I left plenty of time. I was up at half past shouldn’t exist (5:30) in the morning to throw all the stuff I’d piled on the couch into bags, wake up Cameron, and be out the door by 6:15. We got to the airport at an appropriate time for an eight o’clock flight. It was delayed by 45 minutes, so hey, extra time. We got through security and meandered to the gate. I timed it so that we would, in theory, arrive part way through boarding. Clearly, I forgot that I was traveling with a three year old.
“Mommy, I have to go pee,” Cameron squeaked, doing the really-right-now dance.
We missed the flight. Duh.
I’ve complained nastily about Air Canada in the past. Not here, I don’t think, but to friends. In my eyes they pretty much redeemed themselves today. They could’ve said, “Too bad, so sad,” or gotten me onto a much later flight. But it just so happened that in fifteen minutes another flight to Ottawa was leaving, and unlike the one we were booked on it was direct! Quick as a flash, while my mind was still processing the phrase, “that flight has left,” one of the gate attendants handed me boarding passes and was calling one of those airport gate-to-gate carts.
We got to the new gate, and almost immediately our last name was paged. My heart sank. “I’m sorry, but those two seats they gave you are broken, there’s no way you can sit there.” But she re-assigned us. I made a desperate plea, “He’s just three, is there any way we can sit together? And for the sanity of everyone on the plane, any chance one seat could be a window?” I was assured that they were “two good seats.”
Yeah. Wow. She bumped us to executive class.
I’ve heard of this happening, this mystical bumping. I’ve lived in Vancouver for nearly twenty years, flying home roughly twice a year plus two trips to South America, plus lots to San Francisco, and so on. I’ve never been bumped.
The seats ARE bigger, and comfier, and there’s more room. There’s a footrest (though I’d imagine that anyone much shorter than I would had troubles reaching it, there’s that much space between you and the seat ahead). There was nice soap and lotion in the washroom. The cabin crew kept trying to give us stuff – papers, blankets, drinks, earphones. But oh my. The FOOD. Air Canada clearly keeps their exec passengers happy by feeding them – constantly. A snack at take-off. A plate of fresh fruits. Choice of hot entrée. Hot, fresh bread, a choice between cinnamon and whole wheat. Then fresh-baked still-warm cookies with gelato. Seriously, they bake the cookies right there. All served on real dishes, not plastic or paper, not even the old plastic trays they used to serve real food on in coach class. Real metal cutlery. Real glass glasses. Mugs, not paper cups.
Cameron was amazing. He is really a good traveler to begin with, and he rolled with the plan changes admirably well for someone who depends so much on plans. He’ll melt down if we miss our bus in the morning, so I’m pretty impressed. He was happy and cheerful throughout most of the flight, and the seatback television monitors are a lifesaver on long flights. He was impatient on several times to get off of the plane, and didn’t understand why we couldn’t just get out. My flippant tired-of-this-topic answer at one point led him to ask earnestly, “Why don’t they give us parachutes, Mommy?”
I do credit my “adventure” attitude for Cameron being better able to cope with changes of plans on major outings than he used to be. Because that’s part of what makes an adventure – if everything happened exactly as planned it wouldn’t be much of an adventure, would it?
In all, wow. So, we arrived well-fed (neither of us is really eating yet after that tummy bug … wondered why I didn’t post Friday night? Yeah, I wasn’t well at all, caught an amplified-by-orders-of-magnitude version of Cameron’s thing) and pretty much happy. Oh, and apparently the rule that baggage must travel on the same plane as the person has been ditched – our baggage it turns out went onto the direct flight from the start. That’s the only way to explain that they arrived with us, not an hour and a half later on the Toronto flight.