Air Canada sucks (opinion)

To start, my flight out to Vancouver went less than smoothly, but I was still ok with Air Canada. My flight out was permanently grounded, with a hushed comment about there being a mechanical problem with the wings. But they rerouted me on US.Air, and granted I had a 2 hour layover at O’Hare that I wasn’t expecting, and got to Vancouver about 3 hours later than I had planned, I was ok.

The flight home is a different story. In theory, I was supposed to fly out at about 23:30 Saturday night. But when the flight crew doesn’t show up until 23:23, you know you’re in for a late departure. I wasn’t worried yet. I’m a fool. We didn’t finally taxi onto the runway until almost midnight, at which point we had to sit for another 40 minutes because due to the delays, our flight had been canceled in the air traffic control computers. At almost 00:30 we finally took off, an hour late, but if all went smoothly I would just barely be able to make my connection in Montreal and be home with my girls, who I missed more than imaginable, in the morning. We landed at 08:03, and I booked it down what must be a mile long set of corridors from one end of the building to the other. I made it through security. I made it through customs. I made it to my terminal at 08:26 with less than 4 minutes until my plane was scheduled to shut the doors. All set, right? No. Seems Air Canada decided we wouldn’t make it in time and sold our seats to standby passengers. So I had to sit there, ticket in hand, and watch as they waited an extra 5 minutes for the stand by’s that had taken our seats and then didn’t bother to show up.

And so I was trapped in Montreal. A lot of pleading and kavetching got me a 14:00 flight out on a wannabe plane who’s only sense of security was that most of the passengers were pilots, and the theory that they wouldn’t let a plane full of their own pilots go down. I think the worst part was the rude, abrasive way we were treated when we attempted to make our connection, not knowing that Air Canada had decided to sell our seats and not inform us (like they did for other folks making connections at Montreal).

To boot, Air Canada must serve only the smallest, dwarfed population of pygmies. I confess – I’m not a small guy, not by a long shot, but even were I to be an emaciated whiff I would have problems in those seats – my shoulders alone were a good 6-8 inches wider than the seat back. That coupled with the quarter inch left between my knees and the seats in front of me before it was reclined into my lap for 5 hours just makes me love thinking of that experience.

Really.

scary – the feed goes elsewhere

Every so often I do a vanity search – where will my gentoo email address show up that I least expected it to? Today I find Planet Velouria, a feed conglomerate. Doesn’t look like its been updated in a week or so, but still – scary in some ways. I guess despite blogging and knowing people read planet and even universe, I’m still not quite grokking that there are other folks out there pulling these feeds (though whoever that is over at rojo, can you ease up on the frequency??).

Vacation Days 2,3,4

Day 2 of our little jaunt through the south took us to dollywood. I have to admit, I had visions of Dolly shaped fries, dolly shaped cups, dolly music anywhere the ear could hear, your basic personal franchising nightmare. Instead – well, it was actually a lot of fun. Your standard fare, though prices were surprising modest for a theme park, and there was so much for the kids to do that it was a little more than amazing. Katy got to ride roller coasters, rapids, and a ton of rides, some without adults, some with, but all in all she had an absolute blast.

Day 3 was a nice(?) drive through tennessee and part of alabama to catch up with my folks. A little hotel fiasco later (our reservations weren’t at the hotel we thought they were), but all in all a quiet day.

Day 4 (today) was spent in part at the local botannical garden. Every entry penney was worth letting Katy and Anna stroll through the buttefly garden, a greenhouse geared towards sustaining a population of butterflies (though I think a few of those were moths, but still). They loved it. The park also had a spaced out set of cool down stations for the kids (elaborate sprinkler systems basically). All in all a great day.

Rest of the day was quiet. The kids are tired of the eating out game, tired of being on the road, and its starting to show. Katy fell asleep on the way to dinner tonight, and didn’t wake up well (aka: grouchy, tantrum, angry at the universe in general, threw a fit and made a scene). While embarassed, I have to side with her on this – they have done so well this week, been on their best behaviour all week, always doing like we ask, standing in lines, being on “display,” that I can understand completely that by the end of day 4 we had a melt down. We’re all sitting in the hotel room right now, I think somewhat shunned by my folks. Tomorrow is the big birthday party for my dad, then we head back on the road for the 13+ hour trip back home. I know that its going to take longer – thats 13 hours if we didn’t stop anywhere, and there’s no way we’re going to get away with that. I’m thankfull I took monday off – a day to help the kids calm down and unwind. I think we’re going to be forced to do a morning trip to richmond to get copies of birth certificates for an anticipated flight to canada, but i still don’t know if i can share the details on that one 🙂