Trip to The Sacred Valley-Stuck in Miami

Right out of Dallas, we had a problem. Our flight from Dallas to Lima was delayed by more than an hour, making the possibility of making our connection ot Lima slim to none. That would cause an even bigger dilemma, if we missed that flght,we couldn't possibly chnge airlines in Lima as planned to get to Cusco, the heart of the Sacred Valley. American Airlines could or would not tell me anything except that I should go to Miami and they would talk to me there.

Note to self: In the future, let's try to avoid four connection trips.

I pulled out my I-phone and did a search If we missed that connecting flight to Lima,there were no other flights that night, exept one on LANperu, ther partner airline. I called the red trouble phone again. No, they could not get us seats on that flight, at least not from Dallas, so we crossed our fingers and got on the plane.

Bad move.

We rolled into the gate just as the flight to Lima rolled out.

We missed it by ten minutes, so did ten other people.
I watched the gate agent be rude to the the six people ahead of me, so I had a good idea what to expect.

"Could we by any chance get on that Lan Peru flight? It leaves in about and hour?"
She shook her head no. "I can get you on a flight tomorrow. We (American) have a flight that leaves in about 14 hours."

Fourteen hours in Miami with two kids and rainy weather didn't sound fun.Not to mention we would miss our tour.
I thought about it a moment, then checked the airport boards. That other lIma flight was only a few gates away.
"Can we have our luggage here, then?"
The gate agent snapped at me. Said everything but "Hell No." They would keep our luggage until the morning, but would gladly give us meal vouchers for there meals and a hotel room.
"Can we go without our luggage if we can get on the LanPeru flight ourselves?"
"Sorry," she said. "This is an international flight. You can't get on any flight without your luggage."
In other words, we were prisoners of Ameican Airlines.

I wasn't going to give up that easily though. It was alreasy the wee hours of the morning, but we ran all the way to the farthest point in the airport from us, to the Lan Airlines counter. Maybe they would be able to accept an American ticket (they were partners, right?) And we would end up on them anyway.

The attendant at the Lan counter blinked at me when I spoke. She spoke no english. I mean, for real. I looked over my shoulder to check the signs, make sur I was still in the US like i thought and hadn't somehow fallen off into Latim America without knowing. I was calm as I dug down deep. She was speaking text book spanish, not the mangled spanish I'd gotten used to in Texas. She looked relieved when she realized that we could speak, but she couldn't help me either She told me that since American had already claimed us, she coudln;t grab our itinererary. In fact, she couldn't touch it. She trembled in her loafers every time she said "American Airlines."
We were stuck.
In Miami.
With no clothes.
But thank goodness that I was a firm believer in spare underwear.
I had spare underwear in my carry on for everyone. They laughed when I did that.
Who wold be laughing in the morning?
We made our way to the curb for the airport shuttle, barely catching it because the guy was zooming past. We flagged him down and in no less than five minutes found ourselves at...
....the roach motel where, again, no one spoke english, the piano was being played by drunken folk at 2AM, and they charged two dollars per toothbrush.

More tomorrow.....


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