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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Air Canada SUCKS! Air North Rocks it!

In this episode:
A reliable neighbour
A nearly missed plane

Up and at em at 4:00 AM.  Mary Clare’s trusty neighbour was all ready to drive us to the airport.

Homegrown Hamilton has been generous to sponsor this trip by providing enough coffee for me as well as for all the people who help us along the way.  I felt it wise to give the first bag of coffee to Steve last night before we left because he would need it this morning.

Here is a picture of Steve receiving his coffee wishing me into the adventure. Steve is a well established internet radio host and Toronto DJ.  (

At the Air Canada check in, we asked for help knowing that our situation was special because we had to arrange for our baggage to get to Air North.  They bluntly refused to help and advised us that we had to use the automated kiosks. So we did.  We went to check in and they turned us away because the bag tags weren’t complete.  Frustrated with us we were herded to another lady who was on rude auto pilot.  She didn’t hear a word we said about our situation.  She actually had a hard time getting our bag tags right as well.  The information on Air Canada’s web site about luggage limits is also either unclear or wrong.  She chastised us for having thought our bags could be up to 70 lbs.  “That hasn’t been since the 1970’s” she exclaimed.
So then MC and I had to tear open our zip tied bags to redistribute the weight so we could meet the new restrictions.

Then we couldn’t figure out where to go. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be if English wasn’t my first language.  It really is unnecessarily confusing.  Then we got to security who let me go with no worries.  They detained MC for having what they thought was a sharp object in her bag.  They found nothing and let her go.

So I’m sitting on the toilet having a dump before a 4 hour flight to Calgary and I hear a FINAL boarding call for our plane.  I would have messed my pants if they weren’t already down around my ankles.  We ran all the way across the terminal and made it onto a sold out plane.  Somehow, though I booked the tickets together, we were unable to sit anywhere near each other on the flight.

Calgary was awesome.  Cold and overcast.  40 minute shuttle flight to Edmonton brought sunshine and gorgeous weather.  We had a great little pic-nic in the airport with homemade food.  At each airport we inquired to make sure that our luggage was being taken care of.  Each attendant assured us it was.

The flight on Air North was stellar.  Super friendly staff.  Old school hospitality.  Better than Air Canada first class.  Here is the difference: Air Canada = ANY food is charged and no Gluten Free options.  Air North = All food free, Gluten Free menu, Hot towels and candy for the decent.

The view of the Rocky Mountains from the plane was stellar.  We landed on schedule and waited for our luggage that didn't make it.  The helpful staff assured us that Air Canada did not render our bags to them and that it is a regular problem.  They are currently working on it and will call us if they find them.  Good thing I didn't give them my number.  Though we are hours from the USA, Rogers thinks I am roaming there.  They sent me a number to call and fix the problem but it doesn't work.  That's so like Rogers.  I wonder if they are affiliated with Air Canada.

In the mean time I have no equipment to put on a show, no parts to fix the speakers and none of the special food we packed for our journey.

The good news is that the local grocery here is very well priced and the Gluten Free selection is second to none.  We also got great deals on some extra clothes.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

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