Monday, 15 February 2016

Mexico Shitty

Settling down for the short hop over to Madrid for our connecting flight to San Jose, we checked our watches and began to relax as the plane fired up it's engines, ready to depart bang on time...

Suddenly the tannoy kicked in and the pilot delivered the fatal blow - we were being held on the runway for an hour or so due to congestion at Madrid and almost everyone on the plane was about to miss their connecting flights for their various onward journeys to paradise that they'd saved long and hard for. 

Chaos of the middle-class British variety ensued - there was a ripple of disgusted whispers and sighs, the Trolley Dollies attempted to reassure everyone that we may still depart sooner and all was not lost, then we all proceeded to spend the next 3.5hrs seething internally whilst maintaining a stiff upper lip, white-knuckled with fury but too polite to kick-off in the monumental fashion we all desired.

Of course, despite hurtling through Madrid airport on our toes Mo Farrah - stylee (well maybe more Mo Mowlam in some cases), every mothersucker on that plane missed their connection. 
And that was the turning point, our descent into despair....

"No problemo," said the Iberia rep dismissively as we arrived ruddy-faced at the departure gate just as our plane started taxiing off down the runway without us, "we'll get you on the next available flight....manana."
 "Oh no, hang on, Mexico City is about to leave, you'll go on that and then connect to San Jose from there, but you'll need to run again...."

We left the other stranded passengers eating our dust as we pegged it to the departure gate, but there was just enough time for us to pick up that some were being sent to Peru, some was a right Royal mess, let me tell ya!

As the adrenalyn slowly wore off, it became apparent to the flight was comprised entirely of Mexicans, with only a tiny cluster of Brits diverted from the Madrid plane. No Trolley Dollies on THIS aircraft, the flight attendants were old and surly,  with faces that would curdle milk.

"Would you like red, white or Cava?" asked Les Dawson's Mexican grandmother. "Yes please!" us Brits replied to their disgust, although to be fair they did comply and with a curled lip she served us all of the above without  further comment. 

Having downed our medicinal beverages to calm us all down, we settled reluctantly into the flight, having realised with a jolt that it was twelve and a half hours long. Jesus wept!! 
We amused ourselves with movies and endless collective games of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Andy jabbing at the answers on the screen excitedly, unwittingly projecting the dude in the seat ahead into the seat in front of HIM. Whoopsie!

It took us a while to notice that the pilot was a total routard, which is like a retard but involves someone specifically incapable of planning a route. We got delayed yet again as he diverted us in an arc around our destination in a flight path with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel. Which led to cock-up number 2.....

We missed the connection in Mexico City. 

Getting through immigration to collect our cases for the onward journey (despite being told they'd be checked through) was a bun fight. Despite jumping the queue and causing uproar, we missed it, along with almost all of the other Brits on the flight. What they had failed to mention was that our connection was leaving from another terminal a train ride away, with an alternative flight number, airline, and basically completely different details to those they'd fobbed us off with at Madrid.

Steam rising from our heads, we stormed to the Iberia desk to find it closed and not reopening til 9am.....this was at 9pm (3am in the UK). Thus we spent a long and shivery night in an icy Mexico City airport, which was not only freezing (despite warm daytime temperatures), but also undergoing deafening renovations above our knackered noggins. The only tiny highlight was the local fajitas and several large vodkas...

After what seemed like an eternity, the Iberia staff sauntered into work at 9.15am and casually informed us they would put us on flight number El Salvador. Then we would take flight 4 several hours after that to our final destination, arriving approx 50hours after we left home. 

Obviously it was all we could do at this point, about 38 hours after we'd set off from Kent, not to grab them round the throat and rip their heads from their smug little brown shoulders. We graciously declined and parted with another £900 for new flights on Interjet to Costa Rica (Costa Fortune more like), vowing to squeeze every penny and more in compensation from BA at the earliest opportunity.

 We finally arrived at San Jose 24 hours after our scheduled time and 46 hours after leaving Kent, dishevelled, delirious with exhaustion and with only 1 of our cases intact, the others having been on an ordeal of their own, finally arriving several hours after us on a different flight altogether. We were so excited to be reunited with our belongings that we practically skipped out of arrivals and into the arms of Andreas, our GVN rep who had waited patiently during all this kerfuffle to take us onwards to our host family's house.....

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