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Putain de merde!

For three days now, I've been trying to book a hotel to stay at while in Paris, and a flight from Paris to London the next day. For three days now, I've encountered nothing but problems.

Since I'm on a budget, or rather, since I like to do things as cheaply as possible, I usually book through Expedia. On Thursday, I decided on a BA flight to Heathrow costing 80 euros...but the system went into an infinite loop and after consulting with their helpdesk, I was told that the site was experiencing a temporary error but that they were working on it and I should try again later. The following day, the price of my preferred flight had gone up by a tenner, and the error was still there. This morning, my flight had disappeared from the list...and the site is still down.

So I did another search on the Internet, found an afternoon easyJet flight ostensibly costing 55 euros, entered my credit card details, was shocked to discover that with all the add-ons, the amount to be deducted came to 96 euros, became much chagrined but then reluctantly authorised it...and then instead of a confirmation received the message that there was a temporary error in the airline booking system.

I then spent 45 minutes on the phone to their helpdesk (half an hour of waiting for someone to answer the phone, 1 minute to explain my situation, and 13 minutes of them keeping me on hold while they found out the status of my booking) at the end of which, I was advised to try again later, as they were having problems with the system as well; with the promise that in the meantime they would take steps to reimburse me on my credit card...which is all well and good, but I've only got the word of a lowly helpdesk agent that I will get my money back, and having worked in a similar environment years ago, I can but say: seeing is believing.

BTW, yesterday I tried booking the flight I wanted straight from BA's website, but for some reason, when I worked it out the price in pounds came out much dearer than the price in euros...which seemed a bit unfair to me.

I may still decide to drop by the Paris Eurolines office and hope to purchase a ticket on the London coach the next day -- although there's no way to check whether there will be any still available.

As for finding a safe place to rest my weary head after the gig, the search is still on-going. It seems it doesn't matter whether you pick a **-hotel or a hébergement in the 10me or 11me arrondissement; single occupancy will set you back around 60 euros while doubles are advertised as priced between 33-45 euros a night. Per person, of course, but still...:(

ETA 20:45 CET: Sorted! I'll be staying at the Grand Hotel de l'Avenue in Paris 75011, and the mid-afternoon following will fly in to Luton at a cost of only 49 euros. :-)

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Comments

( 17 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
hesadevil
Oct. 6th, 2007 10:59 am (UTC)
Have a look at the Etap Hotels in Paris - http://www.etaphotel.com/gb/home/index.shtml. Prices are room rate, from 43E to 52E depending on when and where in Paris you want to be.

Online booking with airlines is a risky business. The number of times MWNN has received an error message after the payment has gone through.... I'm surprised his blood pressure isn't as high as mine.
gamiila
Oct. 6th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link -- a quick perusal taught me that all these hotels are either on the Périphérique or in the banlieus, which makes them unsuitable to my present purpose, but I'll keep it bookmarked for another time, perhaps.

However, I have just completed a booking on a pleasant, clean-looking hotel within what I judge to be walking distance of the venue in République, so my trip is coming together at last.
suze2000
Oct. 7th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
You might just want to check to make sure it's not on top of a Metro line, and ask for an upper level room if it is. The Metro runs all night, IIRC. Well done though! :)
gamiila
Oct. 7th, 2007 08:26 am (UTC)
Actually, I think it might be, as it's smack-bang in the centre of town near Place de la République...plus I've read a few reviews that say it's thin-walled and in a noisy area (although it's funny that all the complaints of noise and no airconditioning come from spoilt American tourists, while European reviewers seem to shrug and say it's perfectly alright for what you pay). As I'm only planning to stay one night, I'm sure I can cope if it is!
anonypooh
Oct. 6th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC)
good grief ... I'm sure the gig will be fantastique and make it all worthwhile!!
gamiila
Oct. 6th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
It had better be...all the aggro and late nights it's cost me so far!
enigmaticblues
Oct. 6th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
Gah! I'm glad you got it sorted, but how frustrating!
gamiila
Oct. 6th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm glad I got it all sorted in the end, though I still have to wait and see whether that 96 euros will really be credited back to my card. Paris, here I come! Pity it's only for a few hours.
rosamundeb
Oct. 6th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Whew!!!

*singsongs* I know why you're going, I know why you're going!
gamiila
Oct. 7th, 2007 08:31 am (UTC)
Well, of course you do!

Though there is part of me that questions the decision, I'm glad it's all sorted out now and I can't change my mind anymore.
rosamundeb
Oct. 7th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Good!
quietlychaotic
Oct. 7th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
Blimey, looks like your all sorted now though: ) Which is a good thing!
gamiila
Oct. 7th, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
I'm sure it's going to be lovely, to spend a few hours in Paris; but at the same time, I'm a bit downhearted that there won't be anybody I know to squee with before, during, and/or after the show.

Plus, I'm going to have to brush up on my French...c'est tout à fait scary!
anonypooh
Oct. 7th, 2007 10:41 am (UTC)
there will be squeeful folks you know I bet! - people seem to be very shy in the yay! i'm going! statements at the moment. Who'd have thought it!

what time do you think you'll get to your hotel in London?

gamiila
Oct. 7th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, about 4pm I should think...I'm scheduled to land at Luton at 14:20 (IIRC). That should give me enough time to check in to the hotel, spruce up, and then come and meet you after work somewhere on the way to The Storys...btw, should I get my ticket for that now, too, or buy one at the door?
anonypooh
Oct. 7th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
sounds good to me! ...as to pre-buying ticket .. I shall go get opinion in Storysland!! ;) I think we'll be ok on the door.
gamiila
Oct. 7th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Okidoki.

And then I can bend your ear about the previous night's gig -- it's a pity my mp3-player doesn't record, and I'm not sure that the Germans are that bothered anymore.
( 17 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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