. . .ass.
So my trip to Mexico was . . .good except the flights. Anything that could go wrong with a flight did. Well, almost everything: at least my flight didn’t crash on the Lost island and at least the landing gear was okay unlike that other American Airlines flight (though that pilot did an amazing job landing it).
The flight from Boston to Dallas was late, and by the time we arrived our flight to Chihuahua had already left 2 minutes prior. The crew of the flight we were on prolly didn’t know this as they told us that they would do a special announcement so everyone would stay seated so the people that had “tight connections” could leave quicker to get to those flights. It was the two of us and then three elderly people on a different flight. We got off the plane with the elderly people in the lead, they were talking about how their flight had already left so there was no point rushing. . .my thought? Get the fuck out of the way then so we could try making our way to our flight on time.
If we had only know the flight had already left, then we wouldn’t have run up to the “skylink” train and run down the concourse to an empty gate. At the ticket counter we found the only good thing about American Airlines: Susie and Andrew. You see, Susie helped get us a flight to Chihuahua, thought we would have to fly down to Mexico City that night and then to Chihuahua in the morning, better then leaving Dallas at noon to get into Chihuahua about 1:30 or so only to miss the majority of the conference. . .And Andrew was her supervisor who actually walked down to the concourse to look for our luggage. He didn’t find it during that trip, but somehow with the both of them on their bat-phones they managed to round up our luggage and we found it on the baggage claim in Mexico City.
Ahh, Mexico City. Capital of Mexico. And it was huge. Flying over it to land at the airport, it seemed to go on forever. Lights in every direction. Just amazing the vastness of it all. At the airport we were on our own to find a hotel, so we were walking around looking for signs or anything and my traveling companion decided to ask some kid in an uniform for help. The kid spoke muy poquito English. He walks us over to this guy who says he’ll take us to a hotel. We ask if there is one in the airport, he says yes, but it is full. My scam sense is going off, but nothing more . . .insidious then that. So he takes us to his taxi and off we go speeding down these winding curving highways at 100 kph. He was just whizzing around the corners not paying attention to the white lane markers just handling the corners like some racing game. We got there super quick, and the place (Hotel Century in the Zona Rosa) was actually pretty nice looking. There was a clerk behind the desk, a security guard and a door hop for the bags. Other then some shady dealings at the start and the loud sirens going off outside our hotel room (we were on the main road side), the room was nice and clean (if not a bit small) and the bed was comfortable.
We got our four hours of sleep and off we went back to the Mexico City airport to go to Chihuahua on an AeroMexico for the best flight of our entire trip. As we walked up the airplane at the gate, standing in line waiting to board, there was a table with newspapers (yes, all in spanish) and candies. I grab some candies, which turned out to look like mini-tic tacs and tasted like a cross between sweet tarts and Flintstones vitamins. On the flight, which was about 2 hours or so, they served us a free “contentinal breakfast” which consisted of a small muffin (which was more like a vanilla cupcake, pretty tasty) and some fresh melon and grapes (again, very tasty!). We also had coffee and our choice of juices (I got apple). The stewardesses all spoke english pretty well, and the flight was pretty good overall.
Chihuahua City was like if they took a small section of Panama City and dropped it down in the desert of New Mexico or southern Colorado by the rockies. It was dry, it was brown, there was almost no vegetation, and there were these little hills which looked like the remains of an old mountain range. I felt like I was in a Clint Eastwood movie, perhaps The Man With No Name. . .It was pretty neat looking. Though the disparity between the haves and have nots was pretty incredible: from these guys working at the plant with their fancy cars and cloths to the bums on the street begging for a couple pesos – I know every city has its homeless population, but even some of the houses looked a bit run down. . .made of old cracking cement, with weeds everywhere. . .it looked . . .unkempt.
The view from my hotel wasn’t much either:
But the hotel we stayed at was great: the Hampton Inn in Chihuahua. They upgraded our rooms for free to suites, which were amazing: just huge, nice large comfortable bed and free wifi so I could check my email in my room if I wanted. They also had free internet downstairs in this little room for guests.
