Airport Land=Time to write

Mexico City Travel Blog

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Mexico City International Airport, 9:00am local time

I've already been here for nearly 4 hours, but I still have 4 more!  I want to sleep, but unfortunately it is just too damn cold.  I've tried for quite awhile, but eventually gave up and started walking laps around the terminal to stay warm.  First impression of Mexico City is that it smells bad outside and it is cold.  I'm sure the Perrier I'm drinking is not helping the cold problem, but at least I can stay hydrated.  This is my 4th airport today, and the travel, while not a complete disaster, has been a bit of a struggle.

I began the morning by forgetting that I had paper tickets for the bulk of my trip, and thus forgetting to pick them up from my office.  When I was checking in at the Hilo airport (i had booked my interisland Hilo-Honolulu tickets separately AND electronically), I inquired about checking my bags all the way through to Santiago, or at least to LAX.  The person helping me asked to see my ticket from HNL to LAX, which baffled me.  Wasn't it in the computer?  He said the reservation showed up, but not the actual ticket purchase.  As he was explaining this, a vague memory began to gel in my mind of putting airline tickets in my desk drawer at work.  I didn't have time to go back to the office to look for them before my flight was scheduled to leave for Oahu, but if I got to Oahu with no tickets to go any further, then what?  I asked if there were any later flights that would get me to my connection in time.  A flight at 11am was available, but I had to pay $50 for this dumb mistake to change my flight.  I called Frank a few times before getting through; luckily he was still in town getting breakfast, and was able to take me up to my office to pick up the tickets.  I felt bad for being a bother, but it was nice to unexpectedly have a little more time together.

Mexico City Airport, 11:00am

Got about an hour of pretty good sleep!  I was so tired while writing that I just stopped and laid down--no headphones, no eye cover, just passed out.  Now I'm drinking some WARM chai tea.  They have Starbucks in mexico.  I woke up because I was shaking from the cold again.  Not good.  This chai is working though, warm and caffeinated.  Hopefully I can sleep on the plane instead.  Seems like it might be a long flight.  I should have just flown through Dallas like last time.  Oh well.

On with my flight adventures.  Arrived successfully at LAX, and I knew I had to switch terminals and go through security again.  I also needed to check in, since I was switching from Hawaiian Air to Aeromexico.  I thought I would be able to do that at the gate.  First things first though; I had trouble figuring out how to get to another terminal.  Information booth said to take the 'A' shuttle bus.  Went outside, but no clue where to stand.  Someone tried to help me, but I was too paranoid to let him.  I don't trust this place.  He told me to stand under a blue sign, as I was running away, so I tried that. 

Waited a long time for the correct shuttle.  At one point I thought I had missed it--the shuttle had been labeled 'out of service' but inside, the speaker was announcing stops at all of the terminals.  Several minutes later the bus did show up.  The terminal for aeromexico ended up being #5, rather than the #6 that was posted at a kiosk inside my last terminal.  No problem.  Okay.

Tried to go through security since my bag was already checked through to Santiago.  No go.  Needed boarding pass to get through security.  He directed me toward the ticket counters to my right.  They all said 'Delta', but aeromexico was also listed as an affiliate, so I got in line, thinking that the airline was checking folks in for my flight as well.  After waiting a long time, I got to the front and was informed that the line was only for e-ticket customers, and I needed to go wait in the paper ticket line.  I was frustrated, since my timing was alright so far, but if I had to wait in another line I could be cutting it close for my connecting flight.  Got in the other line anyway, which was shorter.  I was there for a moment and then a lady asked to see my tickets.  She kindly told me that I was in the wrong line.  This time I was starting to panic, thinking I would miss my flight for sure now.  Apparently Aeromexico did in fact have its own ticket counters!  I sprinted in the direction of the alleged 'real' Aeromexico counter.  Line was short, but exceedingly slow.  However, I was less panicked, knowing that this time I must be in the right place!

The staff were helpful and even gave me my immigration forms ahead of time.  Cool.  Apparently I needed to go through immigration and customs in Mexico even though I was only continuing to another flight.  I love international airlines because they still serve free, decent meals.  Apparently I ordered a special meal but I had forgotten.  Began to wonder if there was anything about booking these flights that I hadn't forgotten about.  My meal was decent--veggie sandwiches, salad, fruit salad.  Can I eat fresh stuff on the plane?  Since we left from LAX I chanced it.  Anyhow, I got through security without at hitch at LAX and made it to my gate approx. half hour before boarding.  I was way too cold on the plane--it felt drafty.  Tried shutting my vent, but it was already shut!  Only realized shortly before landing that the empty seat next to me had its vent open, and once I shut it, things were more comfy.

Mexico City Airport was much easier to navigate than LAX, even though I had to do immigration and customs.  What I had trouble figuring out is whether I needed to pick up my checked bag and carry it through customs or whether it would remain on its own journey.  I never picked up my bag, but saw it go past on a truck.  Hopefully it ends up at the same place I'm going!  I'm having fun trying to understand some Spanish.  Better than Thai or Mandarin, but I still suck.  Gotta learn this stuff.

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