Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visit Norway


It's been hectic times around here, mostly due to different changes at my workplace. Now it's time to start thinking on having some vacation. A summer trip seems a good idea but this year I've selected Norway: beautiful but expensive.

While there are tons of information on-line, I have found details are a bit sketchy. This is likely due to the fact I'm interested on cheap accommodation. Maybe the average wages in Norway are much higher than in my home country, Spain.

I've got some trouble getting things done online. There seems to be some odd behavior and this booking website, when browsed with Firefox on Ubuntu 8.04. The worst thing is that it was this the browser I was using when booking my flight with Norwegian.com and I was offered a very competitive car-rental price at the end of the airplane booking process.

Unfortunately when trying to go to book the car I was offered an almost empty page. I was wrong when I thought I could go back to the former page too. So I realized there was not way for to either book the car here nor to download the details about my flights.

To make things worse I had refused to create a user on Norwegian website as I wsa not planning to be buying more tickets anytime soon. However, lacking of a user login I had not clue on how to get my flight details. Email was producing no document either. I was expecting a bit more help after shelling out a couple of grands.

My wife, using her iMac, reported that airline website might allow us to get our flight details using the flight locator and lastname. Unfortunately, that didn't work either. No clue about why.

Frustrated I decided to go to check my flight on Amadeus system. I used CheckMyTrip website. I used the flight locator and my lastname (that included a dash) and voilà, I finally obtained my flight details. Good news.

Then I realized that the dashes on our lastnames have been erased in the booking process (maybe their online system does not like dashes). So armed with this new info I went back to Norwegian website and, finally, I was able to recover all the documents about all flight (pdf files with barcodes that can help you avoid the check-in if you fly without baggage). Of course the trick was not to used my lastname dash!

Even better, I was now able to book the car-rental at that best rate but only if I was using my wife's iMac with Firefox.

I guess the moral of the story is to be very careful when booking on-line using not the latest version of browsers, and, if possible, use the nasty Internet Explorer on Windows that seems to be what many developers consider the "standard".

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