Saturday, January 10, 2015

White Icy Hell Airlines







The day before I left for Vegas, I called up my pal Kenny Blankenship.

"Hey Kenny, how was your day off?" I asked.

"Well, I had to shop at 10:30 at night because my daughters were coming home. We picked them up at the airport at 2:00am and we all went home and crashed. We got up about noon and fried bacon together, and had brunch."

"That had to be better than my day. The highlight was looking out the window in minus 20 and watching a dog crap on my front yard. Yeah you definitely had a better day."

"Well..." said Kenny, and after a pause, "...I don't know. What kind of dog?"

Anyway I got Kenny to watch the place while I was away.

I did all the prep to get away including dropping Chippy off at the Left-B-Hind Kennels. And in a repeat of two days earlier, I got up at 3:00am.

In fact, I treated myself to a business class upgrade for $220. I figured I deserved it. Here's how it would go:

- I would motor leisurely to the Aerodrome, park, buy parking from the little machine, and check in for the hopper to Pearson.
- At Pearson, I'd clear customs easily using my new Nexus card, and spend a couple of relaxing hours eating breakfast treats and stealing magazines from the Maple Leaf Lounge
- I'd board my Roudge flight and chill out in extreme comfort in first class, arriving in Vegas at 11:00am or so where I'd hail a limo and head downtown in style to enjoy the warm weather and gamble my ass off at The Cal.

Travel blog entries are probably belaboured so I'll try to keep it short. This one was a fucking dilly.

Here's how it ACTUALLY went.

- I motored, panic stricken, along unploughed lanes and highways to the Aerodrome through 4 inches of snow.
Buy your frozen parking here. At 4:45 AM.
- We taxied out an hour late, only to sit at the end of the runway for 10 minutes and taxi back. No visibility for takeoff.
- The flights out of Flusherville were delayed almost four hours. There are no amenities in Flusherville Regional Aerodrome except for a condom dispenser in the men's room in case you get lucky. Somehow.
 - The later scheduled flight left before mine. Some woman was hemming and hawing and the attendant told her, okay, just wait for the second flight. I took her spot. It looked like I might just make the Roudge flight, which was - as usual - delayed.
- In Toronto, I spent 15 minutes at one desk only to be sent upstairs because she didn't know how to rebook me.
Air FU Canada applies Wing Freshener on a regular basis to all delayed flights. So thoughful!
- Upstairs I made some recommendations for rerouting based on some savvy knowledge routed to me by a pal - thanks Skadoo. And the rerouted me on Air FU Canada to Chicago, and on United to Vegas. I was business class on the AC flight but not the United one.
- I followed the instructions on the NEXUS screen and still got yelled at by the Customs people.
- I had 20 minutes to wolf down some shitty bean salad and chug a tumbler of red wine in the Maple Leaf Lounge. I stole seven spoons, and half a pound of airline mints, all of which I later lost.
- The AC flight to Chicago was delayed. Good thing, I walked by the gate by mistake.
- The flight to Chicago was the best part. I had the bulkhead seat in first class with nobody beside me. It was like having my own little cabin. We had a little hot meat pie and some wine.
- In Chicago they could not upgrade me to first class. Air Canada would have had to handle that. Huh???
- The United flight was delayed for 45 minutes while they sorted out passenger seats where people were in the wrong seat and some were double booked. The plane was completely full.
- There was, in technical airline lingo terms, a "broken taillight" on the plane. We were all to get off, and they would spend an hour and a half to two hours fixing it. (I suspect they knew all along that it wouldn't get fixed and they'd have to put us on a replacement.
What's the fine for a broken taillight?
- After an hour they said a replacement plane would come. Change gates.
- We boarded the replacement plane 3 hours late. We waited for another 45 minutes waiting for them to bring the food and drinks over from the first plane. They said they'd called three or four times.
- They decided to fly without the food. There was nothing good to buy. They ran out of water to drink.
- My supper was a $5 hummus and cracker pack. I didn't eat the crackers. There were 2 oz. of super salty hummus which I sucked from the tube like an astronaut.
- I pointed out that with a 3 hour delay and a 3 1/2 hour flight and no real food, they should be giving this shit away. "There's no procedure for comping food. We can comp liquor." Halle-fucking-luia.
- Near the end of the flight, I went back to use the head. I observed the flight attendant eating three or four of the hummus packs, sucking that hummus down, tube after tube, hoping no-one would see. Hey I paid five bucks for mine, where the fuck do you get off eating four of them for free? - that's what I wanted to say, but didn't.
- I arrived in Vegas at 8:30pm local time instead of the planned 11:10am. An  hour later I was downtown.
- We ate a terrific meal in the Redwood Grille. French onion soup and steaks. Bone in rib-eye for me, filet for her.
- I lost $500 in 20 minutes and crashed.

It was a 20 hour trip all told.

What's that saying the kids use?

Fuck my life.


6 comments:

  1. And I bitch about driving from New Mexico....8-12 hours depending on weather, traffic, gas stops, roads picked.

    I almost didn't read this entry and skip to the juicy Vegas stuff. Glad I read it.

    NMchop

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  2. And THIS is why we don't travel in the winter!!!
    Good Luck!

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  3. Oh goody, more new episodes! I love your reports. Hope you having (or had) a great trip!

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  4. That sounds tough Flush. But if you asked me right now, would I go through all that, KNOWING it was going to happen, but that the end result would be that I was downtown in Vegas? I would sign up without missing a beat.
    Looking forward to the reports.

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  5. Plump, it would be easier if I knew it was going to happen - I would have grabbed a dozen cheeseburgies for the United Fiasco planeride, eaten two, and sold the rest.

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  6. Thank you 60gregma. Glad you enjoy them.

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