August 30, 2015: Trapped in Airports

We started the day in Mexico City this morning.  Not where we had planned to be.  I was supposed to be in New York today and we are not even in the United States.  We had to be up really early to make our flight because we had to take the airport shuttle.  It was a rough start to the day.

It was dark and surprisingly cold while we waited for our shuttle.  But we got to the airport with plenty of time and did fine getting onto our early flight up to Houston.  It was a near thing, though.  The flight out of Mexico City was delayed, we were told, by an hour or more.  So we waited at the gate for a long time, I got us Subway to eat while we waited, and then I asked the woman working the gate how long we had.  She said an hour more, at least, and that there was plenty of time to go do things.  Everyone for the flight had long ago left the gate having been told that they had lot and lots of time and nothing was even scheduled yet.

Having been told that I had at least an hour before boarding, let alone departure, I literally made it to the door of the restrooms when they called “last call” for our flight!  They went, much like in Norway, from “in an hour we’ll start to board” to “last call” in five minutes!!  We ended up being the next to last ones onto the plane!  What a start to the day.  AeroMexico does not have their act together.

The flight this morning was not bad at all.  We were up Houston’s Bush Intercontinental in the late morning.  Francesca came and picked us up.  My new iPhone 5S, the warranty replacement one, was waiting in the Acadia for me.  I have been without a phone for the last two weeks.  This has to be the longest that I have been without a phone since sometime in the 1990s!  And the longest without a smart device since 2006, almost a decade.  It has been weird.  I am so glad to have a phone again.  I was not able to set it up in the car, though, as Apple only allows you to set up a phone over WiFi, which is a bit crazy.  And it needed to be activated with the carrier too, which is a bit of a problem.

So we drove to the Grices’ and were at the house for about an hour during which time I frantically worked to get the phone working, which I did.  I now have the basics again and am essentially functional.  My email is not working, though.  But at least I can get calls.  It would be pretty horrible having to travel to New York with no phone, email, texting or even a way to tell time!

Back in the car and off to Houston Hobby Airport, just Dominica and me this time.  No issues getting to the airport.  I got dropped off, checked my back and was at the gate waiting for my flight in no time.  Taking Delta through Atlanta to Albany.

The flight to Atlanta went okay, we got in five minutes late, not bad at all.  It turns out, though, that Delta had sold a flight with no intention of letting me ever make the connection to the flight to Albany.  I ran as quickly as I could through the airport and was not the last one off of the plane so I made it significantly before a potential connection could have been missed – the plane was essentially on time, I was at least off ten minutes before the last person and I made it through the airport far faster than a normal person could do and…. when I got to the gate for my connection, more than forty minutes before it departed, not only had the gate been closed by the crew had already left and the people in the gate area said that they had been gone for some time!  Talk about ridiculous.  They knew when they closed that gate that I was not going to make it.  In fact, this means that they knew when they sold the tickets that I was not going to make it.  The tickets had been a farce.  I was not the only one either, people quickly started piling up who were in the exact same situation.

Eventually a crew member came to mock us (literally, making jokes about how they had called “gate closing” while we were still on our other planes!!) but at least I managed to get a hotel voucher, even if several other people with less clout did not.  It was a horrible situation.  I cannot believe that anyone does business with Delta.  Horrible customer service.  And none of us got our luggage.  They sent that on without us, even knowing that we had no way to make the flight.  We asked how our bags could have made it when we could not and we were scorned for thinking that bags didn’t just magically zip across the tarmac and get loaded far faster than a person could get around the airport (probably true) and told we were ridiculous for thinking that the bags had been left somewhere.

I went to the Sheraton in a packed van jammed with Delta customers who had been abandoned by the airlines.  Apparently this is a normal thing.  At the hotel there was a whole staff of people ready with our room keys, all set up for the massive line of Delta rejects that we were.  They get so many disgruntled Delta people that they have a special system just for dealing with all of them!  That’s so crazy.

I got into my room and then went down to the hotel bar, ordered a salmon quesadilla and had a few martinis before turning in for the night.  My flight is quite early in the morning tomorrow.