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The Perils of Flying


Mark Jameson finally made it to the party to give his pitch for Fastsigns.

The franchise trade mission to Mexico almost escaped without a serious weather-related (think typhoon in Manila) or political incident (shooting at a mall in Kenya) to cast storm clouds on our otherwise clear sailing into a country. Only one member of the delegation was held up more than the hour-plus wait-times in the immigration line and the delayed traffic time to the hotel because of antique car shows and parades.

Mark Jameson, executive vice president of franchise support & development for Fastsigns, was due to arrive late Sunday afternoon before the event officially kicked off October 6. His plane from Dallas to Mexico City had to abort its landing when the pilot spotted another plane in his spot on the runaway. As the plane swooped back up, Jameson said he could see lightening outside his window and smell smoke as the plane bucked up and down.

After a third attempt to land, the plane was diverted Querétaro, a small city a 30-minute flight away from Mexico City. The small airport wasn’t prepared for a large airliner with 200 people aboard. “It took an hour to get us off the jet because they had to find people to do customs,” he said.

Then there was a shortage of buses, so they sent passengers to four different hotels by taxi. It helps to be an experienced traveler with a sense of humor because sharing a cab with three people who don’t speak English while driving out into the darkness at midnight in unfamiliar territory could be daunting.

The next morning the cabs returned to transport them back to the airport. It was a 6 a.m. pick-up for an 8:30 a.m. departure. “We got through security and we waited and waited,” he said. They finally took off at 1:50 p.m. and landed at 2:30.

Ironically, Jameson, the last to arrive, lives the closest to Mexico.

Had he only know, he said, he could have taken a later flight and spent the time at home with his dog.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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