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Star Alliance Vortex

It’s one of those Kafka-esque situations we are in right now. I’ve spending a couple of hours a day on trying to buy this one ticket (yes, it has 6 destinations in it), and haven’t been able to succeed yet. Like other airline groups, Star Alliance has a few “passes” that you can buy if you are traveling to multiple destinations on one trip. We have bought Europe Air Passes a couple of times and it’s been great. Way cheaper than buying all the tickets one at a time. I mean waaaaay cheaper.

So I attempted to do it again, but it’s been nothing but a nightmare. This particular airpass has a few rules, three of which are:

– You need to be a North America Resident. check

– You need to have a return ticket from North America to Europe with a Star Alliance member airline. check

– You need to have at least three legs in Europe. check

In the past I just went to, created the itinerary and selected Lufthansa on the last page to ticket it. They sent me the price, I sent them our passport info and once it was approved I called them and purchased it over the phone. No problems. We were even given the flexibility to make a couple of changes without being charged extra, we got all the miles necessary, and it was a great savings.

This time, not so easy. First I sent the itinerary to Swiss to get ticketed. They got back to me with the price, but I didn’t get the chance to call them back during the time they were holding it for me (2 days). By the time I called back, it was gone.

And thus begins the Kafka style loop:

I re-created and sent it to Lufthansa this time. They got back to me right away saying since my transatlantic is with Air Canada, I would have to buy this from AC as well. However, when you are on the Star Alliance website creating your itinerary, AC doesn’t come up as an option, I have to pick Lufthansa, Swiss or Turkish Airlines (who apparently doesn’t do this online).

I called Air Canada, the rep says she doesn’t know how she can sell us a ticket that doesn’t even include a single AC flight.

I tried Swiss again online, no word for 2 weeks.

We were in Zurich, so I walked into a Swiss office, she didn’t know what I was talking about.

I call AC again, she created the itinerary and said they would get back to me, no word for a week.

Now I’m getting nervous since the dates are getting close and we still don’t have tickets.

I email Star Alliance directly, no answer.

I re-email Lufthansa practically begging them to sell the ticket. They get back to me right away saying they really cannot. I’m extra frustrated that the only organization that is very responsive is the one that is denying me the ticket.

I stop by the Swiss ticket office at the Zurich airport, he tells me I would have to call Swiss in North America. He can sell me a North America Airpass though, and North Americans can sell me a Europe Airpass.

I call Swiss when we get to Vancouver, she has no idea what I’m talking about. We re-create the itinerary on the phone, and as she is taking our billing address she is asking me to spell everything. I mean EVERYTHING; Santa. Monica. Boulevard. Suite. Beverly. Then I snap and just ask her to quote the ticket, then call me back.

Just a side note, I am getting frustrating just writing about this right now.

Anyway, Chris is starting to feel sorry for me right now and he calls Swiss back and re-explains everything to the rep. The rep says he is at the same office as the one I just talked to and they are working on it and that they are going to call us back later that day. It’s been three days, no call.

Now we’re 9 days away from our flight, so I do two things. I go to a travel agent (yes, they still exist apparently) and ask for a quote. She needs a day to figure out, OK.

I also re-call Air Canada just in case and voila! No ticket yet but she knows what I’m talking about, the kind of ticket we need and she takes all the info, gives me a locator code and asks me to call back tomorrow (today) for the price.

I call back this morning and I am missing one of the digits on the locator code!!!! She is able to find it anyway, and she actually finds the first one that I asked from them also (apparently one of the flights on that one is still confirmed). She apologizes and asks me to call back after 4 pm.

As I’m writing this guess what happens? Chris called them and WE HAVE THE TICKETS!!!!!!!

We are on the 29th floor and it’s pouring outside and there was a ladybug in the house this morning. I knew it was a good omen!

Here is what the trip looks like: Vancouver>London>Aix-en-Provence>Istanbul>Zurich>Oslo>Palma de Mallorca>London>Vancouver! All in 9 weeks!

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