T Minus 19 hours and counting

Posted: July 18, 2014 in Planning & Preparation
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We’re heading into the final stretch and looking pretty good so far.

The bags are packed. The boat’s been moved out to Joyce’s place for the duration of the trip. House sitters have been confirmed and have been given the rundown on where things are, Ladybug’s schedule, etc. so pretty much everything’s taken care of in the planning and preparation department.

Of course there have been some wrinkles… first my already-incredibly-nervous-flyer wife heard about the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down today. She’s gotten better about flying over the past couple of years but planes getting shot out of the sky at 33,000 feet isn’t something you can really prepare for… It’s nothing that an extra Atavan won’t take care of but don’t be surprised if she grills the captain on her evasive flying training and wants to know whether the plane has been outfitted with the latest anti-surface-to-air missile technologies. On a serious note – condolences to the families of the people killed in today’s crash. The longer I live, the more I am constantly appalled at our capacity to inflict pain and suffering on our fellow human beings in the name of religion, land, ethnicity or a host of other pretences for unleashing evil…

The other wrinkle isn’t an entirely unexpected one but it’s still one of those things that irks you about flying Air Canada. We booked our tickets in February and requested our seat assignments at that time. No we didn’t pay the “we’ll guarantee your seat booking if you pay more $$$” fee knowing there’d be a chance that our seat assignments would be changed and we’d have to try to make it work when we checked in… But that’s the problem. At the moment, Caitlin and Marie are sitting together for all our flights – in seats that bear no resemblance whatsoever to the ones we requested in February and I’m sitting anywhere from 1 row to 20 rows away from them depending on the flight. So here’s the catch… With Air Canada you can’t check in any of your flights on a multi-flight trip more than 24hrs in advance of the last departure… So we leave Munich for Prague at 3:20pm on Saturday, July 19 – almost exactly 24 hrs before we arrive at the airport for our first flight on Friday, July 18. So there’s no sense trying to check-in on line as we’d be doing it as we’re driving to the airport… On the one hand, I see this as a good way to ensure that real people continue to have decent paying jobs (a good thing for my union brothers and sisters no doubt) but on the other hand it’s a colossal pain in the *** We’re not expecting to be able to sit together on all our flights but we’d like to at least be in the same general vicinity of one another on the plane – especially ’cause they’ll have all the snacks! Hopefully it will work out in our favour when we get to the airport tomorrow but not hugely optimistic as the flight looks pretty full (no surprise there with Air Canada – the overbooking champions of North America!) When you pay $3700 for three tickets (and that’s including a freebie from our rewards points) you should at least be able to sit together with other members of your party – gouging people for an extra fee to make that possible is just one more reason why people have so many bad stories of flying with Air Canada… How they’ve been the top-rated airline in North America for 5 years running is absolutely beyond me…

Okay. Rant’s over. Time to get back to the last-minute things. I might get a post out tomorrow at some point… depends how the day goes… otherwise we’ll talk to you again when we’ve landed in Prague! Although I just found out (or remember according to Caitlin who swears she told me about this already) that Prague has a Museum of Beer… 30 Czech microbrewery beers on tap and they do taster flights… The blog post might have to wait!

 

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