Home for the Holidays: When Traveling from Venezuela to the US Takes 24 Hours

Y’all, I’m beyond tired.

As has been reported earlier, international flights in and out of Venezuela are about as common as honesty and integrity on Wall Street (re: Message for U.S. Citizens Reduced Flights to and from the United States).

Why? Because the government has not been paying its debts to airline companies. Thus, airline companies pulled out in droves back in January.

To get home this Christmas I had to hop-scotch across the Caribbean. My itinerary was as follows: Venezuela, Curacao, Aruba, Atlanta, Houston.

This round about route that included two separate international airline tickets (one with Insel Air and one with Delta) cost me half as much as if I tried to leave directly from Venezuela to the States.

So, there I was at the Valencia, Venezuela airport at 4 AM on Saturday. I was sweating because the AC wasn’t working, pissed that I had thrown on the wrong bra with my shirt and was baring bra straps to the world (which I think is the height of tacky) and functioning off of two hours of sleep (foolish mistake #1).

7 AM, the time of my flight, came and went.

As did 8 AM, 9 AM, and 10 AM.

Finally, an airline representative came out and explained that the plane was delayed because it lacked the proper paper work.

Allegedly, these airline inspections have been going on all month. The delayed flights whip people into a panic and are just frustrating.

Since I’ve been battling food poisoning and/or a virus masquerading as food poisoning the last two weeks, I refused to eat in the Venezuelan airport despite the prolonged delay (foolish mistake #2).

When my flight finally takes off at 11 AM and gets me to Curacao, a long security line awaits me before I can even connect to my Aruba-bound flight (security check #2).

After clearing security, I don’t have time to pee before I hear my name being called over the intercom. I’m, literally, closing a bathroom stall when I have to rush back out–bladder still full–because my plane’s about to leave.

I had failed to account for the 30 minute time change from Curacao to Venezuela.

I now had to leave my co-worker, who had missed her earlier connecting flight during “the inspection” and was going to be stranded in Curacao, at the gate as the flight attendant walked myself and another flier down to the awaiting plane.

As the plane’s engine roared to life, I thought that the worst was over.

In reality, it had just begun.

Keep traveling with me to find out what I did to make it home for the holidays.


6 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays: When Traveling from Venezuela to the US Takes 24 Hours

  1. You’ve got my attention. I will keep on traveling with you in anticipation of the details. (This sounds a lot like traveling from back and forth South Texas between Brazil 25 years ago…)

  2. Pingback: Home for the Holidays, Part 2 | (Im)Migrating with a Purpose

  3. Pingback: A 20 Hour Layover in Aruba | (Im)Migrating with a Purpose

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