No Major Problems With Flying Around The World For 15 Months, Until The Last Flight Home!
We have lost count of all the flights we have taken over the last 15 months. They were all problem free for the most part. Was it fate that the last flight of the entire trip would turn into a nightmare!
To make a long story short, we were put on and taken off our plane several times over a period of seven hours!!! There was a mechanical problem with one of the engines. What it narrows down to is that Alaskan Air was too cheap to cancel the flight or get us another plane. They just kept on trying to fix the problem.
By the time we went through customs ( yes, we had to go through customs again, even though we never left the tarmac) As far as they were concerned we had left Mexico!!!! and got back to the the airlines counter to get our hotel vouchers it was almost 2am in the morning. We were supposed to have taken off at 5pm. We had been given nothing to eat or drink all that time. Everyone was exhausted, we especially felt bad for the people with little kids.
The mayhem continued at customs. There were two Mexican staff who could neither barely read the names of the passengers to hand back their customs forms. They were misspr0uncing the names so badly that no one could understand what they were saying. It was taking forever. Suddenly one gentleman had enough. He walked up to one of the staff and grabbed the stack of papers from him. He instantly started calling out peoples surnames. He was spitting them out and handing out papers in lighting speed.
We then made our way back to the airline desks and had to stand in a line to get a flight re-booked for the next day. It took 2 more hours to get through the line. It was complete chaos. There were people needing to get to various countries. Due to this flight not taking off many people had missed connecting flights. We finally got our flight booked and we were handed a hotel and food voucher for the night. It was hardly worth going to sleep, we had to be back at the airport by 6am for our rescheduled flight the next morning. It was with a different airline thank goodness. We had a long walk to the other end of the airport to get to the hotel. We now had less than four hours before we needed to be back at the airport. To top everything off we couldn’t even eat with the voucher they had given us. All the hotels restaurants were closed. By the time 6am came around we felt pretty sick to say the least.
When we boarded that plane the next morning more problems continued. We stood at the back of the plane with a crowd of people. It seemed there were two issues. About a dozen people had been booked in the 6 seats that existed in row 20. We were two of about 6 or more people booked in row 21. Wait, it gets better!!! Row 21 as printed on our ticket, does not even exist. The plane ends at row 20! Well at this point what can you do but burst into laughter. In the end it was all straightened out. Some people got offered incentives to take another flight. We were not going to be one of those people. We just wanted to get home after a long nights ordeal.
We landed safe and sound in Vancouver and it was bloody cold. We made our way to the ferry and back to Nanaimo. The next few days would be spent getting our heads together. Now we have to find a place to live and get back into the reality of living in the real world again. It was not going to be easy after fifteen months of gallivanting around the globe!
It took me a week or two to get around to writing a letter to Alaskan airlines about the horrible way our flight was dealt with. It seems enough other people must have got to it quicker than I did. I didn’t even get my letter sent off before receiving an envelope from the airline in the mail. A letter of apology was in it. They actually admitting the situation could have been dealt with in a better manner. We were given a round trip ticket each to anywhere that Alaskan Airlines flies. Okay, so that feels like an appropriate retribution for the incident, but do we really want to fly with them again?