07/31/2021 4:47 PM
Updated 07/31/2021 4:47 PM
Anger, a product of uncertainty, confusion and bewilderment, penetrates the cell phone screen. This chronicler spoke with a score of stranded, mostly in the United States and Spain, and
the feeling of the travelers is frustration, exhaustion, exhaustion and impatience
. "Crazy, give us a hand, do something, can you call the consulate, do you have any contact with Migrations?" Despair produces drowning slaps. "
Do you know that they ask me if there is a communist regime in Argentina?"
, shares perplexed Iván, one of the hundreds stranded in Barcelona.
Unofficial calculations with the different airlines that operate in the country estimate that
there are between 6,000 and 7,000 people unable to return to Argentina
. "They are not stranded, they are people who have a delay in their return, it is about rescheduling, it is not that they are stranded, as it happened last year, that they could not return; in this case there is a delay," says a source close to to the National Government.
"Today between 1,000 and 1,100 travelers are entering Ezeiza from abroad and 1,200 are leaving the country, so
it will not be a snowball in the future,
" estimates the same source, but with a miscalculation. It is enough to see the Iberia flights approved by the National Government for the first week of August to foresee that the problem does not end:
two flights were confirmed for August 2 and 5 that arrive from Madrid, and 7 that will take off from Ezeiza
Due to the alarm generated by the spread of the Delta strain, the Government had implemented that
as of Monday, June 28, only 600 passengers per day would enter from abroad, by air, the
equivalent of just two full airplanes.
The measure was maintained until July 9 and week by week the income quota grew by 100 people.
On August 6, the "administrative decision" will come to an end
and it will be necessary to see what the authorities will resolve.
Symptoms of restrictions
A pilot of small planes, with a hangar in San Fernando, Diego simply says that
in June and July he tripled the number of private flights "thanks to repatriation trips
. I usually have about 30 trips per month and these months I reached almost a hundred and how the panorama is coming, August will be the same, "he says. "Many people have called me who were stranded in Santiago de Chile, Montevideo and Asunción. The truth is that I could not cope."
The air taxi has been the transport of choice for many travelers who arrived in San Pablo, Montevideo, Santiago or Asunción, from Europe or the United States.
"An approximate trip from Montevideo costs about 600 thousand pesos, but up to 9 people can travel. From Paraguay or Chile the figure rises to 800 thousand. There
amounts of 150 thousand or 200 pesos, but the quotas are up to only two people,
because the planes are smaller, "says Diego, who clarifies that he does not sell seats but flights.
Pleas in Barajas
Delia Forte (71) and her husband Pedro (71) traveled to Madrid on June 3 and were due to return via Iberia on June 26.
"The reason for the trip was to finish doing paperwork in relation to some documents, but we did not plan to travel this year but in 2020, since we bought the tickets in 2019. The issue is that
Iberia told us that we could travel in a certain period of time if we did not lose it
. And we took the opportunity to visit our son, who left the country after the 2001 crisis, "says Delia, a neighbor of Banfield.
Delia Forte, in the middle between her granddaughter Lucia and her husband Pedro.
"We are angry with the country, but above all we feel great sadness for our beloved Argentina."
He never imagined that the trip "would turn into a real nightmare, because
my health is not to make me so bad blood,
" describes this woman who in December was operated on for breast cancer and in January underwent radiation treatment. "I take a medication (Anastrazol) that I ran out and I had to ask through the consulate in Madrid that my daughter in Argentina
get that medicine and take it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
so that it could be sent to me here in Spain. Do you know the anguish? What did that mean? A month of negotiations and many days without taking it. "
It transpires just remembering Delia, who talks to
at 2 in the morning of this Saturday. "I find it hard to sleep, luckily I have the support of my son and my granddaughter Lucía (19), who also has her return date on hold.
Do you know how many times I went to the Barajas airport to beg for me to be taken into account in a Flight? Twelve!
Between four and five hours each time I went, plus the eternal time waiting to be answered by phone.
Six times they rescheduled me and today the date I have to fly is September 1.
But nobody assures anything " .
Another issue that has Forte stressed is his mother, also Delia, 93 years old.
"She is under my care, for the weeks that we were leaving, a very trustworthy person is taking care of her, but that period will triple and the issue is very bad for me, I feel a lot of guilt.
