Saturday, August 07, 2010

American Airline Strikes Again!

It all began at 5AM Tuesday morning with the alarm announcing wakeup time. Bounding out of bed,we were ready by 6:15 to take the taxi to the bus station for the 3 1/2 hour trip to Mexico City for our flight to Dulles via DFW.

After a hair raising ride (and I do NOT exaggerate) from the North Terminal bus station to the airport, we arrived at the American Airlines ticket counter to be informed that there was mechanical problems with our plane. Hence, we would NOT be leaving at 1PM, but 2:30PM. No problem, except that we would then miss our DFW connection. Oh well, we thought, we won't have to run through the airport. Little did we know.

We DID leave at 2:30, feeling that all was well. After talking with others waiting for AA flights, we felt fortunate. One woman was supposed to have been in Denver at 1PM. She informed us of this at 2PM and wasn't even leaving Mexico City til 4:30PM!

So we left at 2:30, no problems, landed at DFW at 5PM. (We have now been up 12 hours). But, hey, we got throug customs and immigration with no snafus. Yee ha.

We take the tram or "skylink" as they call it, only to be informed at Gate 39 that it was now not the departure gate and we needed to go to Gate 6. We took a cart. Gate 6 informed us that the plane wasn't leaving at 8PM but at 10:55PM! And, oh by the way, go to Gate 4. Gate 4 sent us back to Gate 6.........

While waiting and waiting, we met several people who had been delayed many times going to San Francisco, Austin and just about any other place you can mention. It seemed to us just a major operational snafu - not bad weather.

The good thing was we met this amazing woman named Kathryn from Austin, trying to get home to Austin. At 86 years old, she was the most interesting person we met all day. She grew up in Port Lavaca on the family homestead. A delight to talk with.........Her memorable line of the evening was, "Well, I guess we're just too tired and old to revolt". It made me laugh out loud even as tired as I was.

We FINALLY departed DFW at 12 midnight, arriving at Dulles at 5AM. Eight hours after our booked arrival. We were goosey we were so tired. An hour drive to reach West Virginia. Needless to say, it was an adventure - not one I ever want to repeat.

Oddly, I had the same experience with American Airlines thirty years ago trying to fly from Seattle to Houston. It took eleven hours and I swore I would never fly American again. It took me thirty years to forget that vow.........I won't forget again.........NEVER again.

6 comments:

Felipe said...

I have not been on a plane in about six years. Maybe I´ll never get on one again. This type of story is just too common. If I can´t drive somewhere, I don´t think I will go.

Kay Cox said...

I'm just happy to know you arrived safely....good grief! Why not Continental from Leon???

Tancho said...

How sad...
Flying use to be an exciting great adventure.
Now it is worse than a cheap wayward bus in the sky.
We fondly remember flying around gaining tons of miles which now are all worthless. I use to fly to DF from SFO once a month, back in the 80's and 90's.
There where occasional issues.
Now after trying to get to the airport, going through security, removing your shoes, belts, any any dignity that you may have had left, you are herded onto the plane.
Thanks but no thanks.
I'll leave it up to you brave travelers...
I'll fly my old memories. I hope your return will be without hassle, enjoy your trip!

Life's a Beach! said...

Kind of interesting. When I flew home from Cancun on American in July, I met a tour group of angry people in DFW who were supposed to have already landed in Honolulu. That was on a Wednesday and some people in the group had been told they wouldn't be able to get them to Honolulu until Friday. On my flight out of DFW, we were delayed an hour while the flight attendants argued with the ground crew over who would be credited with the delay. All of us in the first cabin witnessed the unprofessional behavior. Suddenly, the captain popped out of the cockpit door and said very sternly -- this flight is leaving now! The door was immediately shut and we took off. I think they are having major issues! Glad you finally arrived!

CHASING CLOUDS said...

Hi.........there is no good news in the world of Flying. They have cut so many flights in all the airlines, that there is nothing but chaos. I will only travel inside mexico by air. They are always on time and friendly regardless of the trouble Mexicana is presently having. Good luck getting back. Walking comes to mind.

Babs said...

Felipe, you are a SMART man.
Kay, we got a supposedly better deal price wise on American....ha
Tancho, I rmember too when flying was fun and exciting. Now I DREAD it.
Life's a Beach - VERY interesting.
Yes Chasing Clouds - Flying in country in Mexico is a pleasure! I was amazed at the cleanliness of the planes, the politeness and on time arrival and departure!