Monday, May 27, 2013

Let's try this again . . .or Travel is not all Fun and Games. . .

Here I am, ready to leave the Holiday Inn and head back to Toronto airport, where we are now comfortably ensconced in the Air Canada members' lounge, where we will spend the next 5 or 6 hours. Not the travel itinerary we planned so carefully a few months ago, but we're together, safe and healthy and fit enough to withstand the rigours of travel, so I'm aiming for upbeat. I did descend to places far below upbeat yesterday, driven by some pretty uninspired customer service, but then I compared myself to the family travelling with very young children and also to the quite elderly couple across the aisle, and decided I would aim higher.

Our flight out of Vancouver left the ground before discovering something that made us circle back right away and then be met by fire trucks. No complaints there. Flying really is a miracle of science each and every time it happens, and when something in the science goes wrong, I bow to the wisdom of the safety gods.

After that, however, bad met worse very quickly with long line-ups for food vouchers, service cancelled on the new flight because of a medical situation, being sent out into the Toronto night at 11:30 p.m. Walking too far and waiting too long for a hotel shuttle. Too late to get dinner anywhere. And given a breakfast voucher that would not quite buy a soft-boiled egg . . .

A group of us are in the same boat (I know, bad metaphor here), and I tried to stop my whining when I realized that the family travelling with an infant and a pre-schooler was denied access to their checked luggage. You know, the ones with the extra diapers and the bedtime books, and the change of clothes. We were lucky that we had all our goods with us, having done carry-on, but of course that meant we had a more onerous repeat gambol through security today.

Still, given how tough the last few weeks have been, especially for Pater, we have decided to enjoy the calm. He convinced Air Canada to comp us day passes to their lounge, a perk he used to enjoy as a frequent flyer pre-retirement. Yes, we could have left our luggage at the hotel and travelled into Toronto for the day, but that felt like too much stress for too little reward. Instead, Paul is finishing his report, I'm reading and blogging and knitting. And thinking of the walk we love to make from Denfert-Rochereau to our hotel in the 13th, the wheels of our bags click-click-clicking along the still-clean sidewalks of a Paris morning. Wait for us, Paris, we're on our way, again. . .

 

16 comments:

  1. Travel delays are the pits, which is why I've come to insist on traveling carry on only. I'm glad you're finding some calm and comfort, and hope by the time I'm reading this you're already on your way to Paris!

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  2. Hope all goes swimmingly from here on! xx

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  3. After this bumpy start, I hope the rest of your trip is smooth as a glassy sea.

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  4. Well, let's assume you've got the crap over with. Just think of a great glass of wine at an outdoor cafe you're sure to enjoy soon.

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  5. Oh dear. Well, at least it's now over with and you did keep a sense of perspective - I don't envy the family with small kids.

    Hope all goes well from now on!

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  6. It will all soon just be a 'remember when', as we call it in our family. We have had similar less-than-stellar customer service from Air Canada - I'm at the point of expecting bad service from the carrier, and that is not an attitude I'm proud of. The idea of the Limbo of the Lounge and hours spent reading glossy mags, knitting and sipping different teas is quite appealing. I hope that by now, though, you are in the air.

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  7. It seems that air travel can be quite unpredictable. Monsieur and I both had delays and detours travelling back from Paris last year. As we are self-sufficient and retired, we were able to hang out with books and devices. It would definitely be unpleasant with small children.

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  8. You seem to be taking your delay in great stride...
    a good book or a knitting project is such a sensible idea as it does help to pass the time.
    My heart goes out to that family with small children.
    Fingers crossed all goes smoothly now.

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  9. May it go better from this point on.

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  10. You are due some good traveling karma after that run of experiences! Good books, blogging, and knitting are perfect ways to wait out the delay.

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  11. When air travwel works it's a wonder, and when it doesn;t we forget how extraordinary it (usually is). Mater, assume you aren't flying in those pretty sandals. "See" you in Paris!

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    1. Exactly what I think, it's a wonder we love to take for granted. I did actually fly in the sandals -- they take up too much suitcase space!

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  12. My goodness. I am so impressed by your carry on bag and you've managed your knitting too! I have yet to perfect the capsule wardrobe. Happy travels hopefully the worst is over Iris H

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    1. Tanks, iris. The knitting is just socks, so takes almost no room. . .

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  13. Hope your travel bumps are finished and the rest of your trip smooth! Btw love what you've packed. I never pack a "capsule" wardrobe only things I love and make me feel good :) Bet you'll look great!

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  14. Thanks, Diane. I have done the capsule wardrobe before but then I really miss some of my favourite things.

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