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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Apr 2, 2013

Viajeros en El Centro

Yes, I read an article last year in an old NYer mag that went over the finer points of getting freebies and upgrades.

Sabado /Saturday:
Just before getting on the airplane to Panama City, Rob’s friend marveled at my calmness in response to Rob’s joke that his ticket had a seat assignment while mine said I was flying standby. His ticket actually indicated his standby status too, so we surmised that on such a short flight, there were likely no seating assignments. So we all laughed and waited for the air hostess to call out our boarding orders; first in Spanish then a rote recitation in English.

Four hours and 15 minutes later we are racing to gate 19 at the Copa hub in Panama City. As we attempt to board the plane we are held up by the word “Standby” on our tickets. We were halted at the ticket scanner and profusely apologized to. Before taking a seat I expressed my distress at being stranded and was offered overnight accommodations, the first flight to San Jose the following day, private transportation to Puerto Viejo when we arrived, and $300 in travel vouchers for future tickets on Copa. 

Sounded reasonable to me. We sat by with 7 other bumped travelers and waited as our flight took off. Rob took a walk. Waiting with me was a family of 4—an anal retentive mom, overbearing dad and 2 extremely big-headed boys aged 9 and 5, and two Miami grannies with entitlement issues. There was also a Costa Rican young man who spoke no English. I learned that the X-faxtor was that we all conscientiously purchased our original tickets several months in advance to save a couple hundred bucks per person. It worked; we saved the money and then presumably Copa sold our tix for a higher rate and then was able to buy us off relatively cheaply.

The grannies and the family were all intent on getting their ruined vacation back on track, after the negotiation for appeasements was complete I overheard anal-retentive mom whisper to her husband, “we should get them to pay for our other hotels.” Good grief. 
Anyway, we were taxied en masse to a 5 star hotel in the posh region of Panama City and all given penthouse suites with an allowance for room service. While our fellow travelers waded through the check-in process Rob told me that he learned name of the unfortunate youngest boy in the 4-person family. 
He asked me, “If the little one’s name is Seneca, what do you suppose the older one is called?”
“I’m guessing, “ I responded, “’Just Beat My Ass , and Take My Lunch Money’?” And we laughed our asses off. Turned out the Seneca was actually a girl. We found out the following day headed to the airplane.

In the room, we ordered food, beer and wine. Word to the wise, don’t expect fresh shrimp in a land-locked capitol city at 2am—do not order the shrimp cocktail.

We slept for 3 hours then got driven to the airport at 5am, Rob and beat a hasty path away from our group and hit the TSA line. We chuckled a bit at our luck at getting a free taxi ride to the Caribbean coast instead of having to brave a 4 hour bus trip with 100 our new Costa Rican BFFs.

Yes, there's more to our vacation story!

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