Hi Ziners,

I enjoyed your tales of airline boarding mishaps. I returned from India and Nepal in November. We too encountered the bribery problem at the Kathmandu airport. In our case, we were grossly oveweight; however, $65 (American) would take care of it. The five of us decided that was cheap enough and paid it with no grumbling. Considering the alternative, we felt this was the best action. We didn't want to miss the Taj Mahal, our destination, for $65.

On a trip to South America, I ws meeting my friend at the Miami airport. I was traveling from Arizona, she from Georgia. I arrived in plenty of time for the 11:45 p.m. departure. I met every flight from Georgia and no friend. I finally learned all flights were delayed because of thunderstorms at the Atlanta airport.

When our flight to La Paz boarded, my friend still had not arrived. I refused to board without her. I told them I did not want my friend to arrive at this late hour in an almost deserted airport and be alone. (We are both ladies of a certain age.) They tried to convince me to board, but I was adamant. After everyone boarded and I assumed the plane had left, I was told that the flight was delayed because the captain had not arrived. My friend eventually came to the gate expecting to have missed the flight. Instead she found me waving her on board.

On board the plane we were informed that the captain experienced TWO flat tires on the way to the airport. One flat tire wouldn't have delayed the departure, but two did. Thus, we made the flight to La Paz. Since we both had remained pleasant throughout the ordeal and even laughed about it, the head flight attendant came back to us in coach from first class, and she gave us those little bags of miscellaneous gifts they give to first-class passengers. She also thanked us for our equanimity.

Anne Yuma, Arizona