Mexican ways: the perils of disconnected tickets

A change of planes all the time injects a component of danger and uncertainty right into a journey, and Mary M’s son has set himself an formidable goal.

“He’s travelling to Cancun after which has an inside flight to Veracruz, however on separate tickets,” she explains.

“There may be solely two hours between the flights. How can I assist him to ensure he makes his second flight? Any assist can be a lot appreciated.”

I’m on his facet: on condition that flights from Cancun on the Caribbean coast of Mexico to the positive Gulf metropolis of Veracruz are rare, it’s definitely an opportunity I might take – reasonably than pay for a lodge in a single day to attend for the following day’s departure.

Ideally, after all, he would have a ticket containing each sectors. When two (or extra) flights are linked, it obliges the airways concerned to maintain any missed connections, discovering house on the primary out there departure and offering a lodge whereas ready.

However we’re the place we’re.

As it’s a global to home connection, he can’t merely choose to remain “airside” and join from one flight to the following. He might want to clear Mexican formalities with all his baggage after which examine in once more.

The primary concern I might have in his place: a delay in departing from the UK and lengthy queues to undergo Mexican immigration.

There may be little that anybody can do in regards to the first. Sadly as a result of there’s nearly no onward connecting visitors between the UK and Cancun, timekeeping is considered much less important than for larger hubs. If an airline with flights from London Heathrow to Cancun, Chicago and New York is pressured to delay considered one of them due to crewing or technical points, a vacation flight to the Mexican resort will in all probability be the loser: fewer necessary enterprise conferences shall be in peril.

To minimise the danger of getting caught with an extended wait to get by way of passport management on arrival in Cancun, he wants a seat as near the entrance of the aircraft as potential – both by explaining the scenario to check-in or departure gate employees, or hanging again on the departure gate till everybody else has boarded after which selecting an appropriate empty seat additional ahead than his assigned place (however after all within the class during which he’s booked). That maximises the possibility of being close to the entrance of the passport queue. He may additionally inform the crew on board the flight about his predicament – they could transfer him as much as a business-class seat for the touchdown and a quick getaway.

Subsequent, if potential he ought to journey solely with cabin baggage. I don’t think about baggage delays will represent a big issue, but it surely may make the distinction. On British Airways, the hand baggage restrict is 2 luggage with a complete weight of 46kg, however on Virgin Atlantic it’s a lot much less.

As soon as by way of immigration and customs, his subsequent problem is discovering the appropriate check-in location in Cancun airport. The home space is pretty compact so hopefully he’ll discover it and have the ability to examine in for the 619-mile hop to Veracruz simply.

I’ve some earlier expertise of a high-pressure connection of types at Cancun, after I was a passenger on a Mexico Metropolis-Cancun-Havana flight. Because of a mix-up over issuing a Cuban vacationer card within the Mexican capital, I discovered myself within the difficult place of getting to go away a aircraft from on the halfway level so as to choose up a Cuban vacationer card on the airport (landside) and reboard the plane. I discovered all the bottom employees and officers pleasant and useful, and it proved comfortably achievable inside the half-hour on the bottom.

I realise that was home to worldwide, which tends to be a little bit simpler than the reverse, however I’m nonetheless optimistic for the lad’s progress. One other beneficial expertise: on the final pre-pandemic journey I took to the US, flying from London Heathrow to Lengthy Seaside through Salt Lake Metropolis, the connecting time was simply an hour, which was shortened to only 45 minutes resulting from a delayed flight – but it surely was a breeze getting by way of US Customs & Border Safety and I reached the home gate with time to spare.

Within the regrettable scenario that he doesn’t make the second flight: if the reason being a delay in arrival at Cancun of three hours or extra, and it’s the transatlantic airline’s fault, he shall be due £275 for a delay of three to 4 hours or £550 for an extended hold-up – which ought to cowl the prices arising from a missed connection, and presumably go away sufficient for a tequila or two.

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