Monday, May 07, 2007

Hello from France

I'm off on vacation in France--Toulouse at the moment. We had a little while in Paris. At least I think it was Paris--I never got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower the entire time, so I'm not really sure. We had some nice meals, stopped in St. Sulpice (literally across the street from our hotel) to see the "Rose Line" of daVinci Code fame (it's not really called that), and did a short visit to the little Delacroix museum, which contains his last residence and studio, but none of his important paintings. We also went to the Sainte Chapelle, with its magnificent stained glass windows (we had only been there at night for a concert before). Then around the corner to the Conciergerie, which was a prison for hundreds of years up to 1914. There was a recreation of Marie Antoinette's cell. Then on to the Marais, where my wife stocked up on books from a Jewish bookstore.

We wasted an entire day trying to change my wife's flight back from Bordeaux to Paris--we have too little time to switch airports because we fly into Orly airport, but our flight to New York leaves from Charles deGaulle airport, all the way on the other side of the city. Expedia should never have allowed me to book it in the first place (Air France calls it an "illegal connection.")

I won't bore you with all the messy details of the lost day, which included a trip to a non-existent United Airlines office and one out to Charles deGaulle. (you can get a bad meal in Paris--just go to Charles deGaulle). Expedia's solution to our problem? Mail the ticket back to them in the U.S.!! Right--like I'd trust them to get a new ticket to us as we float from city to city around southwest France. We'll take our chances on the day of the flight. Maybe Air France will let us take an earlier flight direct to Charles deGaulle. Or maybe we'll have enough time to make a mad dash across Paris from one airport to the other.

Take my advice--check your flight connections very carefully before booking online. Don't count on the computer to stop you from booking difficult or impossible ones. Try to have your ticket issued by the airline which is actually flying whichever segment you are most likely to want to change.

And don't use Expedia. Ever. For Anything. Expedia is incompetent. Expedia is bad. I hate Expedia.