No-one could possibly believe the hell and hassles I went through traveling from London Heathrow to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I will NEVER and I do mean NEVER fly on Air Canada again as long as I live. I will also order that my ashes, when I die, not be transported by Air Canada to their final resting place. So There! So There! So There! Everybody agrees with me, but nobody does anything about it and that is why they get away with the most egregious customer relations policy that exists. The number of things that went wrong could fill a book the size of War and Peace and War and Peace, The Sequel.
The day began with a line up (of course). Two men of Middle East extraction (accompanied by their young daughter) attempted to get in line ahead of me.
He: Let me in line ahead of you. I got in the wrong line and my plane is leaving right away.
Me; Stupidity should not be rewarded.
He: What did you say?
Me: Stupidity should not be rewarded. If you were not smart enough to get in the right line why should I reward you by letting you get ahead of me? I was smart enough to get in the right lane.
He: You are rude.(rave and rant and yelled some more)
Me: You thought just became I am a woman and I am old I was going to let you in. You picked the wrong person.
He: You are a terrible woman, you are rude, you are awful etc etc.etc.
Me: You are a total misogynist.
The little girl, the daughter looked on in utter amazement. No woman had ever spoken to her father like that, I am sure.The entourage went to the back of the line.
Later everyone cheered me on and told me how proud they were. Needless to say later. Some people, if their mouth was full of it, would never say Feces. Then I get to head of the line and the woman says I am on Stand By.
Me: What do you mean I am on stand by, I made the reservations months ago and I am traveling Premium Economy.
She: The flight is overbooked.
Me: That is your problem, not mine. I want my seat!!!
She: You will have to speak to someone at the gate.
Me: Show them to me and I will!!!
So I go to the gate which is located four thousand miles away. I get there and request to speak to the person with the most authority.
Me: Hello, there has been some misunderstanding. First I would like to tell you three things about me. 1. I have a blog with many readers and social media is the best redress for wrongs these days. 2. I was a California lawyer and, unfortunately, my aggression has not left me. 3. I hold a Canadian passport. Canadians are known for their politeness and for putting up with a lot but I am an American citizen. I could suggest a remedy for this. It is called First Class
He: Air Canada does not have First Class. I will give you a seat in Business Class
Me: Thank you very much for your courtesy in this matter.
So I get on the plane and I am quite happy with the result. But, sometime, later in the flight I notice that there is a lot of activity behind some closed doors. I walk through the doors and find out there is a First Class.
They: What are you doing here? You are not allowed here!
Me: I am just checking to see if there are any spare seats.
I was furious because I was lied to. A little girl of three had her own seat, they could have boarded her with her mother. But there was no sense talking to anybody at that point, they just kept me waiting around trying to find the time to talk. I went back to my lowly seat in Business Class, took prescription drugs and went to sleep. I was on a stop flight, I stopped in Toronto. The plane was slightly late in leaving, they moved gates at the last minute and then we sat on the tarmac for over an hour with no adequate explanation of why we were delayed and no beverage service during this wait. The staff on Air Canada are usually not to be found, whereas in every other airlines they are always around. The Chaplain at the Vancouver International Airport (an extremely helpful man) told me that it is because it is a government airlines and they cannot be fired.
Me: Oh really! I did not know that. I will never travel with them again.
He: That is what a lot of people are saying.
Me: If everyone did what they said then Air Canada would be out of business.
I finally, and I do mean finally. got to Vancouver. Then in my tired stupor I took home the wrong bag. Yes, a guy had a look alike bag. I made the discovery when I went to unpack. And then the horror began because there was no one to answer the phone and I was instantly put on hold. I finally got the word (through CCC actually) that I had to take the wrong bag to the airport (of course at my own expense) and try and find the right bag (the right one being mine). I had no choice, I did it. But there is the good news. I did get my bag back and I met some nice people from Regina i the line up, had a great chat with the Chaplin, and a man named Derek was most helpful. I told him that I was once stood up in a synagogue by a man named Derek. (which is the truth, Derek Endlander). Air Canada Derek said:
He: I would never do that to you. I am not Jewish
Me: Hahahahahaha I am going to put that in my blog. Is that OK?
He: Of course, it is.
Every airline company in the known world would have spoken to me on the telephone come to my apartment immediately, picked up the wrong bag and given me the right one. Not Air Canada and goodness knows what they would do with my ashes. Well, it is not that I would care at that point.
Another cheerful thing that happened was the conversations with the Yellow Cab drivers going back and forth from the airport. We talked about how we hated Christmas and how it is the dumbest idea knowing Christ was not born in the winter, if he was born at all. People call me Scrooge.
Me: Thank you. It has a really nice ring to it.
I am sure that all of you are breathless with anticipation because n subsequent blogs I will tell you all of the other things that went wrong during my trip to the United Kingdom. Some United???? Some Kingdom?????
On a bright note I did rather accidentally find a wonderful place a block away from my apartment. It is called Small Victory and they have fantastic coffee and unbelievable pastries. It will be my new home away from home.