Friday, February 15, 2019

Summer in the City? Not Quite Yet

Spring training has only just begun, but this morning I expected to be in the summer heat of Santiago, where it’s presently 88° F (31° C), but it was not to be. At 7:30 a.m. yesterday, I took a ride share (which shall remain anonymous) on my wife’s account, and arrived at San Francisco International Airport shortly after 8 a.m. for an Alaska Airlines flight that would connect to Los Angeles for a non-stop to Chile.
Santiago can (must) wait for my arrival.
Or so I thought. The night before, Alaska had denied me an online check-in because of the international code-share flight, and I spent an hour waiting in line only to learn that all flights to LAX had been canceled because of heavy rain (in both cities). In fairness, the clerk at the Alaska counter made every effort to find me an alternative flight, including a COPA route that would have left at 12:30 a.m. this morning and, after changing planes in Panamá, would have arrived in the Chilean capital at 8 p.m. this evening.

I have no complaint about Alaska’s service and suggestion, but it didn’t appeal to me—partly because it would have messed with my already fragile biological clock. Still, if like many travelers these days I had purchased my tickets online, I might have faced a daunting process of trying to contact LATAM (my carrier on the flight from LAX to SCL) and revise my plans for another day.

For this flight, though, I had trusted my itinerary to Analía Rupar-Przebieda of Eureka Travel in Southern California. She had already saved me the time-consuming process of searching for and purchasing the international flight, and had gotten me on the non-stop from Los Angeles instead of the route that stops in Lima, with a possible layover to change planes, and had also gotten me the best possible price.

Instead of re-doing it all myself, I managed to phone Analía, an Argentine whom I had met at one of my book talks at the late lamented Distant Lands in Pasadena. Then, within about five minutes, she phoned me back with the same itinerary rescheduled for Sunday, saving me time and, probably, aggravation. Then I was able to return home and rest rather than navigate an automated phone system to change my dates.

Unfortunately, that does mean I’ll have lost three days off a scheduled two-month trip. And it’ll delay my departure for the south because I also have some vehicle paperwork to do in Santiago, but I can live with it.

Help Support Southern Cone Travel
If you've found this article informative or otherwise useful, please consider clicking on an appropriate advert to earn me a few pennies.

No comments:

Custom Search