Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We have arrived at our hotel in Pucon, Chile. I will surely write with more detail later, but let me say that this has been a nightmare for Jessa and I. We've never heard of anything like this and in all our years of international travel, have never experienced something like this. I pride myself on bulletproof vacation planning, and this was nowhere near.

However, our boys have been studs through it all. They're completely chill, possibly because they don't understand enough English to understand what a scam operation the airlines are now running.

The basic issue is that the American Airlines agent in Miami A) did not use our record locator to see that we had already pre-paid for the children's flights; B) issued the children new, more expensive tickets that basically took them on a one way trip to Lima, Peru, with nowhere else to go. Because I dropped Jessa off at the ticket counter and returned the rental car, I wasn't present to remedy the situation and didn't observe the major problem on the tickets until we stood in Lima, Peru watching our plane leave with all our bags, bound for Pucon, Chile.

I have not slept in 39 hours and it may have been stupid to continue, but we made the decision together and here we are. Our final decision was to hunt down our bags, bring the kids with us, and what will be, will be.

I am eternally grateful to the family member who replaced the money in our checking account until we can get the Visa situation sorted out. You know who you are. Thank you.



Pat G. said...

Ben, Jessa, little men....
What great news this is! Wow, I was hopeful, but nauseated this whole day wondering where you were and what your fam was going through. GET SOME REST somehow. Relax. Eat some good (and safe) food. Get race ready. Keep close track of the royal twins and try to have this go UP from here on in! Cannot wait to see you and all your photos. Blog as often as you can, k? (By the way, Dad fronted the cash to me - you - to take over to Wells Fargo to your account. So...thank him!)


Steve said...

Glad you made it in. It is amazing how irresponsible airline people can be. Hope the trip back is much better. Good luck in the race, well if you don't sleep through it:)

Anonymous said...

We are so relieved that you made it to your destination safely, Ben & family! Keep safe and enjoy your trip together AND best wishes for a successful race!!!


Nat & Greg

Tiffany said...

So happy to hear you guys finally made it to Pucon. I'm so sorry for everything you guys have had to endure! Things can only get better from here, right? Best of luck at the race!

jessithompson said...

We have been thinking of you all non-stop. Although I'm not sure I would have personally had the tenacity to keep going, I like your attitude and hard-coreness! I just hope that your racing experience goes as well as it can and know that all your Spokane 'family' is behind you every step of the way.