Sunday, 17 June 2007

6 Airports in 3 Days

1. Santo Domingo "Las Americas" International Airport (SDQ), Friday 5am (GMT -6)
American Airlines (the worst airline in the planet) announces the cancellation of their flight to Miami (that would eventually take me to Mexico). I was listed for the afternoon flight, meaning I'd get to Mexico around 9.45PM, and I didn't want that. After negotiations with AA staff, they offered me to take a Santo Domingo - San Juan - Orlando - Mexico route that would put in Mexico at 7.30pm. Enough time to finish packing and take my 11.30pm flight to Paris.

2. San Juan International Airport (SJU), Friday 7.20am (GMT -6)
I got to San Juan around 8.20 local time after flying in business class for the first time in my life. Unfortunately it was in an American Airlines' business class, which is like any other airline's economic class. After clearing inmigration and customs I left my bag and proceeded to my next flight (to Orlando).

Half an hour before boarding they announce the flight was completely full and they'd give $300 USD to the first five volunteers willing to spend 4 hours of their life waiting for the next flight. I volunteered, but sadly, not fast enough.

3. Orlando International Airport (MCO), Friday 1.00pm (GMT -6)
First time in this airport. It's some sort of a Disneyworld extension. Fat yanks with Mickey Mouse ears all over the place. A Disney store every 20 meters and a Burger King in every single terminal (5 BKs total). I decided to have a Whopper, no onions.

I was relieved to know that the final flight was going to be operated byAeromexico. A much better airline than crappy AA.

At that moment something terrible happened, my laptop stopped working. I could only use it (still do) on "safe mode". And that made my doubt of my luck. At that moment I called our travel agency to push my Paris and Marseille flights one more day. At the end it was ok because I got to see my brother before and right after his surgery.

4. Mexico Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) Friday 19.30 (GMT -6)
Home sweet home. It had been an awful day. After spending my whole day in airports and airplanes I was home for the following 24 hours. First thing I did was rush to see Ojos.

5. Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), Sunday 7.10am (GMT -6)
Short stay at home it was. I spent Saturday morning at the Hospital following up on my brother's surgery. Everyting turned out to be okay so I went home to finish packing and took Ojos to see my brother.

My flight to Paris was OK and we arrived 14.10.

During the flight I watched "Music and Lyrics" with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I found it cheessy and predictable. I spent the rest of the flight knocked (don't know if I was tired or the movie was really that bad).

6. Marseille International Airport (MRS), Sunday 10.15am (GMT -6)
I arrived to Marseille at 17.15 and rented a car (well, my manager did) and drove to La Ciotat
where I'll spend this week at a Seminar. I just took dinner and I'm off to (try to) sleep. Damn Jetlag

So that's it. 6 airports, in a less than 3 days span, and I'm a tired man.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Landing at Tegucigalpa

For sure, the scariest landing I've experienced was at Tegucigalpa (Tonconting Airport).

For those who haven't lived the experience, let me describe it. It starts with the plane approaching to a mountain, it then turns left to approach the runway... and keeps turning left while it goes down... and then after some seconds... the thing is still going down and turning.

5 seconds before touching ground it finally stops turning left and lands. It's a unique experience.

To illustrate it, please find below a footage of an American Airlines Boeing 757 (largest plane that can land there) taken from a nearby mountain. Enjoy.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Diversity

"True diversity comes from people who look different". That seems to be the slogan for any NYSE-listed company. Being diverse means you hire some latino, asian or black person once in a while.

I hate to enter the "about" section of any corporate website and find something like this:

From this kind of pictures I also understand that true diversity makes people smile like idiots.

And for some reason, most companies need to come up with a "Diversity policy" that says something like:

"Diversity is both embraced and encouraged at [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. We strongly believe in the value of diversity in the workforce. We are committed to providing an environment of fairness and equitable treatment of everyone, regardless of race, religion, color or creed. Embracing individual uniqueness brings creativity and vitality to our environment BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" bottom line "we hire black, hispanic or asian ppl once in a while"