It Takes Two Days in Chennai to Buy a Plane Ticket

After an ordeal getting our last package off in the mail, it was time to find an Internet cafe to book a ticket to Sri Lanka for 7:30am the next morning. However, we quickly learned that you couldn’t book an e-ticket less than 24 hours before the flight. Next we tried to call the airline directly to book, but despite it being almost an hour before they closed, the woman Carrie talked to said that there was not enough time to do it and we had to come in the next day when they opened…well after 7:30am.

Frustrated by the call (I guess we used up our good karma for the day at the post office) we decided to just relax for another day in Chennai and book an e-ticket for the day after. However, nothing is ever as easy as it should be and every single credit card we are traveling with was rejected by the site. I even called my credit card company back home and they told me that they had no idea why it was rejected, as their system had not gotten a single request for credit card approval from Air India Express. At this point we gave up and called it a night.

The streets of Chennai are abandoned at 404am when we left our hotel to finally head to Sri Lanka
The streets of Chennai are abandoned at 404am when we left our hotel to finally head to Sri Lanka

We now found ourselves with no other choice, so we hopped into a cab the next day and soon sat down in front of the same woman who refused to make our reservation over the phone the day before. One by one, each credit card was once again rejected by their system and, after wasting nearly 20 minutes trying, she finally informed us that they do not accept US credit cards. Why she couldn’t tell me that at first is beyond me. I also don’t get why they can’t take US cards, since I was trying to use Visa and Mastercard, which are both issued and used all over India.

Regardless of the reason, we had no choice but to pay ATM fees and buy the ticket using good ole cash. It was an odd feeling doing it with bills, and even more odd was the fact that we had to buy a plane ticket in person. It’s tough to remember a time when the Internet wasn’t the best way to make your reservation.