This story is not unique. Many of us will suffer this travel season! Including Robert Reich.
Yesterday was much, much better than the day before when Aeromexico denied me boarding on my flight to Oaxaca, put me on standby on a series of over-sold flights, knowing full well I’d never get on but keeping me hopeful until the bitter end. Why they didn’t say, honey, get on a bus, we have overbooked each flight by 10-15 people to start with, I don’t know?
I arrived in D.F. from Austin at noon on Aeromar, who damaged my laptop screen by treating carry-on as a checked bag. I filed a claim and we will see what happens next. It took me two hours to get through Mexican immigration and customs what with the holiday crowds and not enough staff. I arrived to get my boarding pass 30 minutes before departure.
They jockeyed me between various agents, managers, and lines at their Mexico City Terminal 2 counters. By 7:30 p.m., the last agent said, maybe we can get you out on the first flight in the morning. The operative word here is maybe. When I asked where I would sleep, the clerk merely shrugged and said quien sabe? Who knows?
NO, they would not refund my money, saying it was a United ticket, not theirs. They tried to blame Aeromar for being late, which they weren’t. No way were they going to help me get to Oaxaca.
Customer service has never been their strong suit. Since Mexicana went belly-up, there is only Aeromexico to serve Oaxaca from Mexico City. Why care about the customer when you run a monopoly?
That’s when I decided F. this. I forfeited the ticket, took a taxi to TAPO the regional bus station and bought a ticket on an overnight ADO GL first class bus to Oaxaca. I figured I would spend over $100 on a hotel room in D.F. with no assurance of getting to Oaxaca any time soon. The bus was a better bet. For $55 USD I had a reclining seat and wheels. With a sleep aid, I even got a few hours of snoozle.
Thank goodness yesterday was better. Last night, Justo called as we were finishing up a snack at Omar’s Taqueria in Teotitlan del Valle. We are here, he said. LaTuga is in Teotitlan. Justo and his brother Federico shared the driving on what must have been a non-stop two-day journey from Austin to Oaxaca to get my 2004 Honda Element here.
I couldn’t have been happier. I will get the car at 2 p.m. today. Yesterday, I got my flight-damaged MacBook Pro laptop screen replaced within 24-hours at Laptown, a computer repair service in Colonia Reforma. Manager Octavio came to pick it up at El Diablo y La Sandia B&B where I was staying. Extraordinary customer service.
Now, I’m ready to put all this behind me and get down to enjoying the holiday seasons of posadas, mole and mezcal. Saludos!
Want to get a car to Mexico? Contact Justo for reliable transport service.
Travel Tips From Experience
- Book the same carrier all the way from your departure city to your destination. It’s not worth it to “jump” airlines to save a few bucks.
- Never book and pay through a third-party carrier. I bought my Aeromar and Aeromexico flights through United. It’s a United ticket, they said. We are not responsible. Even though they get paid!
- See if there is a baggage handling agreement between carriers. Aeromexico does not have one with Aeromar or United. I had to take my bags off the carousel, and would have had to recheck them, and go through security again.
- I wanted to save time by getting this expensive connecting flight from Mexico City to Oaxaca. I usually always take the bus, convenient and cheaper. This time should have been no different.
- Fly United direct from Houston to Oaxaca if you can. This route saves a lot of hassle.