In 2017, I was trying to fly to Costa Rica. San Jose Airport was having troubles and when the plane was about one hour from there, the airport was shut down due to problems.
Our plane didn’t have that much fuel and couldn’t wait to see if the airport would open before our fuel ran out, so our pilot said we had one option.
Go to Panama City in Panama, refuel and fly back. Except it didn’t quite happen like that.
We landed in Panama a little before midnight. By then the flight attendants needed to go off duty in 30 minutes and there was still no information about when San Jose Airport would open.
So off the plane we go. And we, and a couple of stranded planes go through immigration extremely slowly. Then we wait for hours by the check in counters for our airline to fix hotel rooms and transport.
Around 2-2:30 am, I manage to get off the first bus to our hotel and then wait another half hour or so for my hotel room. By 3 am I’m in the room.
Our transport back to the airport is at 8 am in the morning. So I get about 4 hours of sleep. Eat breakfast and then back to the airport.
About 40 minutes before the plane is supposed to take off, the airport decides to extra screen us at the gate. Aka opening everyone’s carry-ons and searching them by hand.
Do you think that took less than 40 minutes? It didn’t.
We were delayed by about an hour before we could finally fly to San Jose and land there about 15-16 hours after schedule.
Fun times… not.