I swear, airlines and travel agents are worse than banks

Really, I swear a lot in the following rant. If you'd been trying to order flights in the US, you would too.

I've been desperately trying to find a website that would take my money for a major intra-US flight. (JFK->AUS if you must know.) It's been an uphill struggle.

So many of the websites let you go so far - some of them even let you specify which country you're based in, coyly teasing, the fuckers - before telling you that, no, if your card isn't billed in the US you can't buy this service.

Instead, say expedia or travelocity, go to the .co.uk site, rather than the .com. Which is fine, except that a) the special deals (opt for lucky dip, and we'll give you whichever flight isn't full at the moment) aren't available, and b) the same flights that retailed for $500-$600 now retail for £500-£600. Feh.

OK, I think, I know that the major airports are squatted by the high-price established airlines; how about I look at budget airlines? Well, none of them are significantly cheaper than the likes of fucking Delta, so that's a non-starter.

In the end, travelhero.com deigned to charge me the full fucking rate without requiring that I be a US citizen. Still haven't got confirmation from their systems yet, but at least they're issuing an e-ticket, which should solve the problem of booking the flights so late (yes, I know) that I won't be in the same country by the time their staff get up.

Fuckers. If I hadn't worked with banks, and didn't have some eerie uncanny dread of what airline systems will be like to deal with, oh, and if I wasn't desperately short of venture capital to throw at a mature market, I might think about doing something about this.