Daina is awesome.
But before we get to that, here’s the rest of the day.
The flight that left from Toronto was, in fact, far too delayed for us to have any chance of meeting our connection to Lima. While we were there, they were able to “book” us on an 11:55 flight to Lima from Miami, which would get us into Lima at 4:20 am. We weren’t quite sure where our luggage was, and neither were the people in Toronto, but they said it would probably be in Lima before we were. Oddly enough, that was the most accurate news we got all day.
Business class was pretty good and Daina could probably tell you a better story about who he sat next to than I could, since I was next to a widowed-divorcee who was pretty heavily Botoxed and mildly racist towards Asians. The kind of racism where she would recount a bad experience and always make sure to mention the person was Asian. I faked sleep with an hour to go. Daina talked universal theory and layers of reality, so I think he had a better time.
We get into Miami, which instantly and definitively took the reins from Charles De Gaulle as the WORST airport I’ve ever been too, simply because of the confusing signs that showed us how to get from terminal D to terminal F but didn’t actually get us there. Rage.
So we’re walking the massive halls of this airport and I pass by a flight board and look for LAN to Lima and notice that our flight is now LEAVING at 3:30 am! Apparently there was a huge storm in Miami the night before (from Tropical Storm Arlene, I think) and everybody’s flights have been overbooked, cancelled, pushed back, you name it. We get to the LAN desk and talk to a very nice lady (and really, the airline staff had an awesome run today of just being incredible on a shite, shite day) who tells us that our flight was not, in fact, booked in Toronto and that she could put us on standby but we would have to check back with her at 2 in the morning. She did point out that we could check with American to see if they could do anything, so off we went back to terminal D, which involved walking outside now for some reason.
What we walked into was several massive lines of people all looking to rebook flights. We met a lady who had to stay in Miami an extra three days because her flight to Quito was cancelled and everything was overbooked. There was some guy who was meeting 16 kids he was saving from a youth gang in Port-Au-Prince, an appointment he was going to be late for. There were people going nuts all over the place and who knows what was going to happen. I got in the bookings line and Daina had a thought – we rode down on executive class, why not try the executive line.
We split up (still within sight of one another) and thus began the longest travel wait I’ve ever experienced, even though I’m sure it only felt that way because I wanted out of this airport and in to South America. I’m watching Daina, who finally gets a spot in line and, after what I think was fifteen minutes, I start getting pointed at or waved over and, knowing nothing was happening where I was, I left my line and went to D.
Well, D did it. I don’t know the story and, frankly, he’s too tired to really articulate it in a way that I can remember it right now (because I, too, am tired) but he managed to swing a flight to Santiago which then goes to Lima and lands tomorrow at around 11:35 am.
Slow clap. Well done, sir.
So after the third new e-mail to our hostel, we are getting ready to board to Santiago. At least we’re headed to the proper continent.
In retrospect, I don’t know if the business class seats were worth it. But vouchers…. mmmm, vouchers….