Monday, January 28, 2008

Looking out for me

I just booked a flight from Mumbai to Delhi on the internet. That may have been a trifle hasty on my part. I've been emailing a travel agent and I wanted to see if I could get a better price by searching the airlines myself. This particular flight was showing up as 500 rupees for the both of us, which if my monetary conversion website is correct, is $12.67.

Thinking I might as well try to book this one flight, I started filling in my info on the page. I don't recall if there was a confirmation page before I completed the sale, but I found myself looking at a receipt and ticket number. The ticket was in fact 500 rupees, but the taxes were 4000 rupees!

What the hell? Have I been ripped off before I even get to India? Perhaps, but this grand total of about $128 is still less than what the travel agent quoted me.

I printed out the receipt and my cell phone rang. It was an automated message from my credit card, fretting about some unusual charges. Could I confirm the $128 charge to Air Deccan, and the $62 charge at Fred Meyer and the $30 at the gas station...Um, that domestic Indian airfare was legit, but I suspect fraud at my neighborhood Fred Meyer and the gas station at the end of my block.

Seriously, though. That call came within minutes. They got some kind of system in place. I better call them before our trip in April to prepare them for more unusual charges in Kathmandu and Dharamsala.

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