Sunday, July 08, 2012

A Day at the Airport

Jordan and I left the house at 5:38 a.m. this morning, on our way to pick up Samantha, Paige, Elisa and Julie. All had flights from the Mexico City airport, leaving from 9:05 a.m., the earliest, through 1 p.m. Elisa's bus departed to San Luis Potosí from Mexico City's northern bus terminal.

The plan was to arrive at the airport around 2 hours before the first flight (Jordan's), make sure everyone was checked in, then take Elisa up to the bus station. I should be returning to Ixtapaluca around 9 a.m. Right? Wrong. I dropped everyone off at terminal 1, everyone, mercifully, was flying either AA or UA, from terminal 1. Turns out United and Continental's merger has condensed all flights from those two airlines at terminal 1. I went and parked, as the kids got in horrendously long lines.

The American Airlines line was especially long. Even though we arrived at 6:45, a good 2:30 before Julie's 9:25 departure, she barely had enough time to get through the baggage check line. But Jordan had more serious problems. Turns out he lost his visa, that little slip of paper that one fills out on the plane upon arrival.

Not the first time this has happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. He left the UA check-in line, and followed me downstairs to the immigration office. No big deal. The lady at the baggage check-in line said that when he had his visa, he could skip to the front of the line. $40 and a bit of hassle and he'd have another visa, and make his flight. We still had time. But we didn't, because the immigration office only opened at 8 a.m. His flight left at 9:05. Would that be enough time?

I left him at 7:10 in line at the immigration office, and went and got some coffee. I needed it. The office opened at 8 a.m., and Jordan got his new visa and he and I returned to UA at around 8:15, still 50 minutes before his departure. But the lady who had told Jordan he could skip to the front was not there, and another supervisor said he had to get in the still very long long with everyone else. He finally got to the counter at around 8:45. When the agent realized he still had a chance to make the 9:05 a.m. flight, we ran towards security, and they told Jordan to run to gate 36. Perhaps he could still make his flight. Now, why they didn't do this at 8:15 a.m., I don't know.

I returned to the UA counter after 9 a.m. Did Jordan get on the flight? A helpful agent told me that...he hadn't. Now what? He had gone through security, was without a cell phone, and the next flight out was full. His connecting flight from Houston to Dallas was also full. The one agent who was helpful told me to meet him again at the UA counter at 11:15. He would inform me if Jordan got on the 11 a.m. flight.

I told Samantha and Paige to check their bags (they tried to earlier but were told they had to wait), and around 10 a.m. we took Elisa up to the northern bus terminal. She purchased her ticket for San Luis on ETN, and we returned to the airport. I sought out the UA agent, to no avail, and tried to talk to another very unhelpful supervisor. Did Jordan get on the 11 a.m. flight? Sorry, sir, I can't tell you. Can I leave my cell phone number or something? No, he is an adult, he can take care of himself. Ok, then, you are taking responsibility for him? No, he is responsible for himself. Yeah, whatever.

I texted Karin in Dallas. I have NO IDEA if he is on a flight, or what time he may arrive in Dallas. She informed me that Samantha had just called her and that he apparently was on her same flight. I went home.
We have a trip to think about!

I received a text from Karin at 8:26 p.m. this evening. Jordan had arrived!

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