Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everything happens for a reason

I am a true believer in this and try to tell myself this whenever something bad happens, even when I wonder Why? Why? Why?
My foot is one example, and I have yet to understand why that did happen, who knows, maybe I never will?!
As for why I kept on messing up on booking our flights to Sydney, well, I know why that was happening. And I blame the US consulate here in Melbourne. The bastards refused Rob a transit Visa for Rob to spend ONE night in Los Angeles (a total of 14 hours between flights) en route to Calgary. One of their excuses, because he is a traveler here in Australia, and he has no set address or family ties here. If he was in the UK, he probably would have got it. When he came out of the US Consulate office and he told me, I felt sick and in complete shock. I never once had any doubt that he would have been denied. I couldn't believe that they refused him entry and we are both are very angry at the United States. It upsets me because so many other people, even bad people, manage to get into the US without difficulties. I'm thinking I should have just put him on a boat and sent him north-east bound, he would have landed somewhere along North America, right?
The worst, he had to pay for the Visa via Australia Post before even going to the interview, a whole whopping $168, which is of course, non refundable. Not including the $14 fee for booking the interview on line, the $12 for the Express post envelope we had to buy (which would have been used to mail us the visa if he got it in the first place, but no worries, the envelope WILL be used at some point), the $21 in train tickets to get to the consulate, as well as Rob had to take the day off work. Honestly, between taxes, rising prices in everything, and governments taking money for meaningless things (like visa's that don't get issued), I wonder how countries are still in debt????

I feel very guilty because I didn't look into this first before booking his flights, especially considering it was his parents money that paid for the flight, but I honestly had no inclination that he wouldn't get into the US. And of course, we where flying VAustralia who only flies to LA, even all their affiliates fly via Los Angeles, no direct flights to Canada. Damn bastards. So, I basically just took $1118 AUS and watched it being flushed down the toilet. I am going to look into getting a voucher from VAustralia (AKA, Virgin airlines), but am not feeling great about it, it was a V Promo seat, with little flexibility. But I will try, and if not, I won't be canceling it and giving the airline the benefit of pocketing the money and selling the seat to someone else. Plus, I can then have more leg room as we were booked seating next to each other :)

We were told by a VAustralia representative (when we called asking about flights) that if we where in LA for less then 12 hours, he wouldn't require a US Visa, but he encouraged us to check with immigration first. That brought our spririts up for a bit, until they came crashing down, again. I tried looking on the US and Australia US consulate websites for info on whether he would require a visa, but seriously, that was a complete waste of time as they tell you nothing. Oh, but there is a number you can call and speak to someone about Visa enquires, at a fee of course. We decided this was the best option, even though we didn't want to give them MORE moeny, but we wanted to make sure we did the right thing. At a cost of $12, for about a 2 minute talk with a representative, we where told that yes, he would require a visa no matter what. Not what we wanted to hear. I called my travel agent in Darwin regarding flights to Canada and I asked her about the US Visa thing, and she did say it would be a good idea to have one in case flights got cancelled or delayed and we would have to spend the night in LA. We decided it was not worth the risk of dealing with immigration officers in LA (now that they not only know he was denied a visa, but they also have his fingerprints, which everyone gets done before his interview at the consulate), or even the chance that VAustralia would deny boarding in Sydney because he didn't have a Visa. So we searched for a direct flight to Vancouver.

As for the domestic flights I was trying to book from Melbourne to Sydney, the money was put back in my account and the bookings where cancelled. Next, I found flights for just myself to Sydney and back, flying Qantas with one, and Jetstar with the other and we pretty much return to Melbourne at the same time.
I was able to find a decently priced flight flying from Melbourne, to Sydney, then Sydney to Vancouver with Air Canada for Rob. I will have to change his flight from LA to Calgar,y to Van to Calgary. He will now be able to stay in Vancouver for a week to see family there and then he will fly to Calgary in time for the family reunion.
A huge bummer for the both of us, and now we have to fly alone which sucks even more, but not much we can do about that.
So why this has happened??????? Not sure, and may never find out????

1 comment:

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

That is absolutely ridiculous!! And no refunds?? Unreal!