Last weekend my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to a small surf town in Mexico called Puerto Escondido. We had been planning to go on vacation for months but never got around to booking the tickets - first bad decision! The prices were a bit higher than what we had seen during the weeks prior, and it seemed like every time we returned to google flights the prices increased.
It was getting down to the deadline and the best deal we could find was through kiwi.com. This was our second bad decision. Kiwi.com is a third-party travel booking service that seemingly strips flight tickets from the airlines of their warrantees and traveler protections and then resells the tickets bare. If you’re going on a simple flight it’s no big deal, but if you are going to a place with no direct flights you should probably reconsider.
Our very first flight was canceled which caused our next two flights to be missed and Kiwi claimed zero responsibility for helping us get to our destination. You need to upgrade to some sort of protection plan. This is not the case if you purchase directly through the airline though.
Ultimately, we had to buy new tickets which then had a layover in Chicago. That plane was of course delayed which made us just late for the next flight and when we arrived at check-in, it had already closed. We tried explaining that the online check-in site was down but that didn't matter.
After a day of failed travel attempts, we felt defeated and were stuck in cold Chicago. “Alright you two, let’s go. The flight is delayed. I’m going to escort you through security”. It was a Christmas miracle! All hope was restored! But delayed it was, so delayed that the pilots had been on duty for too many hours and could not complete the flight - canceled. Damn! It was now 6am and we were deboarding the plane and going back into the Chicago airport terminal.
VivaAerobus is a Mexican Airline, and about 95% of the travelers on the flight were Mexican people who were returning to Mexico, so no announcements were made in English. Eventually, from a crowded counter, operated by one overwhelmed airline representative, I was handed two replacement tickets. This time the tickets did not say Mexico City but rather Morelia. We assumed that after arriving in Morelia we would be given tickets to continue onward towards our final destination: Puerto Escondido, but we were wrong.
In a small jet, we flew to a city we had never heard of to find out that there were no flights that went to Puerto Escondido. The best we could do was a plane to Mexico City the next day. So we spent the night, went back to the airport, flew to Mexico City, and then onward to Puerto.
When it was all said and done, Morelia was a beautiful town that we wouldn't otherwise get to see, Puerto was incredible as expected, and we only got food poisoning once.
Moral of the story?
Sometimes travel isn't as glamorous as it looks.
- Jack Flynn