For me, the experience of travel can be a great source of humor, but this sort of humor is not necessarily going to be shared much with others. One of the joys of traveling with a great deal of people that one happens to know is that one is often seeing other people over the course of one’s travels, even if we end up getting to the same place. After eating breakfast, for example, before which someone literally raced down the stairs to avoid interacting with me when I was coming down the stairs with my suitcase, a lot of us headed to the airport somewhat early, which ended up being a surprising blessing for me.
While the airport at Puerto Vallarta is a bit irritating when one is flying into the airport because one has to pretend to be deaf (remarkably easy to do for me, actually, but irritating nonetheless) to deal with all of the taxi drivers trying to insist upon driving you to your destination, it is a remarkably pleasant airport to fly out of, it should be noted. There are at least three different zones in the airport, and each of them has places to eat and shop. When I came to the airport I sat in front of a Subway (which I later ate at), hugged my folks farewell as they headed to their flight, and then after eating, where I encountered more people I knew, checked into my flight and was given a ticket to an earlier flight than I had expected, which gave me even more time in Phoenix, an airport that can be an enjoyable one to stay at, it must be admitted, if sometimes a bit confusing when it comes to gates.
Among the qualities that make Puerta Vallarta enjoyable as an airport is the way that there are plenty of seats, a generally friendly staff, and fast security lines, all of which make it possible to get through the airport easily despite there being a long walk from the check-in to the airport’s 20 gates, which can be a bit of a hassle for those who are of somewhat limited mobility, but is only a minor issue given the ease of finding aid if it is necessary.
Once I got on the plane, where it seemed that nearly all of the people on the plane like me were in Group 6 for those who had let the airlines choose our seats because of an unwillingness to pay for the privilege of picking a seat ourselves, I found myself near people I knew who were flying to Los Angeles where they will be staying for six months–and who were on the same plane and having their flight changed like mine was from a later flight that we had been scheduled on for Phoenix after having that flight changed a month ago or so from a flight through Los Angeles.
The flight itself was unremarkable–the scenery was lovely around Puerto Vallarta but quickly changed to dry mountains and hills and then the dusty and ugly looking countryside near Phoenix, including some shockingly ugly yards that looked like they were going through the Dust Bowl as we landed in the airport–but I still found occasions to be snarky, at least to myself. When the flight attendant (presumably the purser) made her pitch for passengers to take the advantageous terms of getting an American Airlines credit card, the biggest downside I thought of was that getting lots of miles and easy benefits for free check-in bags and priority seating meant that one would have to redeem these rewards by flying on American Airlines, itself not always a pleasant experience. At least in recent years, the airlines has become all too known in my own experience by trying to starve their passengers or kill them with thirst, nickel and dime them almost as much as Spirit Airlines, and drop and change flights willy-nilly. Even when they change your flight in a favorable way by getting you away from LAX and giving you an earlier flight, you still have to deal with delayed flights home that are likely to bring you home after midnight. And that is no picnic, but rather the cause of more snarkiness, even if there is little one can do about it except for try one’s luck with a different airlines.