2020 Travel Here and Beyond travel blog

Our last breakfast in Aruba?

Lupe, Copa manager on phone to Saint Martin


Bernie Has Made This Point From the Beginning!

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A book that explains how we got here and where it might lead us if the public does not wake up, AND SOON!

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It

From the best-selling author of Saving Capitalism and The Common Good, an urgent analysis of how the "rigged" systems of American politics and power operate, how this status quo came to be, and how average citizens can enact change. Millions of Americans have lost confidence in our political and economic system. After years of stagnant wages, volatile job markets, and an unwillingness by those in power to deal with profound threats such as climate change, there is a mounting sense that the system is fixed, serving only those select few with enough money to secure a controlling stake. With the characteristic clarity and passion that has made him a central civil voice, Robert B. Reich shows how wealth and power have interacted to install an elite oligarchy, eviscerate the middle class, and undermine democracy. Using Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase as an example, Reich exposes how those at the top propagate myths about meritocracy, national competitiveness, corporate social responsibility, and the "free market" to distract most Americans from their accumulation of extraordinary wealth, and power over the system. Instead of answering the call to civic duty, they have chosen to uphold self-serving policies that line their own pockets and benefit their bottom line. Reich's objective is not to foster cynicism, but rather to demystify the system so that we might instill fundamental change and demand that democracy works for the majority once again.

Author: Robert Reich

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3-18

Well, another day on the Happy Island of Aruba! We got up this a.m. thinking it would be our last one here (after 2 flight cancellations-one Monday after Curacao closed it’s borders, second Tuesday when all flights from Aruba were cancelled) and our Copa Air flight to MX City was then rescheduled for today. Had breakfast

and while eating Bon got an email from Copa Air...flight today was cancelled as well! We didn’t finish any more of breakfast, Hyatt folks kindly let us take what remained in containers (ended up as our lunch) and we headed back to the Copa desk at the airport across the street. This being 9:30 am there were only a few other passengers ahead of us. The Copa clerks were very nice but said that the flight was rescheduled for same time TOMORROW! This time I made a video of this very friendly fellow saying that it would indeed go but adding “fingers crossed”, ha! As we were about to leave a very upset couple (who turned out to be from Argentina) were at the counter. Bon suggested we stick around to see what would transpire in their case. While waiting we happened to strike up a conversation with two gals who walked in and we’re going to check on their flight on KLM leaving the 21st. Turns out they are heading back to Germany, spoke flawless English having studied at the American school there but were originally born/raised in Italy! They speak 4 languages, in their late 20s, one a tax consultant the other studying for her doctorate in molecular biology. In the course of our conversation (these kids are really smart, educated, and totally aware of world) which covered politics, education, and health issues they told us we should not just accept the cancellations without some remuneration-overnights, meals, etc.!

Bon noticed that the couple from Argentina had finished talking to the agents and so we went up and asked them their situation. Flight cancelled going to Argentina! Then Bon said we should talk to another agitated couple and it turned out THEIR flight to Columbia had also been cancelled but this gentleman went on to say we needed to demand that they pay for hotel which he had done for the 4 of them and they were going over to stay in the Hyatt when the Copa manager arrived.

Well now we knew what to do and so we also asked for hotel accommodations to be paid. The agent said she’d see to it as soon as the Copa manager got there. Long story short, by 11 am the manager still had not arrived and Bon told the agent that if we didn’t do something now when we were due to check out we’d lose our room. The agent talked with another gal explaining this in their local language and then told us we should go back to the Hyatt where we could talk to the Copa manager at the front desk...

Lupe, the Copa manager, was over her head in assisting many others in getting rooms when we arrived. We explained our situation and after explaining her situation she asked us to wait for a hour so she could finish with all the new registrations before dealing with ours.

Once we were the only ones left, Lupe arranged for both our nights to be paid for! Thanking her profusely we sympathized with her situation and shared our thoughts with her as well. She said that Aruba was easy compared to what she was having to deal with in San Martin where there were customers from European countries who had numerous flight cancellations and connections eliminated because of countries closing their borders. We were lucky that Mexico had not closed it’s borders as yet, many others in S. America had which is why it was okay to make connections in Panama as long as we were going onward the same day. She had gotten off a conference call just this morning with the Copa CEO who expressed his view that if things continued like this much longer Copa would be out of business!

BANKRUPTCY is on the horizon for many travel related/connected businesses I fear. We spoke with the employees here at Hyatt and although they outwardly show every consideration for guests, it is clear they are quite worried themselves. The restaurant manager told us that most probably there would be NO guests next week and they would all have their hours cut dramatically, probably just doing maintenance work - cleaning, painting, etc.

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