Airport woes

Airplanes are a distortion of time and space. And you get frisked. — Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux

Thursday 22nd – Jueves 22a

After a leisurely breakfast at Ticalli, we said goodbye to our friends from Birmingham and Warwickshire, and promised to keep in touch. We’re already planning a leaders reunion weekend on the Tuptonia.

Our ride to the airport was smooth and fast, despite protests causing chaos to most of Mexico City. Alas, that was where our good fortune ended.

Mexico City airport is incredibly difficult to navigate. Finding the check in desk was easy enough, but from there it was not at all obvious how to get to security.

Security itself was entertaining. I managed to get a bottle of water through, but had to remove my necker. Sara had to drink her water, but was allowed to keep her necker on and her scissors were not mentioned, let alone confiscated. A fuss was made over Helen’s alarm clock and torch.

After security came duty free, complete with signs indicating that gates 23 to 36 were to the right; 1 to 22 were to the right; 1 to 36 were to the left; and 23 to 33 were straight on. The passage straight on didn’t exist. We chose right and walked almost a complete circle before reaching our gate, 34.

In duty free we were informed that we were allowed a litre of alcohol, but because we were transiting in Toronto we could only have it in small bottles, despite the fact that we didn’t have to go through security in Canada.

On the way out, the airline (who shall not remain nameless – Air Canada) managed to forget two of our parties special meals on the second leg of the journey. The cabin crew took their names and details and promised to make sure it was fixed for the return journey.

They failed.

The two in question need gluten free meals, which means that practically nothing on the plane was suitable for them. Even the salad had unidentifiable dressing on. They were offered a bag of dry nuts, which is not the best meal when everyone else is eating roast chicken.

They declined and asked for a complaint form instead.

Mind you, they weren’t missing much. It was pretty disgusting.

Our flight landed ten minutes early, but had to wait for a space at the gate because of another plane with engine trouble. Our change over time was pretty tight, but we made it in time to have a quick loo and duty free stop before boarding the next leg.

We did manage to achieve gluten free dinner on the transatlantic flight, but breakfast was conspicuous by its absence. To be fair to the cabin crew, they managed to find some pretty nice spare food in first class which was edible by my friends.

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However, none of us are particularly impressed by Air Canada.

We landed slightly early, and now I am back once again in England’s green and pleasant lands. Only a few hours of driving left and then I’ll be relaxing on the sofa.

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