Test the Nation Trip: Testing my Patience

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I have no problem waking up at a the crack of 5:00am. John and I were out the door with plenty of time to get meet up with our chauffeur, Duane, and get to the airport so I could check in for my flight.

Photo credit: Duane on Flickr

Arriving at YVR we were all looking forward to some coffee and a wholesome breakfast at Milestones before I took off. I proceeded to the Air Canada check in area and noticed that not one single “check-in” station was manned by airline staff. The point here is to encourage travelers to check-in using the computer/automated kiosks, then they would proceed to a booth and talk to personnel about their checked baggage. Two issues arose for me, a) my reference number was not working at the computer kiosk and b) I wasn’t checking any luggage. Air Canada left me no option to actually speak to a person, face to face, when I was having issues. I tried several more methods of locating my ticket/boarding pass through the computer and nothing worked. It also didn’t help that the ticket wasn’t purchased on my credit card AND my credit card is still in my maiden name. After all this frustration I realized my flight had been CANCELED. A CBC rep was nice enough to give me a ‘heads up’ call and inform me that I would now be on a later flight.

Breakfast was delightful.

I went back to the computer kiosk thinking maybe it just couldn’t reference my ticket before since my flight was cancelled. No go. I finally went over to the “ticket purchase” counter for Air Canada at YVR (since the only other staff member I spotted was rude and less than helpful). The representative at the counter was pleasant and I was finally able to check in.

It’s been about five years since I’ve flown Air Canada and now I know why I avoid it.

We’re in the air at 12:30pm PT (when my original flight was supposed to depart at 9:00am PT). I’m writing this on my tray table as the man in the seat in front of me just reclined, all of a sudden (at lightning speed) and crunched my laptop against the ‘in flight entertainment screen’ on the back of the seat. Great.


Speaking of the ‘in flight entertainment screens’, they seem like a neat idea – and everyone’s got one – but since they’re touch-controlled everyone in the cabin is getting a little confused. Upon plugging in their headsets passengers are reaching down to the side and trying to adjust the volume. Thing is, the volume is also on the touch screen and what they’re doing is caller the flight attendant over and OVER again. It sounds like I’m in a super-fast elevator right now that’s stopping at every floor due to the call buttons going off all over the place.

This first leg of the journey has gone a bit rough, although I managed to grab about 20 minutes of sleep while they were de-icing the plane at YVR. The call button tones are keeping me a amused.

Update: The kid beside me keeps playing an unusual drum beat on his arm rests. I went to plug in my standard issue earphones and I couldn’t figure it out. The woman beside me helped me. I felt like a jackass. I turned on an episode of The Office. I chilled out. It was smooth sailing from there.

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4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. JohnSaturday, January 19th, 2008 — 6:43pm PST

    Glad you finally made it.

    You need to do an air travel etiquette post….I can’t believe how inconsiderate some people are with the reclining seat thing – especially in coach.

    Good luck tomorrow night! I’ve got the TiVo all set to record the show so unless someone beats me to it, you’ll have a digital copy of the show.

  2. Derek K. MillerSaturday, January 19th, 2008 — 11:38pm PST

    Two things:

    – While it is pricey, I highly recommend breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel main floor restaurant at YVR, either the buffet or regular menu. Anytime we drop someone off or head for a flight ourselves, we try to eat there.

    – Check out the Knee Defender: http://www.kneedefender.com/

  3. wynSunday, January 20th, 2008 — 12:04am PST

    I’m surprised you didn’t take advantage of online check-in and a paperless SMS ticket the day before. I’m curious if the barcode or “boarding pass” text message is better accepted on an iPhone than with a Moto V360.

  4. Ode To Air Canada » Vancouver technology writer and photographer » the duane storeySunday, January 20th, 2008 — 5:36pm PST

    […] Rebecca had a similar experience with them yesterday, although she still made it to Toronto. Thankfully her trip was paid for by the lovely people at CBC, otherwise I’m sure she would probably be a bit more upset. […]

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