My husband and I are just retired who continue working because We need it
. We just ask the government to review the measures. After everything that happened last year, was this necessary? "
María Rosa Tórtora, stranded in Madrid.
"Three days after I arrived, my return flight was canceled and the trip turned into a nightmare."
Almost as if they were in an office doing therapy, the stranded vomit - with good reason - the accumulated anger. "We came to Madrid for two weeks and on
the third day you find out that you can't go back and you get bitter the rest of the days ... You
almost didn't enjoy it, I came to see my granddaughter who I didn't know and who is almost two years old, and I have my head anywhere.
This situation is as depressing as it is stressful and violent, where did we end up! "
exclaims María Rosa Tórtora (65), who is staying at her daughter's house in Galapagar, 30 kilometers from the Spanish capital.
Retired at the head of a business in San Isidro, Tórtora traveled to Madrid on July 4, via Iberia, and had a return date of July 25. "
The airline cancels your flight because it says that our country does not allow you to enter
and you have to look for alternatives without knowing if the trip will be approved. My flight on July 25 was canceled but another on July 23 had been approved, for so I went to the Barajas airport with the possibility of being on a waiting list, which finally did not prosper. "
A dozen calls to Iberia with an average of two hours of waiting for communication and six trips to the Barajas airport "almost begging for a place ...
You fill with hatred, why do we have to put up with this handling, what did we do?
", download Tórtora, whose flight was rescheduled for August 4 and in the last hours it was canceled.
Carlos Toffoli is in Barcelona, with his wife, and was due to return on July 17.
"Today the only confirmed thing I have is a reservation for November 1 ... Yes, November."
He laughs for not crying Carlos Tóffoli (57), civil engineer, from La Plata, who traveled to Barcelona for the birthday of his daughter María Victoria. "I had taken
the ticket through Level, which goes directly to Barcelona, but today
that flight does not appear
. I am trying for the thousandth time that Iberia gives me a chance to travel, but it is tiring waiting hours on the phone," he says from home of his daughter, where he has been staying since June 25.
"We came with my wife for three weeks, we should have arrived in Argentina on July 17 and today the only certainty I have is a reservation for November 1.
Yes, November, crazy.
I am Secretary of Public Works of General Viamonte, near Junín, and I have an urgent need to return, in addition to being a
risk patient because I had a stroke a few years ago and I need medication,
"he makes an effort not to break down.
For Toffoli most complex coping is "not knowing anything, not having containment, be
and having to grab the phone and wait forever to attend to tell you 'can not do anything, are order of their government. "
We are the The only country in the world where these things happen, it is very sad to know that your country closes its doors to its people
. Who takes charge of my work, who stands up and explains? ".
Luciana and her husband Santiago are at their brother-in-law's house in Barcelona.
"We are with our 3-year-old son and it is really uphill."
Helplessness and lack of protection synthesize the stranded in Spain. "The Argentine consulate does not provide any type of assistance for people who are
without money or food to survive
this time, which I assure you is a lot.
They send you as an option to go to the Red Cross shelters.
And this Friday they informed us that They have no intention of repatriating people, since there are not five thousand people stranded as happened last year, "says Luciana Bossa, from Cordoba.
Bossa, an accountant, is at her brother-in-law's house in Barcelona, along with her husband Santiago and their three-year-old son Joaquín.
"We traveled on June 19 and the DNU with the air quota restrictions left on June 26, what our fault! It is a shame what they are doing to us, but
seeing the cases that are around me, with really desperate people economically and psychologically, one ends up feeling guilty
for not being so bad, "slides Luciana, who has a return date - pending approval - for August 20, by Air Europa.
Desperate, he "snuck" on the plane
I am not proud of what I did, it was the action of someone desperate
, when I remember it, I do not recognize myself", says Gonzalo Garufi, a 48-year-old from Mar del Plata, who traveled to Palma de Mallorca with his wife Soledad and their youngest daughter, Valentina, to visit the oldest.
"When the three of us were confirmed to return to Argentina, the Iberia official called each of those who were traveling ... She
called my wife and me, but not my daughter
"We had horrible moments at the airport and an anguish never experienced before," say Soledad and Gonzalo, who jumped on the plane back.
