October 1st, 17:15 Took a cab from Jake’s to the airport for my trip to Zurich. Along the way, we passed the site of the Air France crash. Nothing to see but it looms large in your mind. It truly is a “ghost ship”.
18:00 Arrived at airport. People wonder why I check in early and here’s the reason why. I was told that my ticket was now standby because they’d had to change equipment. Sweet talked the agent for a little while and manged to get a confirmed seat (13C). Hmmm….. if I see a black cat coming down the aisle, I’m bolting.
Nothing is guaranteed to tighten the scrotum faster than hearing that a flight has been overbooked.
18:15 Sitting in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. A cocktail, a sandwich and a cookie. Fellow loungers look like passengers anywhere but we have better chairs and free booze. Hip young businessmen, buttoned down drones enjoying a perk and young families and old-timers cashing in their Aeroplan points to travel in what passes for style nowadays.
19:25 Gate 522. The natives are getting restless as the gate agents call them up one at a time to change their tickets or give them the bad news that they’re not flying out tonight. It feels like 120 degrees and the agents are getting desparate as they try and find their victims.
20:00 I’m actually in my seat onboard the aircraft! The flight attendants look like Tokyo subway pushers as they try and get everyone seated to meet a somewhat close on-time departure. Question – doesn’t anyone check their luggage anymore? Everyone seems to be determined to cram all their worldly goods into the overhead storage bins.
I’m two rows away from business class and the Broadway show has already started. Rumor has it that they’re actually going to stage a production of Aidia later, complete with animals! Am I jealous? You bet. Here I sit in steerage and they’re just about to hand out the oars. We should set sail any minute now.
20:15 Pushback! Only 5 minutes late and I am impressed.
21:30 37,000 feet somewhere near Quebec City. We just finished tonight’s exciting round of “Guess The Meat”. Brown sludge identified my meal as something made with some part of a cow and my seatmate had chicken. I could tell by the cream goo it swam in. Surprise about the wine though – 2000 Pichard Bordeaux and very, very nice.
22:05 I’m in a time warp. They’re showing the original “Matrix” with monosyallabic Keannu Reeves going “Woah” and looking deep. Are there no new movies available? The two idiots in the row in front of us took this opportunity to ram their seatbacks to their full recline position. I almost lost a kneecap and heated words from me didn’t even get an apology.
October 2nd, 02:10 Cabin lights just came up – only 2 more hours to go. We watched something with Jennifer Lopez. I didn’t get any sleep and I feel like shit.
04:30 (10:30 Central European Time) Landed 10 minutes early, waited 15 for a gate and managed to get my luggage. Just waiting for the hotel bus to arrive.
11:15 (CET) Checked in, unpacked and relaxing.
Nearly 12 hours start to finish. Flying is fun!
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