January 18, 2007 GMT
World's Worst Airline

11:00 Isla Mujeres: Taxi to port.

12:15 Ferry to Cancún. 15 minutes late.

12:40 Arrive Gran Puerto.

13:20 Arrive airport and join check-in queue.

14:30 Check in and proceed directly to departure gate.

14:55 Surrender water bottle.

15:30 Take off 10 minutes late.

17:45 Arrive Houston. No food on plane. Airport has more defibrillators than loos.

Collect two checked bags, customs and immigration, surrender two bags for onward flight.

Have a bite to eat and buy more water.

Discover that I have to go through security again each time I want to go outside for a cig. This involves dumping toothpaste, water, and anything else remotely washkit-related. Remove shoes, fleece, laptop, phone . . .

16:45 Arrive at designated departure gate.

17:10 Discover flight now leaving from different departure gate several hundred yards away. No announcements or info, found out because a couple of other passengers were in same boat. Run.

17:20 Arrive new departure gate at scheduled take-off time. Flight delayed due to lack of captain and freezing rain.

21:20 Board plane.

Luckily sleeping bag in hand luggage as perishing cold. No water but get a glass. No food on plane.

00:00 Ring Jeff and tell him to go home. Continental at Corpus Christi tell him ETA 01:15, but he goes home anyway.

00:30 Captain arrives with paperwork.

01:00 Start taxiing around to join de-icing queue.

03:10 Leave de-icing queue because crew are out of working time under FAA rules.

03:30 Arrive at third departure gate, get off plane and get boarding pass for 07:30 flight.

All food/drink outlets closed until 06:00.

06:00 Coffee. Lots. Only food available is McDonalds or doughnuts. Not that hungry.

07:00 Board plane at fourth departure gate. Tool around airport for an hour to be de-iced.

08:35 Take off.

09:20 Arrive Corpus Christi. Hurrah.

One item of luggage missing, in common with around 10 other passengers. Can't imagine why, other than the four different departure gates involved at Houston. It's the tankbag, containing cameras, phone/iPod/camera chargers and sundry leads, bike docs, binoculars . . .

Jeff comes to the rescue and takes me for large plate of bacon, eggs and hash browns.

Noon Arrive at The Captain's Quarters to great welcome.

Take shower key back to harbourmaster (it's had a bit of a holiday).

Get missing bag back.

Get Shortied.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at January 18, 2007 10:12 PM GMT

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