Airline booking problems? Don’t solve it online

Booking a flight online is convenient than going to the airline ticketing office itself, right? But there are cons too. I bet you experience some hassles too.

The most common problem when booking online flight tickets is the slow internet connection, that causes you to either miss the seat sale or fail to book at all.

Another hassle is when you’re using mobile phone to book online, you may input the wrong info or mispelled a word, due to auto correct or simply because you’re in a hurry.

This particular problem gave me a headache. It happened during our Boracay trip recently. My sister decided to extend her staycation, so I tried to rebook her tickets at Air Asia, but it’s past 48-hours til the flight. She decided to buy new tickets instead. During the process, I unconsciously input a wrong second name of my nephew. It also slipped the eye of my sister when she checked the info. Only after confirming the process we were able to notice the mistake.

I was confident we can change it on the Manage Booking section of Air Asia website, but at that moment we can’t, because the edit feature was no longer applicable. And so I tried to figure out how to correct the mistake by searching Air Asia FB Page.

From the page messenger, I saw “Connect to my fellow AllStar” it will lead you to Air Asia’s AVA – a virtual customer service assistant. Patiently, I negotiated with AVA, but it took so long. It is not helpful at all.

I even asked the Air Asia booth at Caticlan Airport where can I fix the problem and the personnel directed me to go to Air Asia’s ticketing office at Terminal 4. I went there after we landed, but to no avail, the personnel gave me a piece of paper stating Air Asia’s website and AVA.

For the nth time, I really tried to negotiate with AVA, but for the nth time I failed. My sister’s flight was on the next day so I need to fix this instantly. It was only a minor problem, but it can’t be solved immediately.

It took me two days to fix the problem, not with the help of AVA. I decided to go straight to Air Asia hub at NAIA Terminal 3. There I met the customer service assistant, Karen. In an instant, we were able to correct the name of my nephew. I told her how hassle it is to transact with Air Asia’s AVA.

I have nothing against Air Asia, in fact, their flights are on time and they have good service. But I believe they have to improve their virtual customer service. It’s very annoying to see your transaction failed. It’s much better to talk on the phone to a customer service representative and wait for 15 minutes because its an assurance that you can effectively communicate, finish and settle the problem once and for all, than to negotiate with a virtual assistant that only responds “can you please try again” over and over.