April 26, 2011

VIP, Yeah You Know Me

Airline delays...or actually just delays in general are the norm in Colombia. When I travel here I pretty much assume we will be delayed for some ridiculous reason, and if everything does go according to plan I usually spend the rest of the day marveling at our good fortune. (Like when we found a bus on the Medellin-Bogota highway just as we walked out the main gate at Rio Claro!!)

When we arrived to the airport last Saturday afternoon I was not at all surprised to learn that our flight to Bogota was delayed and we would therefore be unable to make our connecting flight to Medellin. Rudely dismissed by the lady working the Avianca check-in counter, we headed over to a somewhat more helpful woman who changed our plane tickets for the later flights and sent us on the way. Still annoyed, we waited in the Cali airport for a later flight. At the last minute (literally we were the last people to get on the plane), Avianca did put us on an earlier flight to Medellin. HOORAY!

Now...could we change tickets again and get back on our original flight to Medellin?

Of course not.

When they told me this at the Bogota office I got irritated and explained that this was our original flight. How was it possibly full when we had seats on it a mere two hours ago?!?!?! Well the lady wasn't budging, but did we want to wait in the executive lounge for the later flight? I told her we weren't "Executive Class", so that wasn't really helpful.

Not until she pointed out our seats to us did we realize that somehow our Bogota-Medellin tickets had changed into VIP tickets. Still believing it was too good to be true we hesitantly approached the Avianca VIP lounge in Bogota, expecting to be turned away as frauds, but in we went!!

Let me just tell you right now....the VIP lounge is a magical place. Literally magical. They have free WIFI (albeit a sketchy signal), free mini sandwiches, free fruit kabobs, free coffee, free tea, free water, clean bathrooms, swanky couches annnnnnnnnd oh yes, a bar. See? M-A-G-I-C-A-L.

Please note the comfortable seating, mini sandwiches, fruit kabobs and drinks.

Open self-serve bar? Seriously?

Obviously I had to zoom in to take this photo since Kelsi's seat was located so far away from mine.

We spent the next three hours in a land of bliss feeling like outsiders looking into the life of the Rich and Famous of Colombia...and eating lots of fruit, sandwiches and making mixed drinks using juice boxes. Excellent way to kill three airport hours before boarding a plane to sit comfortably in roomy seats...for a 45 minute flight.

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