Tricky Air New Zealand.....Real Tricky

Had an interesting experience booking a flight with Air NZ today. My wife is wanting to go to Hamilton for a week of calving practise at a vet clinic up there. I had already booked her a flight home (paying for it myself), but then my brother reminded me that I had $300 worth of airpoints expiring in October, so I thought I might as well pay with that for Julia's flight up to Hamilton (she was just going to get my dad to drive her up there otherwise).

I went to the airNZ website, and found the best fare to be $139. I decided to call the airNZ phone number, as I needed to hook Julia up to my airpoints account. I thought at the same time I could do Julia's booking - I already knew the flight details as I found them online. I proceeded to give Air NZ the details they needed, until I found they charge an extra $15 to do the booking, so despite being 2 words away from paying for the flight, I backed out (being the frugal fulla that I am). I told them I would book online.

I hung up thinking all was good, until I clicked the booking button online, only to be told my session is timed out. Fair enough, just redo the search. To my surprise, the exact flights I was looking at 1 minute earlier had jumped in price, from $139 to $174. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

Now, I'm probably taking this much too personally, but it seems a tad convenient that the minute after I hang up from a phone call where I expressed interest in a specific flight that the flight has jumped up in price by $34 dollars. For me to have booked on the phone, it would've cost me $154 - and this is what I backed out of.

My theory is one of thrice:

  1. Air NZ has automated software to keep track of flights customers have expressed interest in, and alters prices accordingly.
  2. The call attendant I called didn't like my cheapskatedness, and rung Air NZ CEO Ralph Norris to express her displeasure with me. They then continued to discuss the most appropriate means of annoying me.
  3. I'm crazy and had extremely bad luck.

My suggestion to others: just book online and save yourself $15, whilst also saving yourself from incurring any mysterious phenonoma surrounding magically inflating prices.

This has been a public service announcement :-)

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