Africa Travel Review : Online Booking, KLM, and switching to Wakanow
I've been using the same travel agency in Accra for over five years. Our relationship started because of proximity; they were the closest to the Sierra Leone High Commission in Accra. Even after the embassy moved I retained my relationship with them booking up to 4 trips a year. I'm saying goodbye to them and booking all future trips only with Wakanow and here is why.
Last week I got an email from KLM about Easter promotions. They advertised that they had business class tickets to North America for under $2500. B-Class for Under $3000 Accra to NYC return? HOW?!!!
I clicked on the link and followed the prompts on KLM.com. Just as it was advertised the fare was less than $2500. When I clicked to continue and pay however I got an error screen. I started over 3 times and had the same result. I tried on my phone, and on my laptop and kept getting the same result.
I tried for three days and no progress. I reached out to KLM on Facebook and explained that this kept happening and they told me I needed to contact the local KLM Office. I called the local KLM Office and gave them the exact booking details I had input into KLM.com and the fare that they gave me was $5000. Yes oh! Can you imagine? I explained that that was twice the advertised fare for the April Offers. I had gotten half that online on their website. The voice on the phone said there was nothing he could do and that he could not access those fares.
Why would these people advertise a fare and stop people from booking it? I was not going to give up. My assistant equally as committed to making sure we booked the business class fare took the flight details to the KLM booth at Kotoka International Airport in hopes they would be able to book it for us. She came back only to tell me that they said if they booked the fare for us they would charge fees and the fare they would offer was near $4000. I would not hear of it!
As as last resort she took the booking details to our usual travel agent in hopes he could book it but much to our chagrin he too said he could not get the fare. I thought well maybe 4 days later the fares are probably no longer even available online. I checked the KLM website. It was still giving the same amount; business class return Accra-NY-Accra (via AMS) for under $2500. What is going on? I thought it was an evil marketing ploy to get people to go to the website without any actual intention of meeting the promotional fare being advertised.
It was a sunny Accra afternoon when my ancestors gentle tapped my skull and whispered try Waka Now. I vaguely remembered their commercials on DSTV and my homie in Abuja had said he knew them and they were good peeps. I looked up from my ancestral daze and I said to my assistant, try booking on Waka Now. She went on her phone. She put in the dates and next thing I knew she was shrieking in excitement.
"It went through! It went through!"
I was like really? She said yes o. I was like call them to make sure (because you know...life experience), they should have a Ghana Office. Just as she was calling, I received an email confirmation of the booking. The voice at the Wakanow Ghana Office confirmed the booking via telephone and the fare was under $2500. They gave us the equivalent in cedis we were to pay the next day and it was about GH 9800 ($2279).
Today I have a ticket which includes infant in arms charges for 20 months old Saint Olu that is ACC-AMS-NY (return) Business Class thanks to Wakanow. Theirs was the only website that allowed us to book that KLM fare that was advertised, I mean even the local KLM office couldn't do it. I tried Vayama.com, and my SkyScanner App and each time I couldn't get the fare that KLM had offered.
I'm ditching my travel agent of over 5 years and I'm officially a Wakanow convert and fan. This is New Africa! I loves it! Big ups to the ancestors, because they know their daughter. Warri No Dey Carry Last!
The whole truth: This is not a paid endorsement or sponsored post. It is an honest review and excitement from a satisfied customer.