The conference was okay. A review of some stuff we already knew. Questions from other suppliers that I thought they should’ve asked a lot earlier. Answers from their engineers that didn’t really answer my question. . .but I did get to see their process, which was interesting. I’ve some tasty tidbits to report on to the bosses on Monday, some stuff that will interest them.
We stayed the night in Chihuahua and left the next morning for Dallas. The Chihuahua Airport isn’t very large. One terminal with one actual “gate” and then a door that takes you outside so you can get to your small plane by way of stairs. So we were thinking there shouldn’t be any lines. . .
Well, there prolly wouldn’t be except all the flights were due to leave at pretty much the same time. And security didn’t have any metal detectors. So we walked in and got in line for ticketing and the first security check: they hand searched all our baggage: checked and carry on. I walked up to the ticket counter to be told by the person there that my connecting flight to Boston. No other information then to pick up my bag in Dallas and go to the ticket agent there. Umm. Okay.
So at Dallas, no problems through customs, all pretty quick and no problems. We pick up our bags and head over to the ticket counter. Where there are three agents and tons of people standing around. Well, okay – the tons of people was a large group of 10 kids and their guide, and then two other guys and another woman, plus the line of people. Everyone seemed to be taking their sweet time deciding what the heck they wanted to do. Turns out there was a snowstorm and all flights to the eastern corridor, including Logan Airport, were canceled, so we conceded that I would have to spend the night and leave in the morning.
When we finally got to talk to a ticket agent, she first said there was nothing available until Monday afternoon. She started clicking away at her computer and bammo: Sunday afternoon popped open. So I took it. She gave me a number that I could call that night or early the next morning to see what else freed up. So I called that night (after a very tasty dinner of herb encrusted pork tenderloin on a rice dish) and a flight was open that went to Chicago and then connected to a Boston flight. So I took it. Waking up at 3:30 am was no fun, but I was just happy to be on my way home.
Until I got back to Boston. I head downstairs to the baggage claim, found out that the bags were coming in on conveyor B and stood there waiting for my bag. And waiting. I had noticed all these bags when I came down there originally, but figured they were missing bags from people who had missed their flights but their luggage had made it ahead of them or something. Finally I see some luggage coming off conveyor A – and an annoucement is made that some bags would be on that conveyor. When only 10 bags came out of it and none of them were mine, I started poking around the bags that were spread out amongst the rest of the area.
There were 4 or 5 American Airlines people there tossing around bags, trying to get them organized by flight number. Not one offered to help me find my bag. I was getting a bit steamed. I asked if there were any more bags coming off the Chicago flight. They said did you check your bag at Dallas or Chicago. Dallas I said. The guy points at some bags and said check in there. Umm. Yeah, thanks. I looked at every bag twice. I didn’t see it. I asked one of the people that I didn’t see my bag, could I get some help? They said go fill out a claim and point at the this desk. I was so mad I couldn’t even talk, I just handed my baggage claim ticket to the girl behind the counter. She asked me when the last time I saw my bag was. At Dallas I told her. She clicks away at her computer, asks for an address that they could deliver the bag to and a number to get ahold of me. She then hands me an envelope with my claim ticket inside and a claim number on it.
Thanks for nothing. She didn’t even apologize for my missing bag. Nothing from any of them. No ETA on when they would find my bag. Nothing.
So I took the shuttle the blue line of the T, then transferred to the orange line and then transferred to the red line. I had parked my car on the red line outside the city at the overnight parking place for the T. It only cost me $20 to park my car there since Wednesday afternoon. That was the only expense I had all trip, as my compadre paid for all of it on the company credit card.
- American Airlines sucks ass (and I’ll dive more into that in a later post as well, I just wanted a trip overview post now)
- AeroMexico is excellent
- If someone offers you hot sauce, take and it and try it: the food in Mexico was pretty tasty.
- Don’t brush your teeth with the water (and just say no to ice cubes as well)
- 1 dollar is more then 10 pesos but that conversion was pretty handy and automatically gave the person a tip (real conversion last I checked was 12 something)