to do anyway. Then I can just get a ticket back to Estonia in January.

But it really galls me to have to pay for my own way to post.


Jill said...

Your having to pay for your ticket to post really annoys me too...

Especially after I just paid a change fee AND cost diff for 4 (FOUR) tickets from San Fran to VA ... at a rate HIGHER than what I could have purchased on my own.

Sometimes the bureaucracy is too much!

And really? One day the dept needs to realize that pets are JUST as important as kids/family and arrangements should be made accordingly ... with a price tag that = 0.

Sara said...

That sucks!

Carla @ I Run, You Run said...

When I left the IMF, I got a one way ticket back to Brazil (first class -- it was nice!). I paid for my own ticket back. I could find a round trip ticket for $900, but I could not find ANY one way ticket for less than $2,000 (more than twice the round trip ticket price!). I was just going to buy the round trip and say "screw it" to the other leg, but I also read that airlines will punish you on your mileage account if you do that (in other words they WANT you to pay the more expensive one way).

Luckily, since I had the one Delta leg, after lots of phone calls, I was able to book through them on the same itinerary for "only" $700 (which I should note is how much I always pay for the whole DC-Rio-DC trip).

Ryan Bowles said...

Most of the travel agents don't yet know about our implementation of the new U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement. There was a Department Notice about this within the last 3-4 months.

Basically, we are now allowed to fly on EU carriers to and from the EU on an equal basis to U.S. carriers.

Since there is no GSA city pair for WAS-TLL, you ought to be able to fly whomever you want, U.S. or EU, with either the UA code or the SK code on the flight.

You don't need to get special permission to use a foreign flag carrier.

If I were at work I would find you the Department Notice, but you should only need to show that to the travel agent and they should understand what you need to do.

All the best, Ryan Bowles