Subject: Help please with booking Afriqiyah Airways
Hi all savvy Ziners. I need help or advice.

I've been stymied at every turn trying to book a flight on Afriqiyah Airways.

We're travelling to Libya (we hope!) and normal travel search engines were pathetic in finding the most economic routing. By serious research I eventually determined that a return from Toronto to London (UK) followed by a return from Gatwick to Tripoli was FAR cheaper than the routings returned by several travel sites. Toronto to London is relatively simple - many options (although BA are now offering 2 nights free stay in London and a competitive fare, so that seems the best option). London (Gatwick) to Tripoli has daily flights on Afriqiyah Airways and my desired dates are available BUT I can't find anyway to book them.

My regular travel agent does not have a `plate' for Afriqiyah Airways and has been unable to find a friendly travel agent in Toronto that can issue these tickets.

Expedia apparently considers Tripoli to be a forbidden city and refuses to acknowledge its existence (on all of US, Canadian and UK versions). Similarly Sideways.

Travelocity recognises the existence of Tripoli but not the existence of Afriqiyah Airways and wants to charge me several arms and legs plus a tortuously circuitous route with multiple overnight flights and/or changes.

Afriqiyah Airways own website confirms the availability of my desired flights but won't link to the final booking page (usually collapses at the price quote page) despite attempts on several different computers with different browsers. BUT (and this seemed to be helpful at the time, states that they have an agreement with SABRE to book passengers).

Thomas Cook (UK) will indeed book passengers on Afriqiyah Airways - but won't issue me tickets as I am not a UK resident (not sure why, but that's what they say).

Most US based travel sites will not issue tickets to Canadian credit card holders (rather than residents) e.g. Orbitz.

Following the SABRE link I was able to attempt a booking using TravelersNet (one of the US sites that will issue to Canadians) which also found the flights I desired. They undertook to book the flights for me but have just emailed me to say that `currently they can't issue tickets originating outside the US'.

So, can anybody help? Is there a site I haven't found or does anybody know of a travel agent that has an Afriqiyah `plate' (obviously I expect to pay an appropriate amount for the travel agent's services which should be minimal effort as I already have all the booking info and fare details)?

Alan & Catherine in Toronto