Friday, April 25, 2008

Alexis - Mexico City Apr. 2008: Arriving in Miami, FL (MIA)

Arrival in Miami International, Miami FL (MIA) 10:37a

True to their word, we arrive in Miami in 2 hrs 31 min. That means I did not have to hear one of those ironic announcements about air traffic control delay. As an air traffic controller, it is amusing to hear an announced "air traffic control" delay instead of an "air traffic" delay. The delay happens because there is too much traffic in the system. During rush hour on the highways, we know that there is too much traffic on the roads; we don't blame the traffic lights! In fact, we know that were it not for the traffic lights there would be even more chaos.

Anyway, as I depart the aircraft, I asked the crew what time they were airborne. They told me that they pushed back eight minutes early and there was a flying time of 2:31. It seems that they don't pay much attention to the actual airborne time. Another irony since that is what we record and, at least in my jurisdiction, give religiously to the pilot.

Immigration and Customs

I take my time leaving the aircraft as usual. Once I get to the Immigration hall, I proceed to the far left and sure enough there are not many people in the lines there. Passenger always head to the officers that are in front of them when entering the hall so the lines to the extreme ends always have fewer people. Today the officers are working faster than last week. And I am through rather quickly even with the delay for a change of officers.

This allows me to have an interesting conversation about stress with the officer who on finding out that I am an air traffic controller remarked that I did not look stressed. (I will resist the urge here to digress on stress.) By 11:20 a.m. I have rechecked my bags. Not seeing my flight listed, I went to an agent to find out the gate, surmising that it was too early. I was given gate D39, with the usual proviso that it was subject to change.

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