Lengthy Layover In La Paz

June 28, 2010

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I was once flying from Lima, Peru to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, with a layover at La Paz, Bolivia. The flight to La Paz was very pleasant; we arrived and parked at the gate while we exchanged passengers. The layover was supposed to be about 1 hour. Five minutes after we arrive at the gate, it starts to rain really hard, and then to the disbelief of everyone at the airport, it started to hail and snow. Mind you, this is not very common in Bolivia. As it turns out, all the snow/ice accumulated on the plane, and there was no way to remove it. The pilot says we will wait and hold until it melts so that we can fly again. They wouldn’t let us off the plane. They just give us a cup of orange juice and leave us sitting there. Six hours later, the snow/ice was still there. I look out the window at the plane parked next to us and laughed at the fact that they were attempting to remove the snow/ice with just broomsticks.

A couple of hours later, they let us know that the plane is ready to fly. Unfortunately, so are 120+ other passengers that were supposed to fly in that same plane which was supposed to fly back to La Paz after dropping me and the rest of the other passengers off at Santa Cruz. Well, since they figured we were a lower number of passengers in the plane already, they decided to throw us out and let the others board. The flight was going to Lima instead. They told us that they could not fly us for the time being, and that they would try to accommodate all of us into other airlines that had flights to Santa Cruz. These other airlines all had booked flights, with 1-2 spots free. There were a couple of flights so I thought maybe once and for all (after 12 hours waiting) I’d finally get on a plane to my destination… until I noticed that they only let 1st class passengers board other flights. About 3 flights with empty seats left during the next couple of hours, but they couldn’t take any of us since it wasn’t fair for the entire group (of non-first class passengers of course).

In the end, I had to spend the day in La Paz, which is a horrible city. Twenty-four hours later, I was finally able to get myself into a flight to Santa Cruz.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: