Sunday, June 01, 2008

Port of Spain May 2008: Arriving at Piarco on my way to Houston Intercontinental

Piarco International, Trincity Trinidad and Tobago (POS)

As we arrived at the terminal, we noticed that there were three Caribbean Airlines (BW) Boeing 737-800 with winglets aircraft sitting at the gates. The vibrant colors and the white fuselage made for a beautiful sight.

As we pulled into the designated drop off area which was under construction, our driver was yelling at a lady who was oddly parked, which made it difficult for us to do the same. It was a slightly heated interaction with name calling, but it soon died down after the egos were cooled. It was really our driver and the passenger being dropped, a guy, who were arguing.

In offering the driver the fare for the trip, he said that they don’t have cash on them so he did not have any change for the 50 USD bill I had, so off I went to find some for him. A few minutes later, I had located an ATM that gave me cash in USD and was heading back to him and my travel companion. There was also an ATM that gave out $TT, the local currency.

Once that was over with, I re-entered the terminal, commenting to Lee that the airport was a zoo this morning. He made his way to Delta’s (DL) counter and I to Continental Airlines's (CO).

I muddled my way to the end of the line mixed with passengers going to Newark, NJ (EWR) and also to Houston, TX (IAH). It was all a bit chaotic as there is not much space for the lines to be formed as the check-in area is really tight. Bizarre, as this is a relatively new airport terminal; it is just too narrow is the issue.

An agent came by and split the lines into two based on your destination, so that helped a bit for those customers who were on the line. But of course at airports customers like to join lines wen they arrive at an airport, so eventually there were customers who were going to Newark who were on our line. Lee actualyl paseed by and said he was all done; I told him I would meet him later

Later the security agent came by and put people in the right lines.

I finally made it to the counter and got checked in. and had to remind the agent that I had to pay the 100 TTD departure tax. It was now 6:47a, so at the request of the agent, I immediately made my way to the departure gate.

I showed my passport and boarding pass end entered the Duty Free area. I searched for and found Lee shopping, then we walked upstairs where I paid my departure tax with 15 CAD I had. the equivalent was 17 USD, go figure.

Next stop was the security checkpoint. We stopped to check out the final Duty Free area, as we did the line continued to build. At security they actually have two lines; one for females and the other for males. This crazy idea facilitates the women security personnel frisking the women only if there is an issue.

As we waited online, these two guys came up and wanted to join the female line. the airport personnel who was in charge of keeping the lines separated, ushered them to the back of the long line.

As I as about to clear the line, I saw them again saying that their flight ad called for final call. I thought they were lying as I had not heard anything. They cleared just behind me.

I went to the agent and asked if he needed to see our boarding passes, he said no and that he would clear the list soon.

Later, I saw them in the Duty Free shop hanging around as they were on my flight, which had not called final call at all. As a matter of fact, it had not even started boarding. I hate people who lie!

Soon, an announcement was made that boarding passes were available for standbys. I went and got mine and I lucked out with a window on the left side.

Boarding started soon, so I bade goodbye to Lee and headed onboard.

No comments: