JournalismPakistan.com December 29, 2016
If we are going to be a cashless society it better do a lot better than the aviation industry and its portals. How many robots do you know book air tickets online? So then, if they do not, why do we have to go through that silly ‘we are human’ exercise of trying to decipher those absurd dark spectral hieroglyphics written in a twisted fashion, is that an ‘h’ or a ‘p’ and this streaky blob here, could be an ‘F’. Like with putting in a USB into its slot, we always get it wrong the first time.
When I have to book a ticket I kiss the family goodbye, pick up my stock of K rations, bottled water, wave goodbye fondly and lock myself in for the odyssey.
Am still trying to understand why I have to repeat my email. I gave it to you once, why do you need it again. If there is an error in the first one, stands to reason there will be an error in the second one.
I had one that said my password must have a capital letter, a numeric (a what?) and be at least 8 characters long. Then as you reach Camp III of the climb you discover your computer freezes or the page will not turn or you go whacko trying to scroll which country you live in. What difference does it make where I live if I am paying for the ticket?
You then finally hit ‘Enter’ to move onto flight options and a red warning box appears because you haven’t filled the zone or the state or (and this is me) that elusive Mr/Mrs/Ms box that nobody ever fills in Round One. Like not ticking the ‘I agree’ box.
Now comes the avalanche of questions. Seat preference? No. Meal options? No. Wheelchair? Not yet. Are you a Superclub member? No. Do you want to become a frequent flyer? No. Do you love us? No.
If you have passed this examination, you struggle with your 16 digit credit card number, then get asked if you want your OTP by email or by mobile phone and with nerves jangling in expectation you hit ‘mobile’ and it lights up and the One Time Password appears and it is 376542 so you feverishly type it in and naturally you type 376452 and your whole exercise is up for grabs but they give you another chance and so this time you get it right and chew your nails as they tell you not to touch the screen while your request is being processed. Then there is a flash and up comes the sign; you have been timed out. Please try again.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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