Airline ticketing bullshit

I was supposed to go to Paris with my girlfriend next week, but I suddenly have to cancel for various reasons. Checking the calendar, we decided we could report the trip to August and match it with a friend’s wedding in Rome.

So I cancel her ticket first, which was an award ticket so it was rather easy. Then looking at my ticket, here’s what I find in the oh-so-buggy Air France website:

  • It would cost me ¥650.000 to change my ticket, including the ¥15.000 modification fee

650.000 yens for changing my ticket

  • On the other hand, I could cancel my ticket for ¥30.000 and buy a new one for the exact same flights for ¥175.000

new ticket for 175.000

I’m calling the reservation desk Monday to see what they’ll say (because of course there is no way to cancel the reservation online) but I’m sure they won’t even blink…

Japanese Credit Card

Flying Blue Japanese VISA cardSunday as I was going to the old apartment to give back the keys, I had the nice surprise to find both my JLPT convocation and my Flying Blue VISA credit card. Nice surprise since I was rejected twice by the Japanese VISA company and I was starting to lose hope. The situation was getting critical as I am now paid exclusively in Yen on my Japanese bank account and all my French credit cards will turn up dry soon.

As with a lot of things here, VISA and Mastercard credit cards are not handled by their global mother companies. They are a separate entities that barely have ties with the rest of the world. A good example is trying to use your overseas Mastercard in a Japanese ATM, even though it has the Mastercard logo which should indicate compatibility, it will not give you any money unless you use give it a real Japanese Mastercard. A subtlety that has left countless tourist sleeping under a Tokyo bridge…

In the same way, foreigner have a great deal of problems obtaining a credit card in Japan. I’ve seen many a story of people with very good situations getting rejected dozens of times by these companies while the average Japanese has 6-7 cards in his wallet. They fall victim to this apparent fear that the gaijin is always here for fun, temporarily, and will definitely accumulate mounds of debts and leave the country without word in 6 months.

Anyways, now I’m safe, I can give in to Japanese consumerism and buy tons of gadgets, all the while accumulating Air France mileage to fly away from this godforsaken country, leaving all my debts behind me like the white-faced barbarian that I am…