The trap was to me interesting in that there were a number of small and large fails from various organisations, on the way.
I booked with Aegean. The flight is actually run by SAS. Because of this, when you’re actually booking the flight, you cannot add additional baggage. The option to do so is there, but if you use it, your flight fails to book, with a meaningless error message.
When this happens (and after about my fifth try at getting it to work – I just love filling those long forms out again and again and again and again and again) I called Aegean, they told me it was probably my card. I called the bank (always a trip into hell) and it was a public holiday, so I called the day after. Nothing wrong with my card.
I called Aegean again. This time, I found out what was actually going on. I was told in particular that the only way to take additional baggage was to pay at the airport – the higher rate, then, of course, I think 45 euros. Crazy.
I booked the flight (even with that, it was still far and away the best choice for price and times) and then had a thought – tried to add some additional luggage *after* booking.
This worked fine.
About two hours on the phone with the bank and the airline there, for nothing.
Two days before the flight, Aegean send me an email to check in. I follow the link, and try to check in. It doesn’t work. I called Aegean, again. Because the flight is actually run by SAS, I need to go to their site and check in. The email is completely wrong…
So I took the flight and arrived at Athens.
I discovered a subtle problem with the metro map provided by Athens Public Transport – it’s in Latin, not Greek. This means I cannot easily connect the metro stations on their map with the metro stations on my *actual* real map in my phone, because my actual real map of course shows the names in GREEK.
At the airport, there’s a rail line which runs for some stops and then connects to a metro station. There are two lines in the airport (which was unexecpted). One has a big sign, “METRO”, the other as big sign “SUBURBAN RAILWAY”. Like everyone there for the first time, I opt for metro.
In fact it’s the wrong choice.
What actually happens is that the “METRO” line is running trains which go directly into the blue metro line. However, if you take the suburban railway, you then can change to get on the *green* metro line – which is ACTUALLY what I wanted, since it meant I only had to make that one change.
So “METRO” means “blue line” and “SUBURBAN RAIL” means green line.
(Which reminds me – there are NO MAPS in the airport railway station. None at all. Not one.)
As a result, I had to change twice. I had with me two luggage, about 50kg, and a shoulder bag. In the metro station where I had to change, the first lift was broken.
On the level above, once I got there, the lift worked – but the gap between the lift and the floor is sufficiently great luggage wheels get stuck in the gap.
People are smart and capable – but you have to let them be. If you stick them in an organization with a ton of disencentives, or indeed actually forbid or prevent action on their part, they won’t, and you get a mess.