We got there just as the bus did! Great timing. However, it was the last time that day that our timing would be great...
It took about an hour to get to the Puerto Vallarta airport on the local bus. We knew the route, so we were pretty sure that we would arrive with time to spare, and we did.
Puerto Vallarta airport.
It was funny, we could see our two Heys e17Roller backpacks from the terminal. At least we knew they were loaded onto the plane!
And we had extra time to spare, because our flight was late leaving by a half an hour or so. No worries, we had about two and a half hours of time in Houston to make our connection. Or so we thought.
Arrived in Houston at 5:45pm. Our connecting flight was scheduled to depart at 7:53pm. Lots of time, right? Wrong.
We get off the plane and make our way to immigration. We turn the corner into a giant hall that has about 1,000 people (literally) snaking their way very slowly along the line. Very slowly.
Why is it going so slow? Because even though there are about 30 stations where you could do your interview with the border guard, only three or four of them are manned.
It took us two hours to make our way through the line! Idiots. We've done a lot of traveling, but we've never seen such a circus as the one we saw at Houston International. What a complete joke.
Fortunately, we had a really nice couple from England in front of us to talk to. They were passing through the United States for the first time ever, on their way to Costa Rica for a holiday. Great welcome for them, huh?
I'm sorry, but there was no excuse for this kind of stupidity. I am seriously going to write a letter to somebody. It took us longer to get through that line than it did to fly from Puerto Vallarta to there! Worse, our border control guy told us that it's like this all the time, and sometimes worse. Amazing.
So, of course by the time we collected our bags and then went through customs and made our way to the gate...it was 8:12pm and our United connecting flight had departed on time at 7:53!
So, we found out that the next flight to Chicago was scheduled for 9:15pm. No problem, that would work just fine, provided we could get on it. Our Chicago to Ottawa flight wasn't until 6:30am, so the later flight to Chicago was okay.
But, the flight was full. And due to other people also missing connections, there were five people in front of us on the standby list.
But, we waited. The plane was late arriving, and then there was a minor mechanical issue. After several delays, the 9:15pm departure became 10:30pm! Finally, they boarded the flight and all of the standby people gathered around the gate. The lady called out a couple of names and two people were allowed to board. Then, she called out another name, but it was a lady with two children, and we heard them say it was only a single seat left. The next name was called, and a single guy was allowed to board. Then we heard they were going to count the empty seats, and they came back and called our name, but they said there was only one seat.
They asked if only one of us wanted to go, but there was no point to that. So they called a single girl, and she got on the plane.
Then, another lady came back and said they found another seat. Wait a minute, that means there would have been room for two of us! Sure enough, they went back on the plane and dragged that one single back off the plane! She was pissed, and I din't blame her, but they made a mistake putting her on the plane to begin with. They issued Ruth and I boarding passes, and off we went! We couldn't sit together, but we were just happy to be on that plane!
Had we not made that flight, the next one wasn't until 6:00am, and then we would have also missed our Ottawa flight and wouldn't have arrived until mid afternoon. That wouldn't have been an issue, except that we're meeting our daughter and grandkids at Ottawa airport, and we already had transportation arranged for the group of us.
Anyhow, we arrived in Chicago at 1:00am. We had a five hour wait to board our Ottawa flight. Tried to sleep, but Ruth ended up reading, and I wrote some of this blog post...while everything was still fresh in my mind. Actually, I wasn't feeling all that fresh at the time!
Chicago's O'Hare Airport is huge!
Our Ottawa flight left right on time. We arrived a few minutes early, and made it through Canadian customs in record speed. In fact, in the relatively tiny Ottawa airport, they had a total of 5 immigration booths, and three of them were manned in order to process the 35 or so people from our plane!
Our daughter Lindsey and grandkids Cameron and Sadie arrived from on their flight from Nova Scotia a few minutes later, and Ruth's Dad was waiting outside with a minivan to pick us up.
Happy to see Cameron, age 3!
And Sadie, 7 1/2 months.
Big family gatherings this Easter long weekend. First time that we'll be together with both our kids Lindsey and Alex since September 2011!