Got stuck in the Mexico City airport for about 24 hours. Seems to happen to me more often than not. I crashed out pretty well on the overnight flight from Buenos Aires, and I it hit me right about as we landed that I had left.
In such a state, it truly seems like the whole airport system; from the distracted personnel who send you lugging your carry-on in circles around the crowded hallways for hours to the frigid tile floors to the fixed metal armrests breaking up every potential elevated sleeping surface, is conspiring to make one miserable. At least once during each of these experiences, I have nearly [if not actually] dissolved into tired, frustrated tears. What I wouldn’t have given for somewhere to lay down for a few hours!
The thing is, I’ve never been alone in this predicament. There always seem to be dozens, sometimes hundreds of somewhat-worse-for-wear businessmen, families, etc. resigning themselves to a very uncomfortable “delay.”
Call me crazy, but that looks for all the world like a market. Take one of the donut shops, or a couple of the little kiosks selling the exact same handicrafts right next to each other and turn them into a little oasis for stranded travelers. I’m not talking about a 5-star hotel here. Not even a 1-star. Just a cot with a foam pad, clean sheets and a blanket in a quiet corner where I don’t have to worry about keeping one arm around my bag and the other thrown over my eyes to block out the flickering fluorescent lights. The value-adds are no-brainers too: a toothbrush and washcloth, Tylenol, a clean towel and shower. Last night I would have dropped $60 for that without even flinching.
So, why hasn’t this happened yet?!
Maybe there’s some kind of hideous legal trap I missed. Maybe the profit margin would be too tight. Or maybe the thousands of exhausted, greasy, achy, frustrated travelers simply forget about it after a nice hot shower and a good nap.