Still Stuck at Terminal 1 in Mexico City
I had a fleeting thought that perhaps we should just get into a taxi, but taxi drivers sometimes queue for an hour or more to get a fare at the airport which tend to be business people heading deep into the center of town. That wouldn’t be fair to them and we likely wouldn’t be able to get a ride which would just compound the frustration and waste time. We also didn’t know how far the terminal was, for all we knew it might have been faster on the tram or just to run.
We made our way up the escalator and then lifted the stroller over some mandatory stairs (why have an escalator that only gets you part of the way there?) before getting to the lift. Though we were well outside of security at this point, we still had to present boarding passes to get on the elevator to the intra-terminal train where we waited nearly another five minutes for the train. Those five minutes dragged on and on. We were at just 35 minutes to boarding when we boarded the train and I was on the phone with American the whole time trying to get ahold of the LAN desk to hold the flight. We were traveling on a business class ticket and whenever I really need the plane to take off on time it seems airlines are willing to wait for business class passengers who are late or possibly going to misconnect. As the train seemingly weaved around the Cozumel before arriving Terminal 2 we were told by the American Airlines Executive Platinum desk that they were unable to get a hold of neither their own desk in Mexico City nor the LAN desk to assist us.
We were resigned to running. As we ran from the train dragging our luggage (this quickly became the one day I wish we bothered to check our bags) we bolted for security but then approached the LAN checkin counter. We now had just 20 minutes to departure. I started running for their desk hoping that they could just make a simple call to the gate, “Don’t close the door!” We would still be able to make the flight if they don’t close the door early which many airlines have a habit of doing. The Sherpstress disagreed.
“We already have our boarding passes, we are wasting time, we should just run.”
Mistake Count: 4
I thought it over and considered getting through security with our bags, our laptops, our stroller, our daughter and ourselves. That would be at least ten minutes. The door would be shut we would be shut out. On the train over, while on hold I had already searched for hotels where we had points to use and found availability should we not make the plane. I had accepted at that point that we wouldn’t make it.
My fears were realized by the staff at the checkin counter. In fact we didn’t even make it to the desk. Some 20 feet away there was a staffer waiting to help route people in the right direction and check them in, and she looked back at her colleagues who just shook their heads “no” without even considering calling the gate.
The Sherpstress was beyond frustrated by my many mistakes and said emphatically, “Let’s just go to security and try to make it anyway.” It was time for me to listen to sage of a wife.
Good Idea Count: 1
We bolted for security. The agents looked at our boarding passes then back to us, then the passes then back to us. A supervisor came over and finally just waved us through as we started unpacking and undressing (as one does at security). Everything is everywhere, laptops are flying, pockets emptied but somehow the Sherpstress breezed through. I am being frisked and wanded for seemingly no reason as they never found what it was that set off the alarm on the metal detector. The Sherpstress is miles ahead of me with our daughter. I wave her to run to the gate and I found a way to catch up.
The gate was surprisingly close. The staff was there clicking away on their computers. The plane was there and it was still connected to the gate. There is a giant digital clock behind the agents’ heads, it’s 3:25 and we have five minutes to spare. But I know that it is pointless, I approach the staff anyway.
“Phew. So glad we made it, and look honey, time to spare!” I was hoping that faking ignorance would make forgiveness and an exception more likely.
They indicate that the flight is already closed. I show them our tickets, I point to the baby, I say that we can run down the gate, we have no checked bags, the flight won’t be delayed. They don’t even have to load our meals if they didn’t already have them on board. They called the captain (or pretended to) and the Sherpstress lost it. She is almost always composed, we have seen everything and this wasn’t tragic, we knew we would be rebooked, we just lost a day.
We were walked back to the front of the terminal by LAN staff from the gate when they that saw my wife upset and genuinely tried to help. We waited around at the desk while they tried to find another solution perhaps with their partner Aeromexico but it was pointless. I had another plan and I was aiming to redeem myself. Within five minutes, I had completely turned the tables…