24 February 2006

Chavez Hijacks the Airline Industry!

Hugo's getting serious about you Gringos...better stand up and take notice!

Chavez to ban Delta, Continental Airlines

This throws a major wrench in how we can travel. I mean, I see nations collapsing over this.

Francisco Plaz, president of the National Aviation Institute, said Thursday the action was taken because the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had established a similar ban on some Venezuelan carriers serving routes to the United States 10 years ago due to safety violations and has failed to recognize improvements since then.

The last Venezuelan carrier I flew on was Servivensa in '98. It was OK, but the upholstery still followed '60s color schemes and instead of an inflight movie, they played Bingo.

There were no chickens running around, however. That's one sure way to become flight service non grata in North America.

But the way they ran things was not terribly impressive. I was at the airport in enough time to catch my flight to Caracas (from Miami), and because of bungling at the front desk, I and several others missed our flight. I did reschedule, but it meant arriving at an hour when you do not want to be running around Caracas.

Leaving the country from the airport was an experience. It was the first time I got frisked (due to drug running concerns), had to pay $60 to leave the country (an "exit tax" or something like that), and I spent the whole flight with a very flirtatious ex-stewardess in my face the whole time.

That part wasn't too bad, but she was sick, and I spent the better part of the following week recovering from whatever it was she had.


Timmeeee said...

Yeah, when dealing with sky-whores, err, flight attendants, penicillin is your friend ;)

The Mad Hatter said...

She called me up later that week (I gave her my business card...just doing my part to welcome legitimate foreigners to our country). I really didn't have time to do anything, though...