Trials and Tribulations in the Airport System
27.01.2011 - 27.01.2011
Given the fact that I missed my connection here in Lima I thought I would recount the last 24 hours to bring all up to speed. After deliberating every aspect of the trip, from the flights to the hostels to the type of package and packing systems to use, I finally arrived at the Tom Bradley International terminal at LAX with time to spare and the anticipation of a looming adventure. After exchanging a final embrace with my dad, I confidently strode up to the ticket desk for LAN airways, at which point I was asked a very simple question:
"May I see your passport please sir?"
I then calmly reached into my specific travel pouch only to find that it wasn´t there! What ensued was sheer panic, eventually leading to the realization that I had left the passport on the copier at home. In the process of becoming prepared I was now unprepared. Over the next couple of hours, I spent my time trying to bargain my way on to a flight with the ticket desk while my dad, who fortunately hadn´t left, began calling around to see if the passport could be driven up in time. After that window seemed to close, I called my travel agent and was placed on a flight later that day at 7:55 PM. I would have landed in my first stop Santiago, Chile, at 6 pm as opposed to 6 AM, but all in all I considered myself lucky. Moments later, though, I was informed that that flight had in fact been delayed until 8:30 AM the next day, arriving at Santiago 2 AM the day after that. With no other choices or options, I got the best seats I could on the flight and got a hotel and meal voucher so that I could stay close to the airport in the night.
Just to make sure that all would be well the next day, I woke up three hours early for the flight and made sure that I had more than enough time to spare for the flight. Unfortunately, I think by that stage I had still not fully paid for my original mistake. After getting on the plane we were delayed on the runway for hours. As a result, when we landed in Lima, Peru, I missed my connection by 30 minutes even though I was originally supposed to have hours to spare. I was able to turn this second delay into access into a meal voucher and access into the guest lounge while I waited for a new flight at 12:30 AM. The upside of all of this is that I had an amazing meal of chicken, got to try various fresh-squeezed juices and herbal tea, and am now sitting down in one of the business centers writing this.
At this point I feel battle tested for the journey and ready to take on the stages that come. Hopefully the experiences posted on this blog from now on will have a more positive tone and will bring you along for the the ride. I end my first post with a final thank you to my parents, who came through then and have come through time and time again when I am forgetful or find other ways to muck up the plans.