I was to travel to Ghana, Africa for a third trip with our church missionary on May 10th. I already had a current passport and needed a visa to enter the country. On April 21th I sent my passport and forms by priority mail and purchased priority mail for the return of my documents. I tracked my documents as arriving at the Embassy of Ghana on April 24th at 1:20 PM. I began calling the Embassy on Monday, May 1st to learn the status of my visa. I was told the documents were sent on Friday, April 29th. After waiting 2 days I called again on Wednesday, May 3rd. At this time I was told my documents were sent yesterday (May 2nd). At this point I called both May 4th and 5th. Each time I called I was told a different day that my documents were mailed out. Each time I called I was put on hold, told to call numbers that had full mailboxes and given extensions that were not taking visa questions.
Realizing my documents were probably lost in the mail on Thursday May 5th I decided to start the process for getting a new passport and visa. After explaining to the manager in the passport office that I would have to miss a May 10th flight because documents were lost in the mail he waived one of the processing fees because he knew this was not my error. I sent my new passport and forms to the Washington Embassy again through an expeditor service on Friday, May 6th. With the possibility of missing my flight on the 10th I phoned the travel agency to find out my options. I was told I could get rescheduled for a flight on the 17th with a 1 to 2 days notice. After many calls to the expeditor and travel agent later, I was told by the travel agency that I should wait until I had my documents in hand before rescheduling my flight. As things would have it, my original documents arrived May 16th (these were of course void). I had already missed one week of my trip and I hoped to be out on the 17th. I placed many calls (9+) to the travel agency keeping them apprised of my status. After tracking my documents I knew they would arrive the morning of May 17th in time for an afternoon flight.
I called the travel agency May 16th once I knew where my documents were in route and reminded the travel agency they had said 1 to 2 days were needed for flight reservations. I called the travel agency to make sure if I called by 3:00 PM on the 16th with my documents that I would be able to get a reservation. I was told I could get a reservation if I called by this time. I called the agency that evening.
After receiving my documents at about 10:20 AM ( since my papers were delivered to the wrong address) I called the travel agency once again on May 17th at 10:43 AM. At this time the story changes and I was told I would not be able to be ticketed for this flight. I asked to speak to the manager and explained all the communications I had had with the company. He told me my files were in front of him and I would not be able to travel until the 20th. I explained to him that I was traveling into the Bush Country which would take some time and my trip would be over on the 30th. He told me, What do you want me to do with this crap! The word crap was stated twice during our conversation. He said, Well, do you want a ticket for the 20th or don't you? I asked him what was I to do, I had been promised things all along and now they were changing their story. How would he feel if he were in my place? He told me something to the effect that, This is not me, we are talking about you. I don't have time for this. Do you want the ticket or not? At this time I told him, No, I don't want this ticket.
After trying to call headquarters of the company to make a complaint and to see what else could be done, I called the airport and explained my situation to the KLM Airlines agent. She looked up the flight list for May 17th and saw a reservation in my name! I asked if I could book it from there but she stated that information on the type of ticket needed to come from the ticket agent and I had to get it through them. I was so elated I called the travel agency back at 11:27 AM and told them what I learned. I was told that this reservation was something of a ghost reservation. The agent said that the reservation was cancelled because they had not heard from me. I told him I never received a call that a reservation had been made for me and didn't they even try to contact me a second time since I had been calling them so often. I have phone records indicating I called their office on at least 8 different occasions. Each time I called I gave my ticket number! Wouldn't it make sense if this reservation had been made and I missed their ONE CALL, that someone would have told me then that a reservation had been made for me!! Agents I spoke to were: Jerry Redden and Jeff Cadavero.
At this point I was too upset to pursue the issue any further and had to alert my party in Africa that I would not be able to come.
Another attempt to resolve the situation was made on June 20th. I wanted to change this ticket to take a trip to Mexico. I was told this was not possible and I could only travel to Ghana. I will not be returning to Ghana for another 2 or 3 years. My ticket will only be valid for a year. My husband also tried talking to Mr. Francis who was also very discourteous to him.
After such an ordeal and lack of respect and courteousness especially from the manager Richard Francis I am asking for a full reimbursement of my ticket price of $1,122.00 plus $129.00 in taxes. I have made numerous trips out of the country and 2 other trips to Ghana. NEVER have I encountered such disrespect, rudeness and lack of concern. Please be assured that I will do my absolute best NEVER to have dealings with BMD Travel Services, Inc. - Airline Consolidator ever again and will encourage others likewise!
Oak Park, Illinois