Preparing for Oaxaca


In less than 6 weeks, my husband and I are leaving for Oaxaca, Mexico.  I will be attending an NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers entitled Mesoamerican Cultures and Their Histories.  I am really excited about it and have been reading all that I can about Oaxaca – and I still have reading to do for the course!

I have most of the foundations set for our trip.  I got a tremendous deal on airfare from Atlanta to Oaxaca offered by Continental Airlines.  I am really glad I jumped on that when I did, because airline tickets are running $200 to $250 over what we paid.  I am NOT counting the insanity that is the $900 – $1000 airline ticket prices that I have seen on Travelocity – right now, they are hovering in the $600 – $700 price range.

I had purchased an airline ticket using Travelocity for my Dad which was also a good deal.  That is, until the day before yesterday when I received an ominous e-mail from them with some gibberish about one of the legs of the flight being “no longer available”.  I hate it when that happens…

I immediately called the number given in the e-mail for “alternate routing” and was greeted by a lovely Indian woman – um, maybe in Bangalore?  I didn’t give her much time to use her scripted conversation – launching right into the reason why I was calling.  That made it a little uncomfortable for me when she answered back, “Okay.  And how are you doing today?”  Uh, NOT GOOD.

She explained that she would have to put me on hold while she contacted the airline (AeroMexico, maybe?) for my consolation itinerary.  I put my cell phone on speakerphone while I waited – surfing the net for possible alternatives myself.  My father’s original itinerary was as follows:  New Orleans to Mexico City, then Mexico City to Oaxaca, and the opposite upon return.  The plane arrived at Oaxaca at 10:15 at night, and we were going to have to get him to his return flight by 6:30 AM, but it was do-able.

Here was the counter offer:  New Orleans to Atlanta; Atlanta to Dallas; Dallas to Mexico City… where he would need to spend the night and take another flight from Mexico City to Oaxaca.  When she finished getting me clear on that little gift, I was not happy at all, but I went ahead and asked her what the return trip would be like…  I swear to you-know-who that she had to put me on hold to find that out.  Then she kept getting the order mixed up – not making it really clear how my dad was getting from Oaxaca to Mexico City.  If SHE couldn’t get it straight, then how is my 74-year-old father supposed to?  (of course, he’s sharp as a tack, but still…)

I ended up canceling the flight – I’d better see that refund on my credit card by the end of the month.  I then booked a flight on American Airlines – New Orleans to Houston; Houston to Mexico City then to Oaxaca.  It’s the same itinerary my sister ended up buying for my nephew, who will also be joining us – at a different time.  Whew.  After that, I needed tortilla chips, cheese dip, and a margarita.

I also urged my mother not to delay in her ticket buying.  She also lives in Atlanta, but the great deal I got with Continental was no longer available.  I think that she was finally able to use her Frequent Flier Miles with Delta to get to Mexico City, then she booked a separate Mexicana Airlines flight from D.F. to Oaxaca.

More about where we are staying later!


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