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The Travel Detective Blog: Earthquakes, Unscheduled Landings and Checked Bags

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Peter earned his moniker the Travel Detective by flying over 400,000 miles a year, so he’s no stranger to earthquakes, unscheduled landings and checked (or lost) bags. But what happens when all three hit on one day? Read his latest blog to find out.  Spoiler alert: this is a story with a happy ending. 

It’s not always easy to get from Point A to Point B, let alone Point C, but that’s an typical travel challenge for me, and yesterday was no exception.

I started out at the airport in Zihautenejo, Mexico for a one-hour flight to Mexico City. The 10:30 am plane left on time and arrived in Mexico City around 11:30. I was there to connect to a Delta flight from Mexico City to Detroit, where I would take the non-stop redeye flight from Detroit to Amsterdam.

As many of you know, I don’t check bags on domestic flights. I FedEx them. But when I travel on an international itinerary, I do check bags.

So my bags were checked from Zihautenejo to Mexico City to Detroit, and then to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. What are the odds they would make it? More important, what are the odds that I would make it?

I planned the itinerary with at least two hours between each flight. On the first leg, there was no problem. I landed in Mexico City on time, exited the plane and walked into terminal. Just in time for a massive 7.0 earthquake (some wire services reported it as high as 7.6). The buildings rocked and rolled, and passengers found themselves almost surfing on the terminal carpet as we tried to maintain our balance. Some of us (myself included) ran under doorways.

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