Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Bucerias YVR


Another year, another vacation in Mexico - each one a little different, be it city or hotel depending on choices available a week or two in advance - and yet another visit to Vancouver International Airport.
Even after carefully rummaging through their website (getting up-to-date information for security , carry-on bags etc.), almost every time a new annoyance presents itself at the terminal.  At 6:30 am the joint is not jumping, leading one to question the hard and fast rule of showing up 3 hours before flight time. From afar the check-in area has 8/10 people waiting to pick up boarding passes and send their luggage on its way, so this part will be mercifully quick. Oops! Suddenly a new wrinkle thrusts himself into our path just before wending our way through the cute roped off pathways to the agent counter. Apparently, the powers that be have decided one more layer of security needs to be inserted for our safety. An unsmiling rent-a-cop demands to peruse our e-tickets and passports merely to get into the line where we will end up showing our e-ticket and passports to the airline agent! Must have missed all the news stories about the ongoing problems and security risks in the pre check-in zone.
Since almost nothing is open except for coffee joints and the money exchange (more on this later), might just as well head through security to the boarding gates and wait for the restaurants to open up for breakfast. Not so fast! The 3 hour rule does not apply to screening personnel and they will not show up until 7 am or so to perform their duties. A minor annoyance and a 15 minute wait. Once cleared and scanned - cranial cavity is free of contraband or anything valuable - off to explore our penned in relaxation spot for the following 2 ½ hours.
Breakfast - eggs bennie - passes leisurely with many refills of coffee (remember to avail oneself of airport facilities prior to boarding) before wandering aimlessly around the slowly opening stores and pausing to view the new art work at the far end. Since only 200 pesos remained from last years trip, a visit to the money exchange is the next priority to have a bit more on hand for the requisite tipping and greasing once reaching Mexico. However, this booth is closed up tight and remains so even past 9:00 when it is time to board. Since YVR has a beautiful brochure indicating this service is available, maybe they should insist the booth be open along with the rest of the stores or hand off the franchise to a company willing to provide service. As it turns out, the hotel in Mexico provided a far better rate on converting Canadian dollars to pesos so no skin off my nose.

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