Gonzalo remembers that trance lived on Saturday, July 17.
"I managed to get them to accept the change and my wife and daughter traveled, I stayed ... Imagine the situation, the farewell, all in a hurry, with the suitcases already dispatched, a disaster ... Iberia could not do that, because I came from Mallorca and
Madrid was the city of connection and in connection they cannot let you down ... I made a quilombo that you cannot imagine,
One of the complaints that Garufi made against Iberia.
"In connection, how I was in Madrid because I was coming from Mallorca, they can't get you off a flight."
Through tears, Gonzalo fired Soledad and Valentina and stayed at the airport, first, to secure a place on the waiting list for the next flight, which would leave on Thursday 22, and then to make the respective complaints against the airline and AESA, regulatory agent that groups the airports of Spain. "
I was two days in Barajas without moving and I managed to be attended by every staff that changed shifts
- every eight hours - to claim my rights. I had nothing better to do, you don't know what I looked like."
But on July 22, convinced that he would travel, Gonzalo was not called to board the plane. "You don't know how the heart beats at that moment. We were more than a hundred Argentines, with what that means, listening to the names of those who could board the boat.
And when he asked for the last surname allowed, I managed to say 'It's me', but they hadn't called me.
A general commotion was generated, people went crazy, to the bitches because the quota enabled half of the plane, the Iberia employees overwhelmed ... In that chaos I who sent myself decided with that employee, until the pre-boarding entrance doors were closed ".
Going to the sleeve of the Iberia flight, the employee
asked Gonzalo for the ticket and the document and confirmed that it was not the name she had spoken
"Yes, you said my last name, Garufi, yes, yes, you said it, don't you remember? I won't get off here, you said Garufi," he added to the woman.
"That place was a bonfire, she was out of her mind and so was she, and she told him again: '
I won't get off here, get ready for you
', until the on-board commissioner appeared in a hurry, we were past the hour."
Garufi sat in the seat assigned to that other person they had called and who they went to look for, but it was already late, he was not there.
"Stigmatized for vaccinating us"
In the United States there were perhaps more stranded than in Spain, "but
flights arrived in Argentina every day, which somehow allowed to unblock the bottleneck,
" say three travel agencies.
spoke with half a dozen Argentines who went to be vaccinated and in all cases they do not want to give the name or send a photo. "
We are stigmatized because we came to Miami to get vaccinated
. It is too much for the haters," says Natalia (46), from Junín, who is with her two daughters.
Natalia was due to return on July 7 from Miami, but her flight from New York, which was supposed to connect her, arrived late and there
began an odyssey that included the contagion of Covid from her eldest daughter
. "Since then they have all been problems, cancellations, rescheduling and I won't even tell you the daily expense,
we have spent more than 10 thousand dollars
. The card really explodes. I only pray that the American Airlines flight will get us out of here on August 5."
The story of Enrique (43), who does not give his last name, is similar to almost all the other stranded, but the difference is that he managed to travel from New York but bound for São Paulo. "I knew that I was not going to be able to enter Argentina, so
after several unsuccessful attempts I decided to change and click on Brazil. And the airline accepted it
and once I landed, I flew to Foz de Iguazú, crossed the border on foot and took A bus. It was good for me because I was going to Corrientes, and it went miraculously well, I only regret not having done it before, because I spent an extra week spending more than I could. "
Referents of tourism agencies such as Ruth Tuchsznadjer, Mariano Medina, Marcelo Romero and Bernardita Solar Bascuñan assure that they turned out to be props in times of assistance, "since we help our clients and those who did not buy tickets
to provide information and try to place the stranded on the different flights that arrived in Ezeiza
, in addition to collaborating with desperate people via social networks bringing a little peace of mind whatever time it is, "says Tuchsznadjer.
Solar Bascuñan's reflection is that of "
a great abandonment of the State to the middle class
and to an age group that goes from 40 to 50 years, which is the one that, in the absence of answers, went to vaccinate the United States."
And he also underlines the role of the travel agent, which he defines as "
essential to bring back many passengers who were in serious trouble
. I have the peace of mind that I was able to bring all my clients."
The others stranded: foreigners who have their family here and ask to be allowed in
Restrictions and closed borders: where Argentines can travel and to which destinations we cannot