Late night hotel dramas

Dear all,

Greetings from a very sunny Perth, Western Australia. I am finally here and the fun begins tonight in Fremantle. The flight was fairly hitch-free though it is a beastly journey, the one from Dubai to Perth especially so. By the end of that flight I really am screaming to get out…well obviously not really otherwise I would probably encounter other trouble but you know what I mean. I also remembered what a ghastly and contemptible place Dubai Airport is with its singularly unhelpful staff and ridiculous places to check your passports and bags. I have no issue with passports and bags being checked at all but I do ask the question could my passport really have changed dramatically in the space of 20 yards? Yes no sooner had I showed it with my ticket than someone else wanted to see it 20 yards later. Ironically I just accidentally typed 20 years instead of 20 yards twice which probably indicates how long getting out of Dubai Airport feels like. But the bit that really got on my thrupennies was getting to my gate, having got through security where they of course check your bags, and thought I’d buy a couple of big bottles of water for the long flight. I put them in my bag…then we are invited to board which involves having our bags checked…with no liquids allowed…having been through security already…as if that wasn’t painful enough the water was bought from Starbucks so I essentially got ripped off by Starbucks which is the worst way to get ripped off. Maybe it’s punishment for all the times I used their wifi while spending my money in an adjacent cafe (see the archives).

Anyway never mind…I got to Perth. Much to my surprise it was relatively quick to get out the airport then I bumped into a lovely couple who were heading to the same hotel so we shared a taxi. Then we arrived at the hotel where reception was closed and a self-service kiosk was the means of checking in. Now, I really don’t consider myself anti-technology but when it comes to certain things, such as checking into hotels, my heart always sinks when I see these things. And true to form when it said ‘type confirmation number or insert card used for payment’ one produced a ‘system error – restarting’ and one produced ‘your reservation is not recognised’. So in the end there was little option but to ring the emergency number (I mean for the hotel staff not police/fire/ambulance obviously) upon which I spoke to quite possibly the rudest man I have ever encountered in my entire life, and as you can imagine that is up against some pretty stiff competition. The dialogue went roughly as follows:

‘Hello, sorry to trouble you but the self service check in doesn’t appear to be working’
‘Yes it is, just follow the instructions’
‘Yes that was amongst the first things I thought of, but it’s still not working’
‘Yes it is, lots of people have checked in’
‘Well I’m not exactly not getting in by choice. I tried my card…’
‘…it doesn’t say anything about using your card, why you using your card?’
‘It says enter confirmation number or insert your card’
‘It doesn’t say anything about cards’
‘I can take a picture if you don’t believe me’
‘It doesn’t say anything about cards’
‘I am looking at it, yes it does!’
‘Just follow the instructions’
‘That is what I’m doing, on the screen it says…’
‘Why are you looking at the screen?’
‘Because that would appear to be how to check in…’
‘No the piece of paper’
‘Which one?’
‘The one on the other side of the entrance, it’s very simple’
‘Yes why didn’t I think to look there eh? So I enter the numbers assigned to each name and that’s it?’
‘Yes it will work’
‘So will I need to…’

Then as if that wasn’t enough, the couple were also getting their keys so we were each holding the door open as a guest sitting in the lobby area had been kind enough to open it for us. As we all got our keys and got in our friend from the phone came out and shouted at the nice couple for holding the door open. The chap explained that it was just while they were making sure they got their keys at which point the cheerful chap said ‘what difference does it make, close the door at once’ and stormed off back to whence he came. Delightful. Ibis Perth Airport hotel – you can be sure of a welcome of some kind.