Friday, April 5, 2024

Flying North

Yesterday I flew from Mexico City to Cleveland, Ohio, via Houston, to see the total eclipse of the sun and to visit friends.

I splurged on the airline reservation since the cost of first class was not that much more expensive than economy plus.  So, the flights were very comfortable, and I was entitled to use the United Club lounges in Mexico City and Houston.  Instead of having breakfast at one of the restaurants at Mexico City International Airport, I took advantage of the free food at the United Club.  There was a variety of Mexican dishes such as "chilaquiles".   The food was certainly not gourmet quality, but it was tasty and filling. 

I then headed down the concourse to the gate from which my first flight would depart.  We were only a few minutes behind schedule in departing, but we arrived in Houston slightly ahead of schedule.

Taking off from Mexico City...


As usual, we passed over a testament to government waste... Mexico City's uncompleted new airport.

Construction on the airport began under the administration of former President Peña NIeto, but was ceased when President López Obrador took office.  While it is probably true that the project was rife with corruption, the cancelled contracts cost the government billions of dollars.

In less than two hours we were flying over the outskirts of Houston.

There was a time when I enjoyed flying through Houston International Airport.  I boasted a number of times on this blog that I was able to pass through immigration, pick up my luggage, pass through customs, recheck my suitcase to Cleveland, and pass through security for my next flight in about a half hour.  It was a breeze. However, my last few times in Houston have definitely been a different story.  I don't know if it is because I have been arriving at a different time or because of renovations being made in the terminals, but Houston is no longer a stress-free experience.

There was a long line to pass through immigration.  Then the line to pass through security was so long that we were herded through the terminal to another security checkpoint.  Even though that line was short, progress was slow because for some reason there was backlog of bins to pass through the x-ray machine.  Fortunately, my layover was more than three hours, so I was never in any danger of missing my connecting flight to Cleveland.  This is why I always schedule at LEAST a two-hour layover on my trips.

In spite of everything, I was still able spend about an hour in the United Club.  I had more free food there.  

My flight to Cleveland departed right on time.  In the past, I have worn a mask on the plane at all times, and I have declined beverages or meals, so I would not have to take off my mask.  This time I decided to go maskless.  The flight to Cleveland from Houston is longer, so a meal service was offered.  People complain that airline food is terrible, but I thought that my dinner was not bad at all.

The flight arrived in Cleveland at 10:00 P.M.  Usually at that time of night, the Cleveland airport is dead.  But last night it was relatively busy, probably because of people coming to see the eclipse as well as the NCAA Women's Basketball Finals being held in Cleveland this weekend.

I had reserved a car for my two weeks in Ohio.  I took the shuttle to the car rental center a short distance from the airport.  I had requested a mid-sized car, but I ended up with a small SUV.  It was a bigger vehicle than I am used to.  That, plus the fact that I have not driven in the five months since I moved to Mexico City, made me a bit nervous to get behind the steering wheel.  However, other than trying to figure out the weird automatic transmission shift lever, I have had no problems, knock on wood.


  1. Welcome to “sunny” Cleveland. Weather has been mixed up this past month. Looks to be better next week, though. Hope the clouds stay away on Monday. See you soon.

    1. Thanks, Fred. Keeping my fingers crossed for Monday's eclipse. Looking forward to seeing you!