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Can't buy ticket from Nairobi to Amsterdam. They refuse to sell to me. Thoughts?

Can't buy ticket from Nairobi to Amsterdam. They refuse to sell to me. Thoughts?

Old Apr 11th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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Can't buy ticket from Nairobi to Amsterdam. They refuse to sell to me. Thoughts?

I am taking my family on safari in Tanzania and Rwanda at the end of the year. After years of saving Delta frequent flyer miles, I was able to get free business class tickets from Dallas through Amsterdam to Nairobi using Delta and KLM. Unfortunately, on the way back I was only able to snag tickets back from Amsterdam to Dallas. I can't get free seats from Nairobi to Amsterdam. KLM hasn't alloted any and appears unlikely to do so on the day I want to travel -- a popular day around the holidays.

Oh well, at least I'm saving a big chunk of change. I guess I will just have to pay for the flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam, right? Wrong! I can't buy it. KLM won't let me. I have tried since the day the flights opened and Delta, Northwest (KLM's US agent) and their websites and KLM's website all say that although the flight is operating on the day I need to fly, there is no inventory available. Finally today I was told by a Delta agent that due to Kenyan government regulations, a US agent can not sell a ticket that originates from Nairobi and terminates in Europe, with no connection to the US. When I tried to argue that the flight would have a direct connection to the US due to the rest of my itinerary, the agent said that the need to write two tickets -- one free and one revenue -- kicked it into the Kenyan regulation. (This actually makes some sense, because I tried on Northwest's website to book a round trip flight from Dallas to Nairobi and it told me the inventory was available and let me go all the way to giving my credit card to buy the ticket, where I stopped.) The Delta agent recommended that I find a travel agent in the Netherlands or Kenya to sell me the ticket.

I can't believe an airline will not sell me a ticket. Isn't that what they are in business for? Anyway, has anyone heard of this and do you have any suggestions -- other than finding a travel agent overseas?
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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I recently had the same experience but i didn't get the explanation until i read your comments.......i also have Delta FF miles and tried to get my recent trip to Kenya with my miles....The agent could get me from New York to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Nairobi ( no problem at all) When she tried for the return trip, she could not get me a ticket from Nairobi to either Amsterdam or London , but could get me from Amsterdam or from London back to New york......My impresion was that there just wasn't a seat available at all....I asked for alternative dates and the answer was the same.....i guess i gave up pretty easily and just went ahead and had my travel agent book my flights and i paid for it all....i had no idea that there was an issue as to the one you described!!
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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Do you know if this applies to Tanzania?? We have booked US-Amsterdam in business class using mileage awards, and want to purchase tickets from Kilimanjaro to Amsterdam, round trip! Now you've got me wondering if it is possible! We haven't tried to purchase the Kili-AMS tickets yet because the tour company hasn't yet been able to confirm all our lodging.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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I think your best bet is to ask your US travel agent or even your lodge in Kenya to recommend a Kenyan travel agent.

Otherwise, I'd try rebooking the return as one transaction - part miles and part paid. But since you shouldn't release the free seats until you've rebooked the itinerary and as a family you may alread be using up all the availability on the flight, it may not be possible.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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CM, if you are booking a roundtrip ticket originating in Amsterdam, you should be okay.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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When are you travelling? Basically the one way ticket from NBO to AMS is US$1941.71 right now incl taxes. The roundtrip from AMS-NBO-AMS is US$1167.36, but your dates are important as the price is dependent upon availability when you want to travel. Any reputable US travel agent can sell you this. But, why use miles unless you can get the entire trip? It just doesn't pay. IMO
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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cmlong, we have booked US to AMS on one ticket (Continental) and then AMS - Kili on a separate KLM ticket because we always stay over in Amsterdam a few days. So for sure you can do this, we've done it three times the past 15 months.

Bill
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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The more I thought about this, the more I realized that this regulation is probably an attempt at an anti-terrorism rule.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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I am travelling right around the Christmas holidays on popular days. The return is on a Saturday, which is always a popular day.

