The longest 30+ hours of the trip

13 Nov

To clear up the insanity that was our last two days of travel, here is a timeline. Unfortunately, the timeline doesn’t include the previously planned meals, showers, sleep in a bed, museums, or shopping. Such is life! Friday 2:00 pm –  We arrive at airport in Puerto Iguazu. Local travel company Caracol (selected by our main company, Say Hueque) dumps us at airport.  We wait on line with rude, pushy, line cutting, non-rule following, chaotic travelers for 2 hours.  4:00 pm – We are told air traffic control has gone on strike (no airline employees are in the terminal to help/disseminate information this whole time). Additionally, because Caracol did not check us in in advance as promised, we are the last two to attempt check in and are overbooked.  4:00-7:00 pm – Aerolineas Argentinas repeatedly (via 3 different jerks) lies to us about: 1.) not being able to offer us hotel stay/ compensation (apparently they do offer this routinely, per our rep), 2.) being a “priority” for rebooking (actually, they flat out refuse to rebook us or credit us), 3.) there are “no flights” for one week (flights were certainly flying the next day, per our rep). I make several phone calls to our Buenos Aires rep, Yuna, who unfortunately became well acquainted with my hostile meets hysterical South Jersey roots (along with the rest of the terminal). She assures us someone from Caracol is coming or is already at airport. Not true! Very frustrating when you pay to have assistance in these emergency situations and then they are unaccessible.  Luckily, after much flat out sobbing anxiety (I eventually told off in Spanish the lying P.O.S. who first “helped” us) and found a different company’s rep who miraculously was willing to help us!! (I think the panicked crying helped.) 7:00 pm –  We depart by bus to go to another bus which costs 500 pesos each, and luckily is one of the few places that accepts credit cards in this place.  9:00 pm – We embark on our seventeen hour bus ride to Buenos Aires.  After 1:00am, we no longer make stops because we are now on a bus with a toilet.  Saturday 2:00 pm – We arrive at the madhouse domestic airport where the same nightmare from yesterday continues.  4:00 pm – We take a taxi to the hotel we would have stayed at the night before. They hold our bags while we go find something to eat and change clothes in their lobby bathroom.  6:00 pm – We are picked up and taken to the international airport.  9:00 pm – Delta is officially taken off my longstanding shit list as they came through in the clutch and got us the heck out of Buenos Aires on time and en route to Atlanta. Yay! 🙂

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