However the day before I travelled back to Bogotá Delta suffered a systems meltdown. When I went to bed my flight was still OK, so I didn't bother much.
My mum woke me up advising me to go to DCA and try to get on a flight ASAP, I told her I had checked…but as I did my flight appeared cancelled (eek!).
And so I headed to DCA hoping to get on any flight to BOG. Once I got there, there were huge queues that I managed to complete in about 90 mins. Once I got to the desk they told me there wouldn't be any flight that could take me in time to ATL to grab the next flight to BOG. Distress. I waited some more and the agent told me she managed to change my reservation into DCA-CLT-JFK-BOG. I didn't care, more flights to my log, new airport and possibly an A330 back home it sounded great! However my happiness went to sorrow quickly as another agent told the other one that AV wasn't taking any more Delta folks. Distress x 2. Then her face lit up, and she told me if I minded flying out of IAD, I said no, and she told me she found a route through MEX. No problemo amiga, go ahead! And so I was sent to IAD.
On the way to IAD
So now I was left with a 9 hour window to IAD. I reckoned that the fastest way between DCA and IAD was to grab the Metro to L'Enfant Plaza and then the 5A Bus to IAD. This gave me the chance to have one last Five Guys burger, and then I naively thought I could check in with Delta at IAD in order to spend the afternoon at one of the lounges.
(one of) the best burgers in the District ( DC now has many more burger joints that may be even better, but Five Guys still does the job!)
And now…waiting for my chariot to IAD. I slept most of the way to the airport.
At Dulles International Airport
Do you remember the final scene in Finding Nemo when the fish are out…and now what?
Well that was me. Delta wouldn't check me in. I played fool though and managed to get food coupons and $200 in compensation. However the biggest problem is that I was barred from the airside and I was at one of the world's most boring airports EVER.
I had almost 8 hours to spend while AeroMexico's check in would open. I squirm with pain remembering it.
Another problem I faced is that while Avianca merrily let me check in for my MEX-BOG sector and pick my seat, AM didn't (I hate how lame AM's reservation systems are). Once check in was open I jumped to be one of the first in the queue. The guy who checked me in told me the last window seat would be mine…I was like…ok thanks a lot mate. When I noticed my boarding pass I noticed it was a B seat, which meant I was in the middle seat, wtf?
I rushed through the TSA to the airside to try to have something decent to eat for dinner, however by the time AM passengers can reach the airside IAD's concessions are shut dead. In the middle of my boredom-induced idiocy, talking to a girl I was hitting on and so on….I made a terrible mistake of which I wouldn't be aware of until it was too late for me (this story line shall be continued in our next episode)
Without anything to eat, or do, or go to (aka lounges), I was now waiting for another couple of hours to board my flight. It was packed!
Eventually a lovely looking 737-700 arrived to pick us up. I think the AM's silver livery is one of the best liveries, is a shame that is soon to be gone. Once inbound pax were off and the little Boeing was cleaned we were good to go.
AM uses the 2x2 Big-chair Business class format that is prevalent in America.
I settled in my seat, it was the exit row…the seats were okay, although not-reclining, and the legroom adequate. AM has moved to a blue leather upholstery, I didn't really like this one as it looks dated and generic.
Boarding was completed, and off we were, the cabin was set to dark and eventually we were on our way to Mexico.
About one hour into the flight we were handed a ham and cheese croissant as a snack.
After eating was done I slept for the rest of our flight until we were advised to prepare for landing.
As I had a safe buffer for my next flight I didn't rush too much…and then I was on my way to connect to the AV flight to BOG.
Washington - IAD
Mexico City - MEX
Overall, this was an unplanned flight that would have been more fun had not many unforeseen events happened. I cannot remember it as a pleasant experience, and AeroMexico's generic service (which is a total shame considering how awesome Mexican people are) didn't do much to make my situation better. The product was out of date compared to other big Latin companies in the US-LatAm market (Copa, Avianca, LATAM), the food was unremarkable and I cannot recall any particular kindness from the crew.
Dulles is one of the worst airports to be stranded in. Normally I don't have much beef with it other of how hard it is to get there using public transport. But this once I totally hated it.
Arriving to Mexico's Benito Juarez International from the US is a totally different deal than if you arrive from Colombia. Immigration was fairly swift (not a big queue to pass immigration, but this is due to the arrival hour), but the main difference was that bags were out swiftly (when you arrive from Colombia they may take up to 1 hour while they sniff all bags for drugs). For this part of the connecting experience, it did the job.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next episode, saludos!
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