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Air Travel Discussion

Discussion in 'Reality Check' started by Wayne, Jun 20, 2022.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne
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    So I just went through the absolute worst air travel experience in my lifetime, I witnessed and talked to others going through even wilder stories. Anybody else dealing with this?

    I'll highlight my trip below for those interested, it was fucked up...

    To Portland

    Fredericton to Montreal (AC)
    - left an hour late, but fine

    Montreal to Toronto (AC)
    - left 2 hours late

    Toronto to Portland (AC)
    - landed at Pearson and ran like an Olympian with 0 minutes to make my Portland connector, AC app said everything there was on-time, my plane was in the air
    - went through US Customs figuring I'd work through it on the other side
    - 15 mins AFTER my plane was supposed to be flying I am notified the Portland flight was delayed an hour...YAY
    - ended up delayed another hour...
    - made it to Portland at 2:00AM (2 hours late), got my rental and on my way

    From Portland

    Portland to Vancouver (AC)
    - left an hour late, only an hour for my connector so that wasn't going to end well
    - notified my next flight was delayed so all good...

    Vancouver to Toronto (AC)
    - ran through the airport, not even a moment to snap a pic of mountains in the terminal windows
    - went through customs/security, made it with 20 mins to spare
    - great flight chatting with two older ladies, watched some movies

    Toronto to Fredericton (AC)
    - landed with 0 minutes to connect to my flight (yes it's on me next time to not do 1.5hr connectors)
    - however, notified as I walk in my flight to Fredericton is delayed an hour, YAY...going home
    - delayed another hour...
    - about to land in Fredericton and pilot overshoots runway, pulls up and instead of turning around and trying again, she decides to fly to Montreal
    - land in Montreal, sit on tarmac for 3 hrs, been awake 21 hrs at this point...no water, AC has no water
    - they tell us we are refueling and heading back to Toronto, on the way they say they will arrange another plane to get us to Fredericton
    - land in Toronto and they send everyone to customer service
    - those in customer service with checked bags are told to go get baggage...once they do they were locked out and unable to get back in past security (no boarding pass)
    - AC customer service is not helping anyone, sitting around for 3 hours, watching them yell at customers including an old lady in a wheelchair who was crying because she has been bumped for three days straight for her flight and has been sleeping at the airport in her chair.
    - talking to folks listening to their journey's, some better, some even worse than mine
    - up 28 hours at this point
    - finally get notified they rebooked me, look and its 10PM - 3 FUCKING DAYS away
    - people are frantic, customer support gridlocked, nobody getting nowhere...many unfortunate people have no options.
    - I got company travel agency to book me WestJet at premium and got me home by 5PM that night

    I literally had tears for some people...not even sure who is all to blame, but its disgraceful, absolutely sick.

    I could tell some other stories but I am tired of typing.
     
  2. Grifter

    Bluh?

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    I'm hearing more and more stories like this. My girlfriend is back home in Newfoundland right now. She was delayed an hour at Pearson as well. And again in Halifax. Shes had friends flying lately and all had worse delays, more similar to your story.
     
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  3. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    and on top of all that you have a fantastic chance of having covid show up knocking on your door :(
     
  4. C. Mike Hunt

    Well-Known Member

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  5. Wayne

    Wayne
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    I am tired of living in COVID fear...not even on my mind anymore.
     
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  6. Wayne

    Wayne
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    That seems like a lot of work/time when I know fuck all is going to come out of it. I'm not looking for money, it's not out of my wallet, I just can't understand how they got to this level of incompetence.
     
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  7. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    yeah it's just a part of life now. One of the people we've worked with together just got back from a bunch of travel and got it :/
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne
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    Yeah, they dropped the testing requirement the night before I left, but I tested anyways...negative.

    I have tested with home kit since getting back...negative. Will test again later today just in case.
     
  9. LMAC

    _

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    That's anywhere now. You stand a good chance of getting cold flu too so fuck it
     
  10. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    I can't remember the last time I had the flu *knock on wood*
     
  11. MRA

    MRA
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    Everyone I know that has traveled at all in the past 3 months has had nothing but a bad time, flights delayed, to out right cancelled at the last minute
     
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  12. C. Mike Hunt

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    I get what you're saying, but AC deserves to get its dick slapped.
     
  13. billybob

    The Schooner, the better.

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    I take 100++ flights a year and one thing I learned is that you have to be prepared for the inevitable. I have had terrible experiences but they are usually because of cancelled flights well in advance of fly dates.

    Things I have learned that make your life a lot easier while travelling:

    1) Get a NEXUS card. It makes airport security a breeze and is apparently great for customs too. Although, I haven't flown abroad in 8 years.
    2) Avoid Pearson Airport with every fiber of your being. It is mismanaged and understaffed and that was well before the pandemic so its 100x worse now.
    3) Don't check luggage if you don't have to. Its easy enough to travel with a carry on and everything you need you can get in less than 100ml containers.
    4) Fly direct flights whenever possible. Difficult a lot of the time but I will spend more money to avoid connections.
    5) Have your connections in Calgary and Edmonton whenever possible. Not Vancouver, not Montreal, not Ottawa and definitely not Toronto.
    6) Pack your own snacks so you dont feel bad spending 12 bucks on an airport beer :D

    And last but not least:

    7) Just assume Air Canada doesn't exist. They do the same with you so its only fair.
     