We are travelling in business class, so the one-way ticket is actually less than a round trip (I priced it both ways), and also Delta now allows partial trip frequent flyer awards for reduced mileage (or at least they did for me when I complained), so I saved some miles when they could not give me the NBO-AMS leg. Therefore, buying a round trip AMS-NBO-AMS business class ticket isn't as an attractive an option as just comparing a one-way v. round-trip economy ticket.

Anyway, the strange thing is the so-called regulation that prevents the sale of the ticket. The Delta agent I spoke to said that it is an attempt to keep money in the country, but that doesn't really make sense because KLM is going to get the money for the ticket anyway.

I may call Kenya Airways in the US and see if they can book it for me. Maybe since they are a Kenyan company that might make it possible. Kenya Airways code-shares the KLM flight I want.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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Of course, you can book separate roundtrip tickets if that is what you want to do. I'm just saying that it's more expensive than booking the entire trip, roundtrip with mileage assuming space is available. When you book a one way ticket it is most often more expensive than a roundtrip ticket - in coach. Business class is a different issue. Unless, you have all the facts, you really can't help anyone, can you? I shouldn't have tried, sorry.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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Did you try pricing an upgradeable economy roundtrip AMS-NBO and seeing if you could use miles to upgrade to business?
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 09:35 PM
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No problem safarimama, I appreciate all the ideas.

The idea of upgrading a round-trip economy ticket is one I will look into, thanks lifelist. If the cost of an upgradeable ticket is not too expensive it may be an idea, but I'm not sure if I can upgrade KLM flights out of Europe with Delta miles. But I'm gonna see.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 04:43 AM
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Assume you're already working with a tour operator who works with an in-country outfitter. If that's the case, have your tour operator ask the in-country outfitter to book the ticket from NBO/AMS. Have no idea how this will price out, but most all in-country outfitters have a relationship with an airline/s in Kenya (or a local TA who books tickets only).
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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1-800-300-1547

Call Continental and they will book your flights from AMS - NBO.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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By the way, I was told by NWA that the only frequent flier seats on the AMS- Kilimanjaro route are on Mondays in case you wanted to fly back via JRO.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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You can't use DL miles to upgrade KL operated flight. You can upgrade KL flights with NW or Flying Blue miles. Are you saying you're able to buy roundtrip NBO-AMS, but not one way?

I'm curious how much of a mileage reduction you received for the missing NBO-AMS if you don't mind sharing.

If you select Kenya as your country setting on klm.com would that work or do you need a physical address and/or credit card billing address in the Kenya in order to complete the transaction?

Trying Kenya Airways sounds like a good idea. Have you tried any of the third party booking sites?
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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BTW buying roundtrip AMS-NBO would not work since the OP needs only the NBO-AMS leg (OP has DFW-AMS-NBO and AMS-DFW as an award ticket). When the OP doesn't fly the outbound AMS-NBO segment of the purchased ticket, the return NBO-AMS will be automatically cancelled. The only way this would work is if the OP decided not to use the AMS-NBO segment of the award ticket and converted it from a US-Africa to US-Europe award.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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One more thing, are the miles you have already in DL or are they in some other program like Amex Membership Rewards? I ask because MR points can now be transferred to Flying Blue (AF/KL's joint program) which would allow you to use them for upgrades, though it's very possible that there are no upgrade seats on the flight either.
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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I was curious so I went to expedia and requested a nonstop, oneway ticket from Nairobi to Amsterdam and it let me go all the way to entering the credit card with no problem; I was logged in and it requested the country on one's passport so I believe they knew I was US. Even though they appear to be the same flight they would not let me buy through Kenya Air but it would through KLM. FYI
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Old Apr 12th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for the info. Yes, we booked US-Amsterdam on United separately because we could use FF miles for business class. It wasn't to save money, it was for the business class. Also, we do want to stopover in AMS, like Bill reports doing. Thanks Bill, for letting us know you were able to purchase the AMS-JRO roundtrip successfully. We can't go all the way to JRO bus class because United doesn't fly there and we don't have enough miles anyway. But it would be torture to go all the way from the West Coast to JRO in coach, even though the AMS-JRO ticket isn't that much cheaper than ticket from the US to JRO.
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