An EXTENDED Trip to the Airport

by Jim on 24 August 2013

The plan was – take the Holderman family to the airport, get back home (should be back around 9:15am), get ready and go to keyboard class (10am).  Weeeeell… I got home around 6:15pm.  Only 9 hours late.

So we drove out with great expectations in the dark, made it about 5km from Ixtapaluca, and the traffic slowed to a near stop.

No problem.  Must be a busy traffic day.  We left plenty early.

Traffic in Mexico City - 24 August 2013

But after an hour and a half, we were still only maybe 6km from Ixtapaluca.  So we started talking about getting the next flight.  We eventually called – but they told us it needed to be sorted out at the airport.

Another hour passed.  Still only about 6km from Ixtapaluca.  Tina went for a walk and found tamales (but alas, no bathroom).  From a bridge she could see an end to the traffic not far away, but couldn’t tell what was going on.

It must have been another hour by the time we made it to about 8km past Ixtapaluca – and it was an accident.  A semi-truck looked like it had been torn in half, a van (public transportation) crushed in on either side, and a crushed car.  You can read about the accident here in Spanish (Google translated into English here).  Amazingly, everyone got out with minor injuries – wow.

Now we were free and clear.  But we were in two vehicles.  Tiffany was driving the other – and her car began to stall.  Now, that was not so bad when you’re going 10km/hr or less – but – could we make it to the airport?

Well, as long as she kept going, she was all right.  So we made it to the airport – around 11am.  A trip which would normally take between 30 minutes to an hour took 4.5 hours.

Would the airline be helpful?  Well – not really.  We were sent to different desks, and talked and talked and negotiated and looked for options and called for bosses.  And three hours later, we had made very little progress.  And 6 kids were getting very tired (and I’ll bet the adults were there too!).

Finally, they agreed to charge the family a small fortune for the privilege of maybe getting on the next flight.  But it would be another couple of hours before they would know for sure.

One of the airline people took the passports, in order to at least make a record.  And he disappeared for an hour.

Did I mention I had eaten breakfast at 6am?  And it was now 3pm?

Finally he returned with the passports, and we ate some food, and came back to beg again.  Finally – after charging the small fortune – they booked the luggage and got tickets.

Tiffany went with Fabian (who had graciously come to meet us at the airport) to get her car fixed).

They Holdemans went through security.  And – well, they were only on the waiting list, mind you – but we think they boarded the flight.  And should be landing in Dallas around 8:42pm.  Only 8.5 hours late.

Tiffany’s car repair ended up being minor.  And Tina and I got back – well, you know about that.

We passed the accident on the way back – you can see below the van that was rather folded in half.  The truck to the right (in the background).  Amazing that everyone was all right.

I hope everyone makes it to bed safely tonight!

And thanks for all the people who prayed for us today – we appreciated it!  (If you want, you can keep praying for another couple hours, while they try to get their kids all the way to bed!) 🙂

Accident Mexico City

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