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1. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Recently, after a cruise which ended in Dover, England we had to find our way to Heathrow Airport. No problem as there was a bus available.So far , so good.

So, we arrive at Heathrow Airport, find our airline ticket counter and there the fun begins...

We were pleased to be told we were being upgraded to business class.

Wow...Bonus....

However, the lady at the ticket counter sees a problem...

"Sir.."

"Yes.."

"Are you wearing running shoes?"

"Yes I am. They are all I wear. Well, most of the time. Why.."

"If you wish to travel in business class you can't wear running shoes. Not allowed."

"Why..."

"Not allowed. It's the rules."

"Rules? You mean...But I don't have any other shoes. I mean..."

"If you want to travel in OUR business class you MUST wear the proper shoes."

"I have to buy OTHER shoes?"

"Afraid so..Unless you want to travel in coach.You can wear your running shoes in coach."

I thought about this for, oh, ten seconds...We checked into Business Class....

So, off we go to purchase new shoes. Now, this is in Heathrow Airport where bargains are hard to find. Actually, there are no bargains.

Found a shoe store and my Wife, Sue, picked out the shoes for me..Dress shoes..Leather..$175.00 which, apparently, is a bargain.

The guy who sold them to me, or to my Wife actually, said so. And I thought there were no bargains...Who knew...

I only remember buying my last pair of dress shoes and they cost me $49.95. Things have changed...

Anyway, I put on my new, expensive leather dress shoes and shuffled off to the Boarding area. The shoes were NOT comfortable...

At the Boarding area, we checked in. The lady at THAT counter looked up our names on the computer.

"I see you and your Wife are booked on Business Class. Oh, and you were wearing running shoes. I also see you were going to purchase proper shoes."

"I was. I mean, I did. I bought new shoes..Leather..Dress shoes...Wanna see 'em?"

She actually came around the counter to check. Satisfied, she went back to her computer and entered the information that I did, indeed, have new shoes.

I am now on this airline's computer system as a chronic running show wearer...I think...

The trip in Business Class was very nice. However, and of course, the monitor in front of my VERY comfortable seat could only get the Disney channel....IT, the monitor, was the ONLY one on the WHOLE plane that wasn't working properly.

And one movie.....Snow White....For 6 hours...And those vertically challenge little people and their singing REALLY got on my nerves....AND my feet hurt....Other than that...

I know, I COULD remove my shoes while on the plane but, gee, I paid $175.00 for them!

As for our next cruise, I'm thinking of wearing sandals to the airport and, if we get upgraded by the airline, I'm claiming to be a monk.

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

I just have one question... Now that you had gotten new "respectable" shoes, did they make you take them off to go through security? I do like the monk idea but then they'll say you don't have business class worthy robes. (Just wrap yourself in a beach towel.)

Great story, Chayisun!!!!

Don't sulk. I'm still waiting for someone to answer my first (original) post on TP over in the CA/SA/Caribbean forum. Guess no one goes to Bocas del Toro in Panama. I posted it back in 2005.

3. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

Thank you. I feel better, now. If I had been around in 2005, I mean on this site, I would have commented on Bocas del Toro.

Not sure what I would have said but I think it would go like this...

"BOCAS DEL RIO!!! YER KIDDIN! You were THERE? Gee, I'll bet it was a great trip. I hear that they raise bulls there...You know..Toros...Bulls...Also that place is very famous for Panama Hats.

Did you go on the famous Bull Ride to the local Panama Hat Factory? That's one of the tourist attractions. They also have kite flying. At least I think they do. My cousin, Bert, was there and one of the locals told him to go and fly a kite....."

4. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 8y

sorry chayisun,
I think you are not talking about Bocas del Toro in Panama.
the aerea around Bocas is the Bastimento National Marinepark with many coral reefs,
protectet zone for manatees.So it is a good location for diving or snorkling.

BTW the real Panama hats are made in Ecuador.
the got the name Panama hat, because when the canal was build the workers where wearing this light hats.

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Quoting marlis

sorry chayisun,
I think you are not talking about Bocas del Toro in Panama.
the aerea around Bocas is the Bastimento National Marinepark with many coral reefs,
protectet zone for manatees.So it is a good location for diving or snorkling.

BTW the real Panama hats are made in Ecuador.
the got the name Panama hat, because when the canal was build the workers where wearing this light hats.

I think s/he was pulling your leg a bit

6. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

See, I KNOW that panama hats are made in Ecuador. Also, manatee doesn't go with Toro, which is a bull. Ya can't ride a manatee to the panama hat factory...Particularly if the factory is in Ecuador.

If it was me, I wouldn't go to Bocas del Toro in Panama. I'd go to Toronto to buy a panama hat. Save on air fare, insect repellant and getting told that:

“BTW the real Panama hats are made in Ecuador.
the got the name Panama hat, because when the canal was build the workers where wearing this light hats.“

I am interested in getting a panama hat that has a light on it, though.....

By the way my Great Uncle Vernon worked on the Panama Canal. He handed out the hats....If you believe this.....

By the way, thanks "bwiiian"....I must be careful what I write. At least YOU knew I was funnin';)

7. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

And it's insect repellent...I don't use spell cheker...ummm..chekar....checker...Yea...

8. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 8y

@chayisun

light means also not havy

BTW. I have been to Boca de Toro and it is a very nice aerea without the bulls and the hat factory and I like the manatees much better.

I must say that you have some humor and fantasy.(check in story)

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Wow!!! After 3.5 years, I finally got answers about Bocas del Toro!!! We actually didn't get there on that trip because of the floods rushing down from Costa Rica at the time so roads were closed. But, we did find out Panama hats were made in Ecuador, they may or may not come with lights (but they did do light retrofits for a price), black sand is very hot to walk on during the day, Panamanian men of every age whistle at blondes of any age, and toros are not afraid of SUVs.

As for manatees, I know where to find them in April and it's not in Bocas nor Toronto. Though, I hear they have wonderful Panama hats in TO. Some day I may get there to purchase one or two. Since I have zero frequent flyer miles from any airline operating within this galaxy, I doubt I'll be required to buy new shoes to make the trip. I may end up having the hats confiscated as homeland security will probably consider Panama hats made in Ecuador and purchased in Canada as absolute contraband. (And they're too cheap to buy their own.) Maybe I'll throw in a Bic lighter for free just to make their day.

Spellchecker... I just installed the latest OS upgrade for my Mac. My shiny moderator buttons are now boring blue rectangles but I have red lines under Bocas, toros and Bic. Will wonders never cease...

10. Posted by chayisun (Budding Member 163 posts) 8y

We actually didn't get there on that trip because of the floods rushing down from Costa Rica at the time so roads were closed.

So, you didn't GET there? Well, I hope all the answers you have received here have given you all the information you need about Bocas Del Toro.:) Should save you a trip.

Try Tunisia. Wonderful people, for the most part, Great camel markets but DON'T go to a rug place. They won't let you out. Give you tea and they smoke funny stuff......