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Posted by Philliz from 208.181.224.57 (?) on martes, abril 23, 2002 at 14:20:15 :

4:30 AM March 24, we awake in Calgary at our friend’s place saving us the 3 hour drive from home at this time of day. It is about -20 C outside but we can handle it because we plan to be in Zihua by the afternoon. We arrive at the airport and check-in. We are taking Alaska Air this time and will stop in LA so we have to go through US customs before boarding, which is a new experience for us. Everything goes Ok as we are on board and taxiing out to the runway right on time. Out at the end of the runway we sit, the pilot tells us there is a problem with the generator due to the cold that they are waiting to see if it will remedy itself. After 45 Minutes or so he decides to go out on the runway and rev the engine as this sometimes helps - this is not one of those times. We taxi back into the gate and have the Air Canada Mechanics get things running. While waiting the pilot gives times and flight numbers for new connections in LA, ours does not have one. Two hours late we take off and head for LA, not knowing what is waiting for us.

We arrive in LA and are sent to the Alaska Air desk where two nice young ladies are trying to deal with our problem. We are told that they are authorized to do the following: arrange for us to fly out the next day on the same flight; give us a voucher for a hotel room at the airport Hilton; Give us meal vouchers for $7 breakfast, $7 lunch, and $14 dinner; A flight out of LA or Mexicana at 12:20 AM that went to Mexico City with connections to Zihua. It was very hard for some to accept these choices because they had small children and couldn’t fly at night or teens that could eat four $7 lunches in one sitting and to top it off they are missing out on all-inclusive in Ixtapa. The Alaska staff impressed me with how well they handled the problem explaining that was all they were authorized to do.

We decided “crap happens” let’s figure out our best options. We decided to take everything that was offered. The flight would get us into Zihua 6 hours earlier than waiting for Alaska, meal vouchers would feed us until midnight, the hotel would give us a place to rest until the flight and we would be able to watch the Academe Awards at the Hilton in LA. Our only worry was that Duane(ex-Canadian friend) had arranged an apartment for us on our word that we would be there and we did not bring his phone numbers with us and could not call to let him know why we did not show up.

We were on the Mexicana flight and had little trouble transferring in Mexico City as we had plenty of time. Very impressive sight flying into the city at night with the lights that go for miles.

We landed at the Zihua Airport at 9:30 AM, stepped off the plane, felt the tropical heat and the snow and the cold and long 30 hours since we left for the Calgary airport all seemed unimportant now.

More to come!
Phil and Liz




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