Any well-seasoned traveler will tell you S^%$ Happens. The day before I was leaving for Toluca I was excited, Yeah a new place I’ve never been and I even get to check out Mexico City for a couple days. Exciting right? Everything packed double check all the bookings yep everything looks good. One of the best parts, I’m house-sitting for the first 10 days so no hotel or hostel and I get to hang out with a cool dog in a nice house what could be better?
Monday… I call an Uber and off we go. I’m plenty early to the airport, Good thing because the line for check-in is huge. After a time sucking forty-five minutes later finally I am at the check-in counter. Whew, long wait. This is where it all goes a miss… I approach the somewhat friendly attendant at the counter I hand her my reservation and my passport. A few long long minutes later she shyly looks at me and says “Estas no Bueno” “Que” I say? She tries to explain to me rapidly in Spanish what has happened. Of course, I’m having trouble keeping up. I assume the blank look on my face says it all and she leans over to another attendant asking him if he speaks English? Keep in mind there’s still another twenty people behind me waiting.
The attendant in a mixture of Spanish and broken English try’s to explain that the flight is overbooked. What I’ve gathered at this point is I’ve just been bounced!!!! They offer me standby but there are no other flights available today that have any seats. Not that it’s a huge deal to be late if it was just a regular trip inconvenient YES. But I’ve agreed to house-sit for a couple that is waiting for me. I’m supposed to be there the next morning. Oh my God, what now? I with all my willpower calmly walk away with a promise of airfare credit that will be available to me in 30-90 days. Wait for what? how many days? Why? I don’t have time to argue and my Spanish is not well versed enough to do it. In my mind, I’m thinking why do I want a credit with your airline it obviously sucks. But they tell me it’s not possible to get an actual cash refund. Hmm, it wasn’t a problem when they took my money… I watch several others also walking away from the counter upset, well at least I felt it wasn’t just me but I did feel disappointed for them too.
I walk outside to try to wrap my head around what just happened and to figure out what my next step is. I quickly looked online for any flights leaving the Mazatlan airport today. I find one YES it leaves in forty-five minutes but I need to book it with a website. Okay, no problem I fill out all the details and it declines my card. WTF why is it declining my card? So I think maybe the internet is just to slow here in the airport. I decide to venture up to the counter of the airline to see if I can get a seat on the flight. It’s nearly double what the other flight was but I made a commitment and I need to get there. Again my card is declined…. Back outside I go now I’m trying to quickly call my bank. Quickly being the operative word here.
After being on hold for fifteen minutes and missing the only other flight to Mexico City for the day I am getting frustrated. Finally, a customer service representative answers my call. “Everything looks good on our end I’m not sure what is causing it to be declined?” the voice says. We go back and forth like this for five minutes or so. When I ask her can you please look to see if there is a block from customer protection? It occurs to me this might be the problem. She transfers me to the department, several questions later, yes this is the problem. Finally thirty minutes later my card is reactivated. My head is swimming by this time it’s already twelve thirty and I have no way to fly into Mexico City. The only thing I can think of is to get on a bus.
Typically I call Uber it’s safest and easiest and I know what the cost is. But in my hurry, I jump into the nearest taxi. In all my whirlwind of issues I don’t negotiate first I just jump in and say Autobus por favor. Oops. this was a nearly 500 peso mistake. In an uber, it would have been just 200 pesos. My bad.
I get my ticket ugh it’s a seventeen-hour long trip it’s 1420 peso that’s about 74$ US more than my original flight was one way. Wow but at this point, I have no choice. I am a woman of my word I made a commitment and I intend to keep it. I leave Mazatlan at 2 p.m. and finally, arrive in Mexico City at 7 a.m. I grab a taxi to get to the observatorio station to get another bus to get from there to Toluca. All in all, I arrived on time. It was about twenty hours of travel with little to no sleep and very little food but I made it. The couple I am house sitting for is extremely grateful that I’m there, They are leaving for a wedding in the states in just a couple of hours. Honestly I was happy to be there too I may not have transportation home yet but at least I’m here and there’s time to deal with that later.
Ahh, the joys of travel, this is exactly why I say pack light and always go with the flow. Have you ever had anything like this happen to you? What did you do? How did you handle it?
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