Saturday, July 30, 2005

Flight That Never Was - Thanks Australia Post (You Bastards)

Miky and Yu-Jin were supposed to be on a plane to Korea in two hours time. They won't be and I blame Australia Post and their Express Post Platinum product for it. Read the guarantee - delivered next day by 12pm to a business address.

We had planned to go to Korea in December for three weeks when Miky could take holidays. Something happened and she decided to go pretty much straight away. Problem was that as she and Yu-Jin want to stay until January the boy required a visa (greater than 45 days) or else they would need to leave the country and return. Not the best option. She fairly hastily organised for a visa for Yu-Jin and had to get her own permanent residency visa renewed to allow her to re-enter Australia. That was ok.

Miky sent Yu-Jin's visa application to the Korean Embassy in Canberra and paid lots of money to guarantee next day delivery. On this occasion Australia Post delivered. The visa was issued and the Korean Embassy posted the boy's passport back to us.

Guaranteed to be delivered to a business address by 12pm, they said. Twelve o'clock came and went. I had tried tracking the package and couldn't find it on Australia Post's or Australian Air Express' Track & Trace Website. I use this Website at work to track customers' orders so I know how it works. When it didn't appear I was a bit concerned.

Miky had taken Yu-Jin to school, although he is very sick (this happened last time he went to Korea and the doctor has given him some very strong medication to allow him to travel), to say goodbye to his classmates as he wouldn't see them until next year. All the kids wanted to ask questions and apparently he was a bit of a know-it-all when it came to what happens in Korea. I wonder where he gets that from?

Friday afternoon saw me concerned with talking to people at Aussie Post and AAE with Miky talking to the embassy and the travel agency. Many phone calls later the embassy confirmed that they had posted it at 4pm - before the 6pm deadline, on Thursday. I finally received confirmation that Canberra South Mail Centre had scanned the package at 4:50pm on Friday. Checking the Track & Trace Website I found that it wasn't operational 95% of the time. The package finally appeared at 9:14pm on AAE's Website. Beauty, I thought. It had left Canberra. The Perth office was going to intercept the package for me because if was delivered to Aussie Post on a Saturday there was no way in hell I would get it. The postal service doesn't work on Saturdays in this country.

Early this morning I drove to the courier services airport headquarters and found that they don't open on weekends anymore. Bugger. Went home and called a friend I used to play indoor soccer with as I thought that his brother worked at that office. His mobile number has changed and I got some poor bastard out of bed. I rang his home number and got his answering machine. I rang another friend of his, and mine, and only got his answering machine as well. I tried the national phone number of the courier and managed to speak to somebody from Perth. He said that there were quite a few items that were to be searched for and held for people. Lots of us in the same boat it seems. But he also mentioned that there had been no flight to Perth from Canberra from the night before. Perhaps the mail had been flown to Melbourne which meant it would arrive at his depot by 11am but if it had been sent to Sydney he wouldn't see it until late this evening. If it had even left Canberra in the first place.

I rang the travel company, Flight Centre, where Miky had purchased the tickets from and waited 25 minutes to talk to someone - and that was using the emergency after hours service!! They said that we could change the flight right up until departure time. So I said that I would call an hour before departure time to allow enough time to get to talk to somebody, based on the waiting time for this call.

AAE returned another call I had made and said that as no plane was due to leave Canberra it was entirely unlikely that the package would arrive before the flight. I rang Malaysian Airlines to see what the deal was, having resigned myself to the fact that they wouldn't be leaving this afternoon. Due to the type of ticket they could get on a flight to Kuala Lumpur but weren't able to waitlist for the next sector to Seoul - code-sharing problem. Flight Centre had given me the same info previously. Cancelled todays flight and got Flight Centre to book Monday arvos flight. Only thing that can be done is to see the travel agent on Monday and hope that they can pull some strings. There are seats available but they belong to Korean Air and therein lies the problem.

Son. of. a. bitch.

I see why people go Postal. I can really see why people go Postal. As you can imagine, it has been no end of problems. And all I can get in return is a free package via Express Platinum Post for the sender, i.e. the Korean Embassy (even though we paid for it), and they have to write a letter of complaint about it. Lovely bit of compensation that. And I told one of the ladies from Aussie Post that I didn't think I would be using that service again.

Al-Qaida should infiltrate Australia Post or my next job should be with them. Bastards.

Keep you posted.

6 comments:

lori said...

bugger.

so when will it be resolved?

Hammy said...

Going to try first thing Monday. We've had a good weekend otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Be careful what you put on your blog, you may be or will be under surveillance.

I think your letter was intercepted for checking by some intelligence agency. That’s why it was late.

<; (

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Yu-Jin have Korean citizenship? You should get him a Korean Passport then you will not have all these visa trouble again.

Travelling should be planned way before to avoid unpleasant surprises. Sudden decision to travel are always full of problems.

Hammy said...

He has citizenship but not a passport yet. Don't need him to be signed up for the army just yet.

I'll pass the message on to the missus about rushing things.

Hammy said...

By mentioning Al-Qaida I may get a few more hits.