Subject: Re: Airline reality show - adventures in peru
Several of our airline adventures involved Peru. Here are a few.

The best involved a trip around 20 years ago from our home in Wash DC to Cuzco which had to go through Lima. When we arrived in Lima we were sent to a gate with about 5 other Americans. Somehow we were all involved in talking or reading or whatever and we never noticed that gradually there was less and less activity around us as the various other flights left. We all suddenly had the same realization and a few minutes of frantic questions revealed that yes, we were at the wrong gate and yes the flight had left without us.

Well we were there for 6 weeks so the extra 2 days wait for the next flight was not a big deal. But the other 5 were all on 7-10 day trips and were besides themselves. So we spent the next hour running around the airport talking to various people - some showing concern - most not. The others were ready to consider chartering a flight when one of the attendants ran over laughing. What was she doing laughing at a time like this?

The flight is coming back it turns out - there was some mechanical issue that the crew felt should be dealt with in Lima or it was better to land at the lower elevation because of it - or for some bizarre reason the plane went out an hour and back an hour on a 2 hour or so flight. Well the people filing off the plane were really pissed and we were besides ourselves laughing at the whole thing. (Maybe we should have been worried about getting on a plane going through whatever problem caused them to return.)

Then there was the time we decided not to wait until the next day to come home - we'd catch a flight that evening. Never mind that it was 30 minutes from the scheduled departure. A quick call revealed there were seats available - and, hey, this was Peru lets give it a shot - hotel to pack, taxi, run to terminal, planes always late - no problem.

Or the time they invited us to sit in the cockpit as we passed over some 20,000 foot peaks and then went between 2 summits that were above us and so close, on either side, i swear we could scoop off the snow. Or when the regular jet airline dipped the wings so they were vertical so we could all look down and see Machu Pichu.

For us every flight in Peru seemed to be an adventure. And these were the days when computers were only in Lima so all flights needed to be reconfirmed, ll passenger lists were on paper and any changes - well flip the old coin to see if you'll get on the flight.

harold goldstein highland, md