Our flight out of the Seychelles was about four hours late. We had a connecting flight in Mauritius back to Johannesburg in South Africa and we were told it would be touch and go to make it. The only direct flight from Seychelles to Johannesburg was not for another 5 days. They gave us seats near the exit and priority tagged our bags all the way through. When boarding the seat numbers on the plane differed from those on the boarding passes. For example we were ticketed for row 11, which didn’t exist so we were put in row 15. This caused chaos and further delayed them from getting off the ground. When we landed in Mauritius, while we were taxiing to the gate we saw our SAA flight pull up on the runway and fly off. What frustration. We had been told before boarding that we would be met when we landed, we were not. We had a very frustrating night of having no assistance and then a huge mix of jerks and nice people assisting us. The first person we met would not compensate us for having to stay the night. We had to organize and pay for a last minute hotel ourselves. Another was refusing to help look into alternate tickets because it was 5:40PM and he was shutting down to go home (they are supposed to be open until 6PM). He was a real jerk telling me things I found out the next day were not true, such as there would be no space on flights for days and that I would have to pay $1000 for our replacement flight. Finally someone came and rescued me from him and said they had us booked on a flight the following morning and that we wouldn’t have to pay. We spent a night in a nearby dive of a hotel. All rooms were smoking and the washroom reeked of cabbage. We arrived early at the airport the next day. When we went to check-in they did not have a record of us for the 9AM flight. The only office that could help us was supposed to open at 7AM. It wasn’t until 7:45 that the person at the office arrived to help us out. We were actually on our way to go buy our own ticket to make the flight when we met him. It took 15 minutes to sort out the tickets. Again we had helpful people and jerks. The manager at Air Mauritius check-in was being difficult and almost made it so we couldn’t get on. Fortunately we were able to board just in time and made it to Johannesburg and we were not charged for the flight.
We were supposed to meet Ron Gosney and his family (also on sabbatical from my work) in Johannesburg the night we were stuck in Mauritius. We were both booked into the same hotel. He had a flight the following morning and I missed him and his family by hours when I finally arrived the next day. We also had a flight we were supposed to be on that morning to take us to Namibia. Fortunately we were able to get it changed to the following day for a small change fee. Many, many thanks to my dad who spent over an hour helping sort out the flight change for us from Canada and saving us a fortune in international calls. We missed meeting Ron, and couldn’t get a refund on one of our nights in Namibia (our cheapest one there fortunately), but all in all we are very happy to be back only set back by a day and it didn’t cost us as much as it could have. We were also glad to hear that Moe made it safely to France and that her flight out of the Seychelles was on time.
Here is hoping things go well in Namibia.