My friends’ mom had to travel to Auckland and the cheapest 1-week adv. fare I could find was a roundabout routing with EK via-DXB, SIN and BNE given by the local EK agent. Total fare came to around INR36K. The local Air India office was offering INR42K ex-BOM (BOM-SIN on AI and SIN-AKL on ANZ?) while SQ was coming to INR49K ex-BOM (via-SIN). We took up the EK offer even though it meant backtracking from DXB and booked through the EK agent. Only to regret it today!
She left BOM today morning by EK501 for DXB. The problems began when she was checking in for the DXB-SIN-BNE leg, because apparently the travel agent had forgotten all about the need for a transit visa at BNE. The EK check-in staff offered to book her on an alternate routing DXB-SIN on EK, and SIN-AKL by SQ. Someone at EK then called up the travel agent in India to claim the difference. The travel agent would hear none of it and promptly booked her on today evenings AI flight DXB-BOM disclaiming any responsibility!
Eventually the EK agent convinced my friends’ mom to take the alternate routing offered and that they would settle the matter with the travel agent. The travel agent on his part has been pretty adamant about collecting the difference from us. The difference, with the last minute fares etc, is almost 100% of the fare already paid!!
So should my friend pay up?