Sunday, April 17, 2005

Final Leg Of Ticket Shopping

For 4 months now, I’ve been shopping for a plane ticket and no one has really been able to help me. Everyone thought that my itinerary it was impossible, ridiculous or whatever. I had to offer different routes, leave out flights and destinations, and still, not one person came out with anything clever or even with anything on their own. All I received were the same quotes over and over again, and even numerous agencies quoted me on tickets that did not have the proper contract length. That was, until now.

I went into STA Travel on Monday and spoke to the branch manager, Greg Coram. Earlier in the year, I had visited that same office once and had spoken to a girl who refused to help me because what I wanted was impossible to get. Great attitude! Still, I decided to try my luck a second time and this time, to my surprise, I was helped by someone who really knew what he was talking about.

I told him my ideal itinerary and flight pattern. Before I could start explaining what other had quoted me on and for which flight pattern, he stopped me and said the most beautiful thing I’ve heard so far:
"If that’s what you want, than that’s what you’re going to get".
I couldn’t believe it. And then, he went on to suggest a totally different approach to my needs: combining tickets together instead of trying to fit everything on the same airline ticket. I had asked about this but everyone else avoided it. But now, thanks to him, I could fly where I wanted, when I wanted it, without having to fly back to the airline’s main city in-between each flights. Thank God! I was really excited and thrilled to finally have something decent to look at. As well, he told me that Pacific Airline offer free stopover in Fiji, as that’s their city. I had to contain myself, but come on! Fiji! It’s always been my dream to go there! That’s paradise! On the other hand, I was afraid that the freedom was going to cost me…

In the end, the package was as such: Japan Airline to Beijing with a month-long stop in Tokyo, and a return ticket on Pacific Airlines from Sydney to Vancouver with a 5-day stop in Fiji, all for less than the sole ticket I had been quoted on that included Australia. I couldn’t ask for anything better. All I would have to buy later is the Singapore to Darwin flight, which should be around $300. And even with this extra ticket, the cost was still less than that ticket I had been quoted on with Quantas.

Still, I didn’t buy the tickets right away. I wanted to think about it some more and shop around a little to compare prices. It seems like it’s only logical to do so when you’re about to do the biggest purchase of your life! Although, I’m pretty sure that I’ll buy the tickets from Greg. I just hope that the prices don’t go up before I buy the tickets…

I can’t explain how excited I was when I got home. I smiled the entire way back home. I was jumping up and down when I got home, screaming "I’m going to Fiji! Fiji!". This was the happiest, most excited that I’ve been since I’ve started to plan this vacation. I stayed happy, excited and I continued to say "Fiji" until I was lying in bed over 5 hours later. David must have thought that I had gone insane.

Fiji!

You will be my 11th and last country in my travels.

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