Its been an eventful start to the trip. We arrived on the last tube to heathrow and found a desirable chain of three seats across which we excitedly lay down. A sleepless night listening to Airport announcements and rubbing the chewing gum further into the seat followed. At 5.00am the Iberia check-in opened and we sluggishly dragged ourselves (and our bags) over. Everything was proceeding in the expected efficient manner as we changed in Madrid and boarded our flight to Miami.
However, as is now increasingly the case, a pleasant stay in America (however short) is almost impossible. After arriving half an hour late we were told that our bags had been switched over automatically to our connecting flight to Managua and that we should proceed immediately to our gate. "But we don´t have a boarding pass", we urgently informed the official. "Do not worry, it will be given to you by the Americans". Miami airport may be the only one in the USA where the majority of staff are Hispanic, but this is nonetheless a very vague piece of information. Undettered we attempted to pass through the never-ending giant sticky web that is US customs. After a sequence of blank stares we queued and then queue-jumped to attain our boarding passes. We smiled in relief, but the fun had only just begun.
As we stood in yet another queue, my girlfriend red with panic, we were surprisingly moved into a small (seemingly faster) side queue. Relieved as it was only 30 mins till our flight we assumed they had realised the urgency of our position and given us priority. Slowly the reality began to danw on us, as we were led from box to box with patronising smiles and a caring tone that can only be taught. The first contraption which we were forced to pass through resembled what one would imagine to be the entrance gates to a Nasa space station. Equipped with green and red lights it talked to you as it sprayyed you with short jets of air. "Please wait", "you may go - thank you", I stared back in confused wonder. What just happened. Wonder turned to irritation as we were placed in a glass box with a locked door at one end a security guard at the other. It was a sort of futuristic zoo in the middle of a busy airport. People stared and gave sympathetic faces. Placing their hands over their childrens´ eyes as Primrose shouted and tapped on the glass, "Our flights leave in twenty minutes". An Indian lady dressed in traditional sari and speaking no English shared the box with us. Confused as much by our reactions as by the situation itself she gave the smile of someone who is far more lost than they ever expected to be - in life.
Sweating, dejected and bewildered we eventually arrived at E20 to join yet another queue as although with boarding pass, we remained without a seat number. As we walked onto the plane we were confident that things could not possibly get any worse. Primrose spotted our seats and turned to me laughing, "we´re in Business Class" she giggled. Champagne, greek salad with feta, and a decent serving of lamb with red wine later we were all smiles. God bless America.