Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Managua Travel Blog

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This trip almost didn´t happen. The Patron Saint of Travels (Christopher?) must have stepped away from his desk, because I almost didn´t make it to Nicaragua.

First, some minor drama getting to SFO. Finally got there, and was told to stand in a loooong line to check in. After 45 minutes, they finally tell me that I didn´t actually need to stand in line, and that I could have just done electronic check in. No biggie - I got to the gate with an ample 10 minutes before boarding, bound for Vegas.

I got to Vegas around midnight, right on time. My next flight was at 1am. Or at least, it was supposed to be at 1am. An initial delay until 3:15am didn´t phase me too much because that still left me enough time for my Houston-Managua connection. Three rolls around, and they haven´t started boarding. Hrm. I see a few people standing near the gate kiosk and ask what´s going on. Apparently our flight to Houston has been delayed until 9:30am, and the nice folks at Continental have decided not to tell anyone. My flight FROM Houston leaves at 9:15am. Shit. Everyone else slowly realizes that the shit is hitting the fan and a line forms behind me. Fast forward an hour, and I´m still in line with hopes of catching a different flight or changing my ticket. Then they decide to change to a gate right behind us. I go from the very front of the line to the very back. Shit. They tell us to go to the ticketing counter if we don´t want to wait in line. Frustrated, I begin my journey across the Vegas airport.

A tram and several terminals later and I´m standing outside security in the Continental  ticketing line. More waiting. I´m told the single guy helping us is an asshole. That turns out to be an understatement. The first thing he does is tell me to go back to the gate. No no no no no no, I just crossed the whole friggin airport from the gate because they told me to come here. I´m asking if he can check to see if seats are available, or what other flights are going from Houston to Managua - anything at all. His only response is that he can´t help me (he wouldn´t even look at the computer) and that I need to take the 9 hour delayed flight to Houston and figure things out from there. Really? I´m really baffled as to how someone could be so rude and apathetic.

At this point, I feel defeated. I go sit down and feel something wash over me, something I seldom experience.


I was scared that I wasn´t going to make it to Nicaragua. That I was going to end up spending a week in Houston instead of Latin America. That I was going to have to choose between sleeping in an airport for four days or dishing out some major cash for a hotel room. Not knowing what else to do, I called the 1-800 number for Continental. After 40 minutes on hold, I finally get to talk to someone. After an initial explanation, our conversation alternates between 30 seconds of dialogue and 10 minutes on hold. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. They can fly me to an obscure island in Honduras a day later, with me covering the additional expense. Or I can wait three days and fly to Managua on the 24th, missing my flight to the Corn Islands, and spending three days in Houston on my own dime. Or they can send me back to San Fran and give me a partial refund.

Still scared.

Finally, after an hour and a half on the phone, I´m told that a reservation was just canceled on the 5:30pm flight from Houston to Managua. I grab the open seat less than a minute after it becomes available. Holy shit, I have seat! Through some dumb luck, I managed to get to Managua only nine hours late, thank you Saint Christopher.

Everyone else I talked to in my same boat had to buy a new ticket on a different airline and eat the cost of the Continental ticket.

Luck was on my side.

I got to Houston at 2pm, and was on route to Managua by 6pm. Finally arrive in Managua at 9pm. Worst travel day ever.
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photo by: swhayden