Grumpy Check In


I had an interesting check-in experience the other day: a Cathay check-in person tried to tell me that I needed proof of an Australian visa before he'd check me in.

A little explanation. The Electronic Travel authority is a tag in the Australian visa system that you can register for over the Internet. There's no stamp in your passport, just a tag in the Aussie Immigration system and in the online system the airlines use to check visas. When you arrive at the immigration counters, your passport is swiped, and you proceed to baggage reclaim where beagles sniff your socks and you take bets on your luggage appearing in one piece.

To get on the plane in the first place, the airline has to be sure that you have a visa for the place you're going to, so they have to check things. And that depends on the name on your ticket being exactly equal to the one in your passport. The apostrophe in my surname confuses the booking system for most airlines, so it sometimes gets left out. The only way to check it in that situation is for the check-in droid to type the name in manually, but apparently Cathay Pacific's procedures call for a verbal haranguing of the traveller first.

Just what you need before a long flight.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on March 17, 2007 9:12 AM.

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