The Georges in Peru

The Captain has Announced that your Airline has Been Cancelled

19 Aug 2011

Angry Passengers at the Peruvian Airlines counter

Thursday night, after 2 days of meetings in Lima, I was scheduled to fly back home to Arequipa. As we were about ready to take off, the stewardess announced that we would have to deplane for 'operational errors'. What's that? After we were off of the plane, we were told that the ministry of transportation had closed down the airline for undisclosed reasons. Passengers were speculating whether it was due to drug-trafficking/money laundering, poor maintenance records, or that the new president had started his quest to nationalize large companies. So 120 unhappy people were told to go to the Peruvian Airlines' counter where many bemoaned that they had no clothes, or place to stay, or money for another flight. Each month I go to Lima and buy a box of Dunkin donuts for my kids at the airport on my way home. Since donuts don't keep, and I didn't know when I was going to be home, I started handing them out to other stranded passengers. Within 5 minutes, one asked, "Where are you going to stay tonight? You can come stay at our house!" Next time you need to diffuse a crisis, offer donuts. While some passengers argued with airline personnel and more and more police surrounded us to keep things calm, I slipped off and bought a ticket with another airline for 6:30 Friday morning, went and slept for about 5 hours and arrived home Friday morning.

Pray for safety as I have to travel a fair amount as SIM Peru director.

Allen & Amy