Unnecessary drama Booking my Tunisair ticket…


I have this bad habit of waiting too long to buy plane tickets or lock hotel rooms. In the case of Tunisair, the very purpose of my trip was nearly thwarted thanks to my procrastination and a horrible airline website.

Tunisair website + My procrastination = Bad combination

I like to say “I know my space and my space knows me”, but I am very infallible and I sometimes make mistakes in calculating when to buy a plane ticket. I’m certainly not one of those travelers who like to lock themselves in as soon as possible. On the contrary, I prefer to lock myself in as late as possible, especially when the

During my stay in Tunisia, I certainly knew that I wanted to fly home with Tunisair, but I was also toying with the idea of ​​visiting Algeria while I was in the region. This dilemma kept me from booking my Tunisair ticket from Tunis to Montreal until I arrived at the Four Seasons Tunis and found out…the flight was sold out.

When that happens, I’m not scared… it doesn’t even bother me because I tell myself that in most cases people will cancel and seats will become free, especially in a (relatively) large business class cabin .

Sure enough, no more than an hour later, the space opened up and I went to work trying to confirm it. But I didn’t except Tunisair for having such a horrible site. It’s so clunky and error prone.

Eventually, after failing to assign seats several times, I reached the payment page.


A call to Capital One did not solve the problem. They didn’t even show a charge attempt.

I tried again.


And even.


And even.


And then the space disappeared.

Interestingly, this space didn’t appear on any online travel agencies – perhaps it was ghosted in the first place.

So I headed for Sidi Bou Said, without an exit ticket and departure from the hotel scheduled for the next morning. It’s not as if I could have extended my stay by one night, since the Tunisair flight to Montreal only operates once per week.

While I was having coffee, I checked the space on my phone again and noticed that three seats were suddenly available and the lowest business class fare had opened up. Since Tunisair has no frequent flyer partners and I knew I would be flying, I decided to book through a sketchy online travel agency called SmartFares. It saved me about $130 on other sites (and $300 on Expedia or Orbitz).

This time I had no problem with my credit card and my ticket was issued quickly.

I also had no problem checking in the next morning.


I can’t congratulate myself on this – I should have booked these tickets days in advance instead of waiting less than 24 hours before. Considering economy class (which I probably would have taken had cases remained full) was only $400 less than business class, I was lucky that more people didn’t book a business on a nine-hour flight that took nearly 11 hours once our delay and headwinds were factored in.

And the Tunsiair website is really worthless: I tried very hard to book direct, but failed…and my credit card company didn’t even show a debit attempt. So be warned if you book on the Tunisair website, at least with an American credit card. And book a little earlier than me, at least when possible…


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