We arrived at the airport at noon on Saturday, January 5, checked our bags, went through security, and sat in the waiting room for an hour when we learned that the plane that was sitting on the tarmac, our plane, had some mechanical problems. There would be a slight delay.

Twenty minutes later the slight delay became greater, and many of us were going to begin missing connecting flights. We were offered a free meal and given directions to go back to the counter where we started to rebook.

The woman at the AeroMexico desk was already tired and overwhelmed by the time we got to the front of the line. She said that she could get us from Oaxaca to Mexico City to San Francisco, but that we’d have to find our own way back to Sacramento. She mouthed these words in English, but we still couldn’t believe we were understanding her correctly. She explained that unless we wanted to wait in Mexico City until the tenth, the closest she could get us was San Francisco. Incredulous, we listed off Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, other airports in California that would surely have flights to Sacramento. She was determined that we were going to San Francisco. She said that was the problem we had.

I switched the conversation to Spanish, and, in my sternest voice, I explained that this was the airline’s problem, not ours. We could not afford to figure out a ride from SF to Sacramento.

Needless to say, she eventually figured out a flight plan. Though it was a long and somewhat ridiculous trip, we would land in Sacramento by noon on Sunday, and we would be in First Class the whole way. We learned a lot.

First Class passengers enjoy large, comfy seats, real glassware, hot food, and even their own version of the airline’s magazine — with advertising focused on bigger ticket items. Who knew? A glass dish of trail mix instead of a tiny bag of peanuts, a starched linen napkin, and extra legroom…most importantly, we flew all of the way home.




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