If it's MyAir.com, why can't I book a flight?
September 5, 2006 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I purchase a cheap air ticket on Italian MyAir.com from the US?

MyAir.com seems to have the only cheap flights from Bologna to Paris--as little as .01 Euro with tax. I have my eye on a 19.99 Euro flight on October 29, but every time I try to complete the purchase through their web form, I get an error message that says "you seem to have entered the wrong credit card details" (which I haven't) and warning me that if I do this three times I'll get bounced out of the system.

So I stopped after two times and called the airline number (0044 2073651597) a couple of times in business hours, but it was always busy.

Then I asked a travel agent in LA if she could make the booking, and she said neither she nor any travel agent in the US could book with MyAir, and suggested an AirFrance flight for $350 instead. This would put quite a crimp in our honeymoon budget, so we said nix.

So, great hive mind, I ask you: Is there an international travel agent I can hire in Italy or elsewhere in Europe? Or can I ask someone in Italy to buy tickets in someone else's name? Are there other cheap airlines flying Tuscany - Paris (Florence would be okay too) that I am overlooking? Can American Express handle this? Or is there an alternate way of communicating with MyAir?

Any suggestions much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Scram to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might just do it when you get to Italy. We did that with myair last summer, from a travel agency in Venice (for a flight from there to Paris). It was the day before the flight, and still no problem getting the $20Euro deal.
posted by rbs at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2006

Have you thought about using RyanAir or EasyJet to fly somewhere like London, and then to Paris? You could probably get both flights for aorund $20.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:41 PM on September 5, 2006

Response by poster: Interesting suggestions, thanks. Scanning RyanAir and EasyJet routes, it looks like it's nearly impossible to get a reasonably early flight out of Tuscany and then from another city into Paris. The only direct flight I found was a day earlier, Pisa to Paris Orly (EasyJet) arriving 11:30pm, for 49 Euros. I really do want to somehow get that MyAir deal, it's the right day, the right time and the right price. If only their website worked!
posted by Scram at 12:12 AM on September 6, 2006

You say it's Italian MyAir - but that's a UK phone number (London, specifically). I'd keep trying it if I were you, or try getting a different phone number somehow.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:53 AM on September 6, 2006

What about something like travelocity.co.uk? Do they offer the MyAir flights?
posted by antifuse at 1:58 AM on September 6, 2006

but every time I try to complete the purchase through their web form, I get an error message that says "you seem to have entered the wrong credit card details" (which I haven't) and warning me that if I do this three times I'll get bounced out of the system.

Have you tried another browser? In general, Italian e-commerce sites always bork form validation in different browsers. For example, last month I can pay my TelecomItalia bill online using Firefox 1.0.x or Internet Explorer 6, but not Firefox 1.5.
posted by romakimmy at 4:52 AM on September 6, 2006

You can also probably call an Italian travel agency and have them book the ticket for you. If you call a major agency in a large city, such as American Express, they might be able to help you...
posted by Philbo at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2006

Here's every non-low-cost-carrier scheduled flight between Bologna, Venice-Marco Polo (that's the main airport), Verona, Pisa, and Florence and both Paris-CDG and Paris-Orly on October 28, with (usually phone) booking details if you're so inclined.

Dohop and Skyscanner are low-cost-airline fare aggregators: bargain basement Expedias, if you will. Maybe try there.

Here's the Wikipedia page listing every airline flying to and from Bologna. Aer Lingus and Germanwings are both de jure/de facto low-cost carriers and both serve both Bologna and Paris, via Dublin and Stuttgart respectively: could you connect the dots?

And here's a flight from Pisa to Paris, on Hapag-Lloyd Express and Germanwings, for $137.

Much less hassle-filled suggestion: are you super-crunched for time on your honeymoon? If not, could you take a train? There's a night train from Florence to Paris and while it's seemingly more expensive than flying, it might not be more expensive than flying, taxis/metros to the airport, and a hotel in either Bologna or Paris the night before. The train looks like this.

Trenitalia, Italy's national train system, lets you buy tickets online and pick them up at stations or even print them out as an e-ticket type thing and show to your conductor.

This guy has all the details on trains in, around, to, from, under, over, and through Italy. And everywhere else.
posted by mdonley at 7:48 AM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great info, which we'll certainly explore. We're set on flying, since we have places to stay with friends on both ends and don't want to lose a half day on the train.

Updates: My husband did finally get through on the MyAir #, which may be in London, but no one spoke English or was willing to work with his rusty Italian. American Express has no affiliation with MyAir and could only offer bookings with pricey airlines like AirFrance.

Tried using Safari (I think I used Firefox 1.0.6 last time) on MyAir and got the same credit card error. Wonder if it could be a Mac thing...?
posted by Scram at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2006

Wonder if it could be a Mac thing...?

Maybe more of a "not Internet Explorer" thing, though Mac might come into play also. It seems they are looking for a programmer right now, so I would guess your best bet(s) are to try IE on a Windows machine, try calling again, and lastly having some Italian (ie hotel receptionist or manager) call for you once you arrive in Italy.
posted by romakimmy at 1:00 AM on September 7, 2006

Response by poster: Update: IE on a Windows machine, same error. Next will try to get someone else on the phone at MyAir, and if that fails see if someone in Italy can book/buy for us.
posted by Scram at 3:06 PM on September 7, 2006

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