I haven't yet been on the Jeju rock for 3 months. Nearly, but not quite. But I had hoped that my relocation would have been refunded by now. After all its a lot of money that would certainly pay for a flight back to Europe for Christmas.
For two months the company have waited with the official line "we are waiting for all claims to come in before processing them". So the prime time to book cheap tickets vanished. At the beginning of this week a 1-stop flight to Paris cost a touch over $1000. 5 days later, tickets costs from $1250 (with some sites quoting double that). An 18 hour flight also became a 40 hour one with 20 hour stopovers in airports. I really really had to do something. Urgently.
Back track 3 days.
I found a site (cheapflightnow) that had a ticket for the lower end of the scale. I duly paid off my Korean credit card (leaving me a whopping $30 to finish the month) so as to book the flight. And to give me a month extra before actually having to pay the bill (hoping that relocation fees are finally paid). Bingo. I got an email confirming my reservation . 3 days later, no confirmation of actual flight details.
I phoned them up. 25 minutes of on-hold music later, it turns out that, to confirm these tickets I have to
That'll be $125 cancellation fee then sir (said the non-American Indian voice on the other end of the line). So after a few choice phrases along the lines of they either decide to issue me with a ticket or cancel without charge, I was left without a ticket. Nor reservation. Hopefully I still have $125 in my account (I'll check with the bank on Monday).
A nice cup of tea. Breathe. Slowly. Calm.
Yet another hour searching various websites to find a ticket at a fairly reasonable price ensued. Expedia promised me a $1000 tickets until I came to pay - then asked for $2900! Lastminute seemed hopeful though... until it came to actually paying.
Normally that should be the simple bit, but as the price had gone up I could no longer put it on my Korean card (and get airmiles). Nor could I use my normal Korean card as I only have $30 sitting in there. So it would have to be european.
The only logical card would be my french card which, being security conscious, sends an SMS to my french mobile number to confirm payment. The phone doesn't work abroad (for 2 quid a month, what do you expect). 10 Euros could fix that if I paid by card which, being security conscious, sends an SMS to my french mobile number which doesn't work abroad...
I couldn't pay by Korean card as a dialogue box in Korean pops up that probably tells me I have to install something on the computer. Or it may tell me to Get Lost, White Devil.
But (and fortunately) when I hit upon this self same problem in Thailand, I also tried my UK card. One of the security questions /that/ throws up is a postcode. In Thailand it expected a UK postcode and not a french one so /that/ didn't work either. I solved that problem by physically going to the airport and handing the card over. Back from my holidays, I have since changed my address to a UK one: so I paid my 10 Euros by UK credit card which unlocked my french sim in my Korean phone.
Which meant that I could use my French Card that had a suitable limit and (from today) a repayment date in mid december
So now, after all of that, I have a flight back home to see family and friends. That deserves a big smiley :-D