Had an interesting experience booking a flight with Air NZ today. My wife is wanting to go to Hamilton for a week of calving practise at a vet clinic up there. I had already booked her a flight home (paying for it myself), but then my brother reminded me that I had $300 worth of airpoints expiring in October, so I thought I might as well pay with that for Julia’s flight up to Hamilton (she was just going to get my dad to drive her up there otherwise).
I went to the airNZ website, and found the best fare to be $139. I decided to call the airNZ phone number, as I needed to hook Julia up to my airpoints account. I thought at the same time I could do Julia’s booking – I already knew the flight details as I found them online. I proceeded to give Air NZ the details they needed, until I found they charge an extra $15 to do the booking, so despite being 2 words away from paying for the flight, I backed out (being the frugal fulla that I am). I told them I would book online.
I hung up thinking all was good, until I clicked the booking button online, only to be told my session is timed out. Fair enough, just redo the search. To my surprise, the exact flights I was looking at 1 minute earlier had jumped in price, from $139 to $174. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
Now, I’m probably taking this much too personally, but it seems a tad convenient that the minute after I hang up from a phone call where I expressed interest in a specific flight that the flight has jumped up in price by $34 dollars. For me to have booked on the phone, it would’ve cost me $154 – and this is what I backed out of.
My theory is one of thrice:
- Air NZ has automated software to keep track of flights customers have expressed interest in, and alters prices accordingly.
- The call attendant I called didn’t like my cheapskatedness, and rung Air NZ CEO Ralph Norris to express her displeasure with me. They then continued to discuss the most appropriate means of annoying me.
- I’m crazy and had extremely bad luck.
My suggestion to others: just book online and save yourself $15, whilst also saving yourself from incurring any mysterious phenonoma surrounding magically inflating prices.
This has been a public service announcement 🙂