  14. billybob

    The Schooner, the better.

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    I am travelling with my wife and two kids (7&4 years old) on Canada Day headed from Kelowna to Halifax via connection in Calgary. I am breaking a few of my rules because of the obvious. No direct flights from Kelowna to Halifax but I travel through Calgary airport every 7 days so I know most of the Westjet staff by name. Because of lack of family travel over the past 2 years, I paid for the entire trip almost exclusively with accrued westjet dollars and we are also using two companion vouchers so we are all flying premium. I can't wait to see all the assholes with their nose turned up at my 4 year old as she is first to board the plane and she is watching Barbie on an iPad with unicorn headphones sitting in that big ass comfortable premium seat next to me :lol:

    I am more concerned about National having my rental car available for us when we land at 9:30pm than I am about anything going wrong with my flights.
     
  15. 17

    17
    teenage dirtbag

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    Amex gold even gives you a $50 statement credit towards a nexus card

    Lounge access is nice as well, usually you have x amount of money to use towards drinks/ food and it’s a better atmosphere than slamming a $30 meal at smash burger in Pearson
     
  16. billybob

    The Schooner, the better.

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    Yeah westjet opened their new elevation lounge in Calgary a few years ago and it is a wicked place to spend time. Full bar comes complete with a hipster bartender that braids his beard and slicks his hair back. Very authentic.
     
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  17. Wayne

    Wayne
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    I smashed $100 at Vino Volo in wine instead.
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne
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    Good tips billybobbillybob however I do have to work in the constraints of work policies.

    I didn't check luggage though...that saved me a couple times.

    Next time I avoid AC though.
     
  19. Grifter

    Bluh?

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    Can attest to this. :lol:
     
  20. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    Travelling with only carryon is the way to go for sure.
     
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  21. LMAC

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    Your number 5 really only works if your in the west.. just saying
     
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  22. HairyAss

    Cheese on Toast

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    Agree on Calgary airport especially when heading to the US - you can do US customs in Calgary instead of dealing with it when you arrive.

    If you want bad travel experience, try flying into the US on a work visa. They treat you even more like a criminal than normal.

    Avoiding Pearson is also a good point. If you’re actually going to Toronto, land in the city - it’s much nicer and puts you downtown (Billy Bishop I think?)

    I just expect shit to happen - I don’t fly as much as billybob but more than most - if it’s for work, I follow a lot of the same rules. It’s harder when traveling with family - almost always need to check luggage. Then again - define “need”. When we flew to Nova Scotia at Christmas, my wife and older kid’s luggage never arrived.

    My worst experience was a flight from Halifax to Seattle before I knew about Calgary rules. Horrible delays and similar experience to Wayne that when we finally got to Vancouver, our last flight finally got cancelled and we got rescheduled 3 days out. Being close enough, we rented a car to get the rest of the way but then had one of the worst border experiences ever - not worth going into but it involved 3 hours of being accused of being a criminal in front of my kids trying to activate my H1B work visa.
     
  23. billybob

    The Schooner, the better.

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    for Canadian travel, thats not a correct statement. You can easily leapfrog shitty airports from anywhere in Calada.
     
  24. C. Mike Hunt

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    8) If your plans involve the going to the US, make other plans.
     
  25. 17

    17
    teenage dirtbag

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    .

    No plans to recreationally travel to that shit hole any time soon. My passport is also expired :o
     
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  26. RoryTate

    Buffer the streaming media unto me.

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    I just drove across the border today. Forgot to fill out the Arrive Can app ahead of time (d'oh!). Guard was totally cool (we hit up a SMALL border crossing, there was no lineup, dude was not busy to say the least), and we filled it in right then and there.
     
  27. Grifter

    Bluh?

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    G/F has been travelling since 8 am NFLD time. She still isn't back and won't make it back til 130am mtn time. 2hr 15 minutes delay leaving nfld. 3 hr delay in Halifax.
    Delays caused her to miss her connection in Calgary. Now she's waiting til 1130 pm to fly back to Fmm. It's crazy.
     
  28. C. Mike Hunt

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  29. HairyAss

    Cheese on Toast

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  30. Grifter

    Bluh?

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    Sister's family has a wedding in New Brunswick. They flew there yesterday. 1hr stopover in Toronto turned into a 9 hour delay.
     
  31. Wayne

    Wayne
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    Everything through Pearson is fucked
     
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  32. HairyAss

    Cheese on Toast

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    Air travel still sucks and no end in sight from what I can tell.

    Flying back from Amsterdam to Seattle, security lines were as long as 5 hours - luckily, I have status with Delta which gave me priority screening so I didn't have to deal with it too much but holy fuck. A bunch of articles about 2 hour+ waits in security here in Seattle right now as well.

    Only thinking about it as I'd like to book a trip at Christmas somewhere warm but not sure the hassle is worth it.
     
  33. Wayne

    Wayne
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    Yeah lots of horror stories from guys at IBC and my boss just had a nightmare from vacation in Rome.
     
  34. Grifter

    Bluh?

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    What are the waits looking like now for passports? Still crazy?
     
  35. Boots

    www.reality-check.ca

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    coworker is en route to the passport office right now for a short notice renewal. I'll update with his experience
     

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