6 Months Later, No One Knows Why My Ticket Home From Nairobi Was Canceled

Image courtesy of Ninara

When traveling, sometimes you wish you could stay in your destination forever… or at least for another week to enjoy it more. A woman from Pennsylvania extended her trip to Kenya last year by an extra week, but not because she was having such a wonderful time. Her return tickets had been mysteriously canceled, and no one could tell her why it had happened.

She booked her flights using JustFly, a Canadian site that promises discounted plane tickets. A discounted ticket isn’t a very good deal when she missed a week of work and her daughter missed a week of school, they had to pay for an extra week of lodgings in Kenya, and she had to scramble to find a new ticket while racking up long-distance bills.

She took her case to the New York Times Haggler column, and the reporting power of the Times was directed toward figuring out what happened, but they started with just figuring out who actually owns and runs the company.

When columnist David Segal tried to contact the person listed as the “president” with contact information in Connecticut, the actual owner in Canada asked him to stop “harassing” his employee. Isn’t that the point of being listed as a company’s agent?

Ultimately, the ticket-booking service blamed one of the airlines involved in the flight to Kenya, Swiss International Air Lines. They turned around and blamed an unnamed travel agency, which would seem to point at JustFly. There could be other travel agencies involved, though.

An Extra Week in Kenya, but Not by Choice [New York Times]