Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Whats in a Name?

After spending a very hectic week zooming all over Bahrain with my sis...we arrived in the airport ready for my two daughters and sis to leave for the states on KLM. Imagine first our surprise and then our anger when we were told my daughters would not be able to board the plane. My sis could go but not them...and since she came here specifically to take them back with her to the states...then of course she was forced to stay behind as well...even though her life and her child were waiting for her patiently back home.

And what was the reason for this unexpected delay....? Well, one little name apparently. As anyone that knows Arabs will know that they go by as many as four or five names...their whole name...not just shortened version of maybe two or three names. Such as if a mans name is Ali Ahmed Yousif Abdullah...he might just go by Ali Ahmed Yousif everyday life. So it seems that when we purchased tickets for my daughters only 3 of their 4 names were printed on the being influenced by 21 years of Arab life...did not think too much about the lack of the 4th name as its common not to write it all out...however...on arriving and presenting passports that did have all 4 names...we were absolutely refused the right to board...with barely apologies for money spent...time wasted...and the subsequent scramble for new tickets ASAP so my sis could get back to the states and her responsibilites.

No amount of arguing would convince them to allow them to pass...even though birth certificates etc were presented to show they were the same two girls etc...nothing worked and we were forced to return home. We were angry and sad and worried that 3 seats would not be found on another flight as the summer exodus of Bahrain was in full swing...not to mention the rising price of tickets that was astronomical as it was. We were afraid that not only was our thousands of dinars we had spent all ready now wasted...but that we wouldnt be able to come up with all that again in just a short time...and my sis had to go even if my girls were left behind. Talk about a hectic night spent waiting for the travel agents to open up.

Luckily for us our travel agent was able to find some seats and only made us pay a fee for the issuing of new tickets...and tonight they were able to leave...but we are still left with a bitter taste in our mouth that KLM left us with. They did nothing to help us or cool our anger...just turned us away flat out.

To add insult to injury...the next day a KLM rep called me wondering if I would like to join the frequent flyers club...even though I told her we probably wouldnt fly with them again after this...she was still fairly perky about the whole thing and signed us up anyway...oh was free.

I miss my girls all ready...but I hope they enjoy this adventure.


Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I think the rules were once more more lax about the names, but that's all changed in the last few years. I'm glad the girls got on another flight w/o issue, in the end.

Nzingha said...

our stupid travel agent (if you can call them that here in Saudi) never in all the years he has been issuing tickets for us (7+ years) has gotten any of our names right. When I went to the states the last time one of the ladies mentioned how messed up the names were I just sat and told her about our stupid agent. She laughed and we had no issue.

I think they make an issue if they want to or feel like it that day. Not that they have to or need to.

Marahm said...

I had to laugh at the KLM agent who signed you up anyway. You might want to give them another chance, sometime in the future when they offer the exact flight you need, when you need it, and you can't find any other choice.

It's good to be fickle with these airlines.

(Nice to be able to comment on your blog easily now!)

coolred38 said...

Thanks for the replies...Im glad to report they made it to the otherside safe and sound...thats one worry put to whats next?