Camren and I flew to Victoria last Thursday so that he could tour UVic, swim with their swim team, and get a general feel for the city. We both came away with a great first impression and were struck by just how friendly and helpful people were.
We left a day earlier than necessary because we were flying Air Canada, an airline with the efficiency, reliability, and customer service similar to Soviet Airlines of old.
Flying out of Charlottetown to anywhere of distance often requires catching the early morning flight that leaves at ~ 5:20, which we did. Other than my carry-on setting off all kinds of alerts, to the embarrassment of the newbie security agent, our flights went without a hitch. Except that, in flight, we were told we couldn’t eat the snacks I prepared because someone had a food allergy. Air Canada’s aircraft lacked amenities, and the seats had little room. Most people have caught on to the fact that if you check your baggage for a fee, you stand a good chance of not seeing it when you land.
Surprisingly, Air Canada sent an email a day after we arrived offering a credit due to a poor flight experience.
Our flight back could have been smoother.
First, our flight was delayed leaving Victoria due to a staffing issue in Toronto. At this point, we could still catch our connecting flight.
Once boarded, we had a further delay because the “only person who could approve the flight by checking the checklist” was not at the airport. Luckily, he “was still on Vancouver Island.” We finally left 45 minutes later. Making our connecting flight was increasingly doubtful.
In flight, I got a notification that our flight to Charlottetown was “delayed due to airport constraints.” It was only a 15-minute delay, but we could make our flight after all.
I received another notice, “This flight is delayed due to airport constraints,” and again later, yet another delay. The 3-hour total delay meant that we would most certainly make our flight, though I expected that they would, in the end, cancel, which necessitated a last-minute search for a hotel.
When we arrived in Toronto, we had to wait on the tarmac because our gate wasn’t available. An earlier Air Canada flight had broken down at the gate.
Then, when we finally arrived at the gate, they wouldn’t open the door because we were told the door was damaged and someone with more authority had to come and approve its opening.
Hours later, we boarded our flight to Charlottetown with the usual asinine board by zone. You can pay $75 to board earlier in the hopes that your carry-on will be placed nearby, though if you carry a backpack, that may have to go under your seat.
This kind of nonsense used to drive me crazy. I don’t know if it’s my advancing age or just low expectations, but through all of this, all I did was laugh like we were taking part in some kind of reality comedy show.
We finally arrived in Montague at about 4am, the late hour which negatively impacts everyone’s week.
There are many positives to living here on Prince Edward Island. But the hassle-free ability to leave for places afar is certainly not one of them.