Thursday, October 1, 2009

Improbability people

Some of us merely exist not just to satisfy Murphy's law, but to show that if it is unlikely -- it'll happen. Especially if you don't want it to... Take the best laid plans of mice and men (and Dave - a lower species, one that keeps wondering whether leaving the trees was a good idea.) In fact the more systematic and careful we are the more improbility goes after us with both boots. We set out booking our flights -- split onto two credit cards not to give the card people hissies. We both called to check there was enough money in them for this. Like I said: tempt the demon Finnagle out of his lair... We went to the Qantas 'specials' we'd found by accident. They'd put up the price on the day we planned on flying into Perth. So then we checked the site that had given us some juicy cheapos across from Perth to Hobart - Tiger.... had vanished. I presume all sold. So... we priced the comparitive Perth-Melbourne Perth Hobart flights... and just on the off chance Qantas specials through SA to Melbourne. The latter proved cheapest. (These are all return flights BTW... because return is cheaper than one way. Makes perfect sense doesn't it ;-). ) So we book for Barbs and I first on her credit card. And why the hell they can't SHOW airport taxes beforehand is beyond me. Anyway it ended up some four thousand each more than the first el cheapo we'd found, but this does allow us to fly in as a family, which marginally (and only marginally) reduces either my or Paddy's chances of ending up in Anchorage, Alaska if we're left to do these things alone. Well, it had to be done so we bit the bullet, booking us first because terms of the visa are that the family may not arrive before me. Being sytematic, holding thumbs that we would not have to sit in Melbourne as there was no more space our flight or something. So we went in and booked the boys (the site of course collapses in the meantime... and we have to start from scratch) Book them. We'll be seeing in the new year in Melbourne Airport - we get in 23.25... and fly off to Hobart next morning. So we now book those flights. And then the kids return flight Lauceston to Melbourne. All electronic see... confirmations to my e-mail. This has taken 3 and half hours and we're stressed and tired. But it is done. Now all that the systematic belt and braces people need are those confirmations.
Hmm. Not happening.
And then miricle of miricles -- the first confirmation correspondence comes through. The $12 insurance of flight to Hobart. (nothing else, but the bags if they grow wings and fly on the right day, are insured. Oh happy Dave. :-). Half an hour later, the last booked Virgin Blue flights back Launceston, Tas - Melbourne comes up. Ah. We're getting these in the order of least relevant? Cheapest? Yes, that must be it, because the booking Melbourne to Hobart comes through next. And then maybe an hour and a half later...a call from Standard bank - you know, the people I cleared it with before I started. They've got an overseas travel booking... they're just making sure it isn't fraud. I reassure them - too relieved to even bite their ears off for their celebrated competance. And hey presto... the boys two bookings from Qantas arrived.
Have you spotted the little gap, dear reader?
Remember the bit about Visa conditions - me getting there first? Yeah. And B and Moi's booking are off doing a little tango with old Murphy and his law. When several hours (and quite a lot of stomach lining) later have elapsed -- B phones first her bank (nothing) and then Qantas... well, the nice bloke on the other end assures her the booking there - different credit cards, different systems, that all -- and as she commented in her post don't panic for 3 days. Huh. When and improbility and the ability of things to go wrong when I'm within a country mile... well.
So: If the ghost in the machine doesn't get us, we'll have some Champagne in Melbourne Airport to greet 2010.


  1. You are not alone. I had some similar hassle with BA flying the boss and me to Japan next month. I booked her flight and then when I tried to book mine the nice CC people decided that I must be a fraudster and blocked the card. Eventually it was sorted out but for a while I was not a happy bunny (and of course BA put the price up while I was arguing with the CC people)

  2. O f course they put the price up. And of course it is to your account. Love banks. Really

  3. "Banker, rhymes with wanker"; sounds like you'll fit right in :)

    OTOH, the airline is an acronym of Queensland & Northern Territory Aerial Services, so it's Qantas, even tho' it's pronounced Kw, as if it had Qu, not K, which Q-without-u is supposed to be.

  4. Oh, fun. *bleargh*

    I should point out if you intend to stay overnight in Hobart when you arrive, you'd want to book accommodation NOW. It's a tad busy. The rest of the known world is usually fine though.

  5. Gah,sorry Mez, put it down to over-tired and overstressed. I even knew what it stood for. I am one of those over-curious people who accumulates useless information. Oh yeah, banks are nice soft everyone-loves-to-hate targets. On the other hand the bastards are pretty good at asking for our love.

  6. Yeah Xenith - we're sort of on to it. Just doing some liason. It's a medium-dumb time to arrive, if neat in symbolism. We're doing Hobart rather than Launceston for the landing because ther are still hoops we have to jump through and we figured it might be easier there. Dunno if this wasn't a mistake - I know there is not a lot of difference in population, but Hobart struck me as a little city and Lonnie a big town (and me, I am not a city person). I could be wrong. A half a day (about what we had in each) is not much time to make an informed judgement. We hoped to find somewhere a little out of Hobart to spend a few days in getting the paperwork done and possibly veheicle purchased before heading for Lauceston en route to Bridport.