Monday, November 06, 2017

freezing alaska's tail

We apologize for the inconvenience. Our programming has been interrupted by inclement weather.

Or so Alaska Airlines would have us believe.

When we last talked, I was still in Reno waiting for my return flight to Manzanillo. Because I am trying to upgrade my frequent flyer status with Alaska, I had bocked a rather circuitous route -- Reno to Boise to Portland to Los Angeles, and then on to Manzanillo. That would give me just enough miles to earn MVP gold status.

I was originally scheduled to leave Reno around 3 in the afternoon. I then received a notice that the Boise flight was delayed just long enough to not allow me to catch the flight to Portland.

So I called the MVP concierge. I knew something was wrong because I was on hold for almost a full hour. But I was able to get on a flight directly to Portland with a departure time around 5 in the afternoon.

Roy took me to the airport. When I checked in, I discovered the flight had been decayed until 10. That time kept creeping later. The official word was that ice in Seattle earlier in the day had thrown off the entire Friday flight schedule.

I have seen these rolling delays many times. Inevitably they roll along to the point where the airline has no air crew hours left. The flight is then cancelled.

That would be disastrous for me. If I did not get to Portland for the 5 AM flight, I would miss my connection in Los Angeles, forcing me to wait for another week. Or so I thought.

II was lucky this time. The flight did not leave until around 11. That put me in my bed in the Portland hotel after 1 AM. Just enough time to nap for two hours before I had to get to the airport for my 5 AM flight to Los Angeles.

I have long envied people who can sleep on airplanes. I am not one of those people. The cabin is inevitably too hot and I simply cannot sleep sitting up.

As a result, even though I have been in Barra de Navidad since Saturday afternoon, I have been playing Rip Van Winkle for the past three days. My naps have turned into full day affairs.

But I am rested up and ready to jump back into my life in Mexico. That is, as soon as I receive my last piece of luggage.

My duffel bag decided it needed a vacation from traveling. The good people at Alaska discovered it tagless in Los Angeles. Fortunately, this week our once-a-week summer flights will be extended to two. That means I will have my dirty laundry on Wednesday, rather than on Saturday.

It also means, I will be able to drive up to Puerto Vallarta on Thursday to see a friend I have not seen in years. I will leave it at that.

After all, I have had enough surprises on my last trip. I should save one for you. 

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