Homeward bound – January 1 (+2), 2018

The airport taxi driver was there right on time (a relief, given that finding a cab on New Year’s Eve/New Years Day morning might’ve been tough!) Having even less traffic than when I arrived, this driver took the opportunity to take the airport highway as though it were a racecourse. He picked a winning line. Lane markers were irrelevant, and curves were meant to be straightened. I’m just glad there weren’t any surprises around any of the corners!

My early morning flight from Medellin to Bogota was slightly delayed, making my connection (including immigration & security) a bit tight. So of course it was one thing after another – our flight didn’t have a normal gate, so we all had to pile (slowly) onto a bus to the terminal, then walk from the domestic to the international departures, then at immigration some Aussies tried to cut ahead of the line (but I was a jerk and didn’t let them past me because “I also have a tight connection…” and the line was moving, anyway). At security, they decided my Sonicare toothbrush (which I’ve traveled with for years) warranted a closer look. Good grief! Karma for not letting the Aussies go by me? Finally made it to the gate, and they hadn’t actually started boarding yet (whew! They’re running a little behind! I have time to buy a bottle of water, yay!)

Then boarding, but with some additional security questions and random bag checks. After we were finally all on the plane, I happened to check the United app, which was showing an estimated 10:30am departure for our 8:30am flight. Huh? And that’s when things started to really go sideways. Apparently the plane’s potable water had an issue, so no coffee or water to wash hands (they had some wipes available in the lavatories). An initial comment by someone on the crew suggested that legally they could fly with the plane like that, but apparently United wanted maintenance to look at it. Long story short(ish): they kept us on the plane for 2 hours, then allowed us off and gave us food vouchers (only good at one fast food restaurant, on the other side of the terminal), then had us come back for updates every 45-90 minutes (occasionally with promising sounding information like “they’re testing it now”)…but at 4pm they finally cancelled the flight entirely. By that time, there were no good options left for getting home. I wound up on a red eye to Mexico City, connecting to Houston, and finally on to Denver. I spent a lot of time walking and sitting in airports. So much for Colombia being less travel time from Denver!

Anyway, I’m happy to be back home for a little while.

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