Given insufficient connect time

In March ’03 we took a trip to India and around Africa with Orient Lines, which arranged all flights. Our troubles began early on.

When we received our tickets, we realized that only one and one-quarter hours had been allowed for connecting flights from San Diego to London and from London on to Delhi. We contacted the cruise line, asking them to correct the situation, but to no avail.

Needless to say, we missed our connection at London’s Heathrow Airport. We were sent to Bangladesh, where we found the airport wait most uncomfortable, and then to Delhi. We arrived so late that we missed a tour of New Delhi and a night at the Hyatt Regency (a lovely hotel, by the way).

As soon as we boarded the ship in Mumbai we spoke to the Chief Purser, who assured us that Carol Jonas, Customer Relations Manager, would be happy to help us with our missed time in Delhi after returning home. (This is time never to be recovered as we’re senior citizens and won’t have the opportunity to retrace our steps.)

In a letter from British Airways dated Aug. 4, we were informed that the minimum legal connecting time for an international flight is 1½ hours.

Upon arriving home, we spoke to Ms. Jonas and subsequently wrote her a number of letters. We asked for reimbursement for the missed tour and the night at the hotel. On June 27 we were offered $100 per person in shipboard credit. Finally, on Sept. 4 we were offered a $250-per-person reduction on a future cruise, offer expiring March ’05.

Orient Lines has only one ship, which doesn’t give us many choices. Furthermore, with the treatment we encountered, we don’t plan to go with them again.

BEZER, San Diego, CA

ITN sent a copy of the above letter to Orient Lines (7665 Corporate Center Dr., Miami, FL 33126) and received no reply.