August 29, 2015: Stuck in Mexico

Today is Saturday and today begins our journey home from Panamá.  We got up at the DoubleTree, early this morning, packed up, checked out and loaded up the rental car and drove out to the airport.  We have not done this drive ourselves yet and were not really sure how long it might take.  So we allotted a bit of time for it but the highways moved well and we were able to navigate without much problem so we made good time getting out there.  It really is not a large airport.  Even though it is the only real airport for flights in and out of the country it is pretty tiny.

We had to get fuel for the car which meant finding a gas station somewhere near the airport.  There was not a single one on the way there which was really frustrating so we had to get to the airport and then venture out to see if we could find one.  The traffic here was actually pretty horrible and made this take rather a long time.  We drove west on the surface roads and found a gas station relatively quickly and fueled up.  On the way back we decided that it was rather an emergency that we were out of pullups for Ciana and so we stopped at a Super 99 near the airport and Dominica ran in while I stayed with the girls in the car and she got the needed supplies.

We got to the airport, returned the rental car and got checked into our flight.  The crew was waiting for us and knew who we were.  They had bad news.  Due to something that they would not tell us (we are pretty confident from later evidence and information that it was backed up baggage security in Mexico) we had “already” missed our connecting flight in Mexico City, even though our own flight was expected to be on time, and that they had already cancelled it for us and we were going to be spending the evening in Mexico City and flying to Houston tomorrow.

This would have been perfectly fine and we would have been excited to have an extra day of travel and a chance to see Mexico if only I was not rushing to Houston to make a connecting flight on Southwest first thing in the morning and this meant that not only had my flight to Houston been missed but the cascading flights meant that my flight on to Albany had already been missed too!  This is a bit of a disaster.

We got through security and I spent the next hour on the phone with the corporate travel agency trying to explain what had happened and what needed to be done to fix things.  It was all very complex and no one seemed to understand and there really were not very many options.  Southwest had no other flights on which to put me tomorrow which really made things hard.  After a very long time we finally managed to get a late flight out of Houston Hobby on Delta.  So at least that was resolved.

Once that was done it was pretty much time to board the plane and take the relatively short hop up to Mexico City where we will be spending our evening.

We got to Mexico and got our luggage without a problem.  This took a really long time at the airport, nearly two hours, which led us to believe that the baggage security here was why we could not have made our connecting flight.  Obviously we could not have made it, it was scheduled in such a way that we never could have made it.

AeroMexico gave us no information about how to use our voucher for the hotel, or the name of the hotel or directions in any way, so we were kind of abandoned at the airport and had to explore on our own which led us to the wrong hotel whose taxi service told Dominica that there was no shuttle to the other hotel that we needed to get to and that we would need to take a taxi, which we did for $20.  We arrived just as all of the other people from our flight were being dropped off by the shuttle that AeroMexico had told them about, but not us.  We were not very happy.

Once we finally got checked into the hotel, which was not a great process at all, we got into the room, settled a little and then set out looking for dinner.  This proved to be a bit of effort.  We went first to one restaurant in the and found that the menu was all chicken and really nothing for us to eat. So we tried several other of the restaurants and were told that they would not accept our meal vouchers.  Finally we were directed to a Mexican restaurant, imagine that, and that they would take the voucher and when we got there, they had literally the same menu as the first place!

Thankfully we pressed on and talked to them and they agreed to make us cheese enchiladas.  Pheww.  Liesl decided that she wanted to have them too.  She said that she had no idea if she would like them or not but as it is good to try new things she wanted to try them in order to learn if she would like them or not!  What a big girl she is.  She tried them and did, in fact, like them.

Dinner was decent and thankfully free.  After dinner we were off to bed.  We have an early day tomorrow.