Mazatlan Trip, Part I
Dick and I flew into the Los Angeles airport and visited with son Stephen, for a couple days on this vacation, before heading on down to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Monday, the day of our flight to Mexico, Steve drove us to the LA airport. We easily got there by 8:45 a.m., even in the early morning traffic of Los Angeles. Steve dropped us off at the proper gate, and after many hugs and kisses goodbye, we rolled our baggage into the terminal.
We were greeted by huge lines of travelers, families, businessmen, and vacationers, every place we looked. We promptly located Air Alaska and after a few minutes we were taking the first of several steps… lines to stand in… in order to get to and enter into Mexico.
At the first desk we encountered, with a wait of just a matter of minutes, we secured our unofficial boarding pass, although I had already printed out our supposed boarding passes at Steve’s home from the Internet, right from his computer and printer.
Just in case you aren’t aware, you can print out your boarding passes 24 hours before your actual boarding time at home in your own convenient computer room.
From that line, we were directed toward yet another line where we were told our luggage would be x-rayed. At this point they simply take the luggage from you (make sure your luggage is well marked with identification and unlocked) and then the “powers that be” tell you to leave your luggage and go toward your gate — wherever that may be. At this point we are just going on faith that we may see our luggage again at the end of the line.
In addition to one carry-on bag, you may bring one personal carry -on, which includes a purse, briefcase, laptop or diaper bag. It may vary slightly, but basically your carry-on cannot exceed a total girth of 51 inches (i.e. 11x14x26). Some express flights accommodate carry-on baggage of up to 45 inches (19x15x11). You must check all larger baggage. Your carry-on baggage must be of a size as to be stowed in carry-on compartments of the aircraft, under a seat, or in an overhead compartment. For each ticketed customer, some airways will transport: One bag checked free of charge, and One (1) bag as a carry-on. Additional luggage will have a pretty substantial fee, and a lot of airlines are charging for any checked luggage. You should check with your airline for complete rules and regulations concerning your luggage. Now-a-days, the rules are changing frequently, but, these listed here are pretty basic and constant.
Dick and I always try to travel with only medium-sized suitcase each, which we check in. It’s just getting too difficult to handle those huge suitcases we used to lug around. Our carry-ons contain medications, one set of clean underwear each, my mascara, lipstick, a small comb, and a small container of moisturizer, a toothbrush, a tiny container at toothpaste, paper and pens and pencils, my notebook computer or my IPad, our Ipods and chargers for all, extra batteries, our passports, copies of our complete itinerary including any meetings we have scheduled and with whom and their contact numbers, a pair of socks (these are for two reasons – when you’re checked at the airport, and also if we happen to get stuck in a hotel, I use the socks to walk around the room in – again, I can’t imagine walking bare footed where thousands of other people have…just one of my quirks), and almost always a few snacks, and a small purse, containing, tickets etc., about 20 one-dollar bills for tips etc., specific amount of cash, our traveler checks, two checks from our checking account (I leave those numbers hanging on my computer so if I lose them, sons can contact my bank), two picture ID’s each, two credit cards, American driver’s license, our insurance cards (medical and auto), and a small slip of paper that I sealed with plastic which includes our all our sons’ addresses and telephone numbers.
We had, by checking the television screens located here and there in the airport, confirmed that our departure gate was gate number 32.
So, up the stairs, at least this time only toting our carry-on luggage, through a door and guess what I see … bingo… another line. This line is where your carry-on and your personal body get scanned… minus your shoes!
Not every airport in the United States supplies the personal little booties to cover your bare feet. Unless you have stuck a pair of socks in your pocket, you’re going to walk several feet, on carpet where millions of other bare feet have tread – sorry I think that is so gross!
If you’re unlucky, you’re going to be selected to be one of the people who gets pulled out of line to be physically patted down by an attendant.
You shouldn’t be embarrassed by this action just go calmly where they tell you to go however… Keep an Eye on Your Belongings… that are headed through the x-ray machine without you!
Don’t Take Your Eyes off Your Belongings!
On a recent trip on an airplane, a woman just behind us, was singled out to be patted down. She took her eyes off her belongings that were in the plastic boxes going through the x-ray machines and apparently the person right behind her took advantage of the situation and simply reached into the box, took her watch and large gold earrings and proceeded on his or her way – easy as that – no one saw anything. What a way to start your vacation! We met up with her a few minutes later and heard her story – she was almost hysterical and the airline didn’t seem to be able or willing to do anything about it. I’ll be sending you all an email announcing that I’ve published Part 2, real soon – watch for it.