May 3, 2007
We’d also been told that we must have our luggage "shrink wrapped" and our guide had assured us that this was a free service, but as we entered the building the service was being offered at 5 peso a piece. Not a fortune, but we were entering the airport with minimal cash (you can’t take it out the country) and were just bemoaning the fact when we see further into the airport the free service that our representative had advised us aboutMoral: always check your facts before jumping in with both feet.
Having finally checked in, we head for emigration where we must individually approach the booths and have our credentials checked. I have to say that the officer didn’t share my sense of humor as I took off my spectacles in an attempt to match the passport photo. He scowled and then proceeded to check every page of my passport, the boarding card, my exit visa, etc., before stamping my documents as "OK to proceed"Moral: don’t mess with airport officials.
I finally emerge from the row of doors (a bit like a game show entrance) and then have to be physically checked as I beep passing through the metal detectorMoral: always make sure you’re metal-free (that includes sandals with metal fasteners) before arriving at the airport.
Having got through my final hurdle to the airport lounge we are surprised to see the hall decked out with international flags (surprisingly even the American flag is hanging here) a colorful display which makes for a great welcome. There’s a couple of snack bars and decent duty-free, so we spend the last of our money and then wait for the plane to depart.
From journal A day out in Havana