Saturday, September 10, 2005

I hate Travel Agents

Funny thing about travel agents in Korea, hell travel agents in general -- they always make me feel like I'm getting ripped off (screwed). I reserved seats to Boracay back in July for the summer holiday because one travel agent offered a much better price than anybody else would give me. Then the day that I was ready to pay she said that her prices were wrong, that it was high season (high season in Korea, she meant, as it was definitely low season in Boracay) and I'd have to pay a higher price. What kind of argument could I make? I was stuck with the tickets because it was only a week away from my travel date.

This has happened to me so many times that I just cannot buy a ticket without talking to 5 to 10 agents. When I was in Canada last Christmas I was referred to a friends agent that gave me a reasonable price on a ticket back to Korea. On an afterthought I called an agent that I'd used several times before to give them a chance for a similar price. They bloody well told me that the only ticket I could get on such short notice would be 3000! How ridiculous, I'd just gotten off the phone with an agent that gave me a choice of schedules and a price of around $1500.

I'm calling around to agents to find a good price to the Philippines but I'm finding shiftiness again. Marcopolo Travel told me the price would be 750,000 Won to Boracay but Freedom Travel told me a flight to Manila would only be 430,000 Won. Since Boracay is only about 40 minutes from Manila this price is ridiculous. So I asked Marcopolo about this and the agent 'all-of-a-sudden' recalled that she had some promo tickets to Manila available. Meanwhile, I asked Freedom Travel what the price would be to Boracay and he offered me a terrible package price. Man I hate travel agents, but I really hate Korean travel agents. I figure, I'll just go to the Manila municipal airport and pay the $50 ticket to Boracay direct instead of shelling out $300 to the crooked agents I've been talking with.

Now I have to think about what to buy for the sweet 3-year-old Rowena for her birthday (Rosi's first child by her now deceased husband). Guess I'll go to E-mart and see if I can find some plush, Ages 3-and-up toys. This 'becoming a dad' thing is making me nervous. How can I provide for a child when I'm such a kid myself? And I don't really know the mom that well. That's the sad part. I won't get a chance to get to know the mom until the baby is well into his/her first year if I can't wrangle some decent holiday time. I can't fault her for not coming here she's scared of travel and even more scared of complications -- Rowena was premature by about 2 months.

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