So now I’m sitting in Cartagena’s airport, waiting for Kseniya.

Because Kseniya booked her flights a few weeks later than I did, she was unable to get on a flight with me from Lima to Bogota. Instead, she booked a later flight; I would leave for Bogota in the evening, while Kseniya would have to stay in Lima for a few extra hours before leaving for Bogota the next morning. We were supposed to then meet again on a shared morning flight from Bogota to Cartagena.

Problem was, Kseniya didn’t show up on our flight to Cartagena. And when boarding was about to begin, I checked my e-mail: nothing from her. Then I asked airline officials ab0ut her no-show and gave her name. After putting her name into the computer multiple times (and when I even asked them to put her name in their partner airlines), they told me she never even checked in her flight from Lima to Bogota, let alone her flight to Cartagena. What made it more disconcerting was that they insisted me she must still be in Lima by herself. I then wrote her name in big block letters on a piece of paper and they checked again. Still nothing.

This is when I’m about go in emergency-mode, about to call up hostels, taxi companies, and the Peruvian tourist police for filing a missing persons report. I also looked into buying a ticket back to Lima. But then my gut told me to try asking again, just in case.

So I went and asked again, but this time at the actual airline check-in counter by the airport entrance. And thank goodness: they told me that everything was okay; she simply had missed her flight and had checked in a later afternoon flight to Cartagena. I asked once again, just so I could make sure I wasn’t dreaming; to make sure I didn’t have to go back to Lima and start tearing up the city building by building looking for her.

Again, confirmed: all was well. They said the first person I asked probably didn’t have updated access to the main check-in logs.

So if it hadn’t been for that attempt at the airline check-in counter, I would’ve still been in Bogota, trying to get on a flight to Lima and making rounds on the Peruvian authorities, while Kseniya would’ve been in Cartagena, wondering where the hell I was. What an awful mess that would’ve been.

So in other words: if you can’t find someone that was supposed to be on a flight with you, the best and most direct approach would be the airline check-in counter…even if it means you have to leave security and narrowly miss your flight.

All I can say, I’m just glad she’s safe.




- At time of posting in Cartagena, it was 30 °C - Humidity: 83% | Wind Speed: 10km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear


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March 2011