Waiting For A Plane XVI – Ottawa

In 2015 I wound up taking a couple of trips to Iraq and spent a lot of time in airports. I shared my thoughts on those trips with you in a series of posts. I managed to get through 2016 with my feet firmly planted on the ground, but it looks like I’ll be collecting a few frequent flyer points this year. I think I was in seven airports in February, waiting for a plane. There’s not much else to do in airports except read or write, so I jotted down my thoughts as I traveled and the series continues.

 

A couple of weeks before the flight I received an email from Air Canada informing me I could bid on an upgrade to business class if I so desired. I’ve never flown business class. I’ve heard it is very luxurious. So I clicked on the link.

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Tried to get a de-icing picture through the plane’s window, but with the lighting and snowstorm it didn’t turn out very well.

I was figuring I would take my chances with a low bid, maybe $25, and hope no-one else was bidding against me. Sometimes it works in auctions, and I figured I had nothing to lose.

What the email didn’t mention that there was a minimum bid. Eight hundred dollars (or thereabouts, I was too shocked to write it down). That’s almost as much as I paid for the entire trip in the first place, and it only covered the portion from Ottawa to London.

This trip takes me back to some familiar airports. Heathrow, Basel, Frankfurt, Munich and Toronto as well as Ottawa. And a new one, Stockholm. I’ve never been to Sweden before; I’m looking forward to it. Mind you, this is business, not pleasure, so I might not get to see anything of the city; it depends on how my meetings go.

There’s a huge snowstorm and it seems like half the flights today were cancelled. I am assuming that was more to the conditions at the destination than those here. It is snow, not ice.

It’s a longer wait than expected. Before leaving for the airport I could see the flight was delayed for half an hour. By the time we leave that will be two-and-a-half hours. The last part of the delay is the deicing process – gotta make sure this bird will get off the ground. I’ve never seen a plane de-iced before, so at least I have one new experience to make up for the delay.

I dislike the wait. I’m not a huge fan of flying anyway – I just want to be at my destination. But there’s no choice sometimes. So I put up with airports that eventually all look the same, with the same souvenirs and the same stores and the same food if you are hungry.

I know that even in the 1960s flying was still somewhat of a luxury and something to look forward to. Now, with cramped seats, increased security, luggage restrictions and indifferent food it has become something to be endured.

Still, if I want to get to London, there really is no other way.

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