Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - Fat Tuesday

Out the door at 6:15 a.m. and headed to the airport. We thought since we weren't limited to taking an "official airport taxi" that the ride wouldn't cost so much this time. We were disappointed. 150 pesos. Jab.

We checked in with Delta's code-share partner Aeromexico and learned they couldn't check us all the way to Knoxville. It's necessary to check in with Delta again and go through immigration in Mexico City. That shouldn't be a problem with our four and a half hour layover.

As we waited at our gate, I heard an announcement about our flight, but even when it was repeated in English I couldn't understand what was said. The ticket agent sought out Tom and me personally and explained that our plane was going to be quite delayed, so they were putting us on a Mexicana Airlines flight leaving just 20 minutes later. Then she walked us to the gate to make sure we got on all right! Thanks!

Mexico City airport is a big confusing mess. We didn't know whether we needed to go to immigration first and then check in or check in and then go to immigration, and we didn't know where to go to do either of these things anyway. Then the only immigration counter we could find was the one for persons entering the country, not leaving. We just kept asking people and getting bad information about where we should go next. We realized eventually that the easiest thing to do would be to go outside and re-enter the airport, then we had a heck of a time just finding the damn exit! It ended up taking over an hour just to find the Delta counter so we could get our boarding passes. Finally we made it though, and immigration was a breeze - Delta takes care of it. Then we got to go to the "international" side of the airport, where tacos at Ruby Tuesday are $15 U.S. and a USA Today is $3.50. We're not in Mexico anymore.

Back in Atlanta, customs and immigration is a breeze. The airport is labeled in four languages, well organized, and easy to get around in.

The final leg of our flight, Atlanta to Knoxville, was on THE LOUDEST PLANE EVER. It was an ATR-72 twin-engine turboprop, and I don't know if they're all that loud, but this was unreal.

It was a great trip, but Tom and I are both glad to be home.

THE END

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