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They don't want my business

I have been trying all day to get price quotes for a couple of flights within the next twelve months. I have not managed. Here is why, sorted by company, and for all companies that make sense for the routes:


When you click on the calendar fields to choose the departure date, a window pops up:

Shortly you see if there are flights available on your preferred date.

"Shortly" has lasted for as long as 3 hours, which is when I decided to try again, and ultimately to try someone else.


On submission of their form, I am being told:

Sorry, we were temporarily unable to process your request due to a technical problem. Please wait a moment and try again.

I've waited countless moments, and now, 11 hours since my first try, their idea of a moment still isn't over. But what kind of technical problem is this anyway, which resolves itself on retry after waiting a moment?

Austrian Airlines

Our website is currently undergoing maintenance. Please come back later.

All day.

Air New Zealand

Once I hit "search flights", I get a blank page: a proper HTTP response followed by 0 bytes of HTML.

British Airways

Whenever I hit submit, I am told that the return date has to be after the outbound date. I am then taken back to the form, which preserved all fields, except for resetting both dates to the same day, a week from now.

Malaysia Airlines

An error has occurred processing your request. Please contact our technical staff.

… without a link or any hint as to how to contact them.

I just tried them all again, without any changes; 11 hours later. Apparently they don't want my business.

I really wonder what the future of air travel will be. In many ways, I hope they stop dumping prices and concentrate again on customer satisfaction. But I guess that applies to pretty much everything these days.

PS: I especially appreciate Easyjet's policy of separating friends: after buying one ticket on a given route in August and finding out that we need a second one, I am told that "the route you have selected will be available from 28 October 2007". The funny thing is that we already have a ticket for that route in August. They just don't want my friend to fly along...

NP: Gazpacho: Firebird

Update: Sam Morris alerted me to Kayak, a very impressive meta-search engine for flights. Sure beats visiting each site in turn (although that could get you better deals through specials), and also replaces STA Travel and Opodo for me.

Update: Enrico Zini points me to skyscanner, which complements Kayak in that it searches only the low-cost airlines. Kayak does include EasyJet, but they aren't always the cheapest.