Day 1 – Victoria to Prague Part 1

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Getting Around
Tags: , ,

And so it begins…

Marie was only 45 minutes late leaving work and only had to spend the whole drive to Sidney on the phone and make one call from the 1KD 1570airport for work so all things considered it was a pretty decent start.

We weren’t able to check in online at all (we thought we’d try again despite last night’s failure) so we made sure we were at the airport
by 3:30 in hopes we could get seats together – or at least closer together than we are now… Nope. Turns out that it wasn’t just us that couldn’t check in but the Air Canada ticket agent couldn’t check us in either. They could check our luggage through to Prague but we’ll have to go to the Lufthansa counter at the Vancouver Airport in order to check in for the next legs of our trip. The good news, though, was that because of delays at the Vancouver Airport (apparently they’re down to one runway or something due to “pavement issues”) they wanted to put us on an earlier flight that had been delayed. So instead of leaving at 5pm we will be flying out at 4:05 pm… Yeah… No.

The delayed flight (our new early flight… try to keep up) landed, deplaned and boarded without trouble… We plopped down into our seats at about 4:05 and just as we were buckling up the pilot came over the intercom to inform us that we wouldn’t be leaving at 4:05… no sir… we will be taking off at 5:25… so we’re sitting on the tarmac in a completely full plane with the air conditioner running at hurricane force (I’m sure if WorkSafe put a decibel metre in the cabin right now it would be significantly above allowable noise levels) waiting for permission to take off… None of this would be a big deal… after all, we’re on holidays mon… but we have a connecting flight at 6:40 (although that is likely to be significantly delayed as well apparently) and we need to check in… So it looks like we’ll be touching down around 6pm, dashing to the Lufthansa counter to check in (trying in vain probably to get seats close to one another) and then sprinting to the gate to make our connection… And hoping that our flight to Munich isn’t delayed too badly or we’ll miss our flight to Prague (we only have 1.5 hrs connecting time in Munich).

So far, not a particularly auspicious start… It sounds as if the issue is the airport’s but at this point I’m not giving any love to Air Canada either…

Well that was interesting. We took off as scheduled and made the 13 minute flight without incident, landing in Vancouver at about 5:45pm. We checked in with one of the Air Canada folks on the Vancouver side of things who said that we didn’t need to go to the Lufthansa counter to get our boarding passes – we could just go straight to the gate and they’d take care of us there. And for whatever reason, our flight to Munich was not delayed (nor were most of the flights we saw on the departures board) so maybe the delay was only affecting Air Canada flights… Hmmm… In any case, we had just enough time to get to the boarding gate, check-in (where the very helpful ticketing agent was able to get us three seats together for the flight to Munich after all… a little too near the back of the plane for our liking but more on that later) and grab something to drink from Starbucks. Thus far, no one has been able to explain why we were unable to check in online for our flights – it wasn’t a timing issue apparently and we should have been able to check-in online… The best answer we got was something to the effect that “Lufthansa and Air Canada just have these issues sometimes.”

So it all worked out in the end. But I will take this opportunity to point out that had we followed Marie’s “plan” and got to the airport around 4pm like she wanted to, we would have been on our regularly scheduled flight to Vancouver (we took the last 3 seats on the early flight which was actually a delayed flight which ended up being later than our regularly scheduled flight – try following that one!) which was also significantly delayed and would most likely have missed our flight to Munich… I’m not saying “I told you so” but…


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