My first travel day started with an email message from Air Canada that my flight from Vancouver to Toronto had been cancelled. Not the end of the world, they kindly put me on a later flight giving me more time to peruse the delights of the domestic terminal.
The boarding pass issued by friendly Comox Valley Air Canada staff gave me flight number and time, with the Gate Number a mystery. I have flown in and out of YVR countless times and have almost exclusively been directed to one of two gates for boarding and departure.
Checked the monitor and saw that the flight was delayed, no gate designated.
I then passed a leisurely three hours wandering from store to store, checking my phone, people watching, texting... you know, killing time kind of stuff.
An hour before my expected flight departure I checked the flight directory monitor. Flight boarding. Gate 51? No Gate 51 in sight. I start reading signs and realize it is located nowhere near the area that I expected. I managed to Bugs Bunny it for the very long walk to the very out of the way, mostly boarded plane. Miraculously there was an overhead bin open that still had room for my carryon and jacket.
I then became “that” passenger.
The one that arrives late, rushed and disorganized to the (hated) middle seat of a fully booked flight. I wedge my way into the seat and then proceed to try and find phone, earbuds, water and my Kobo in my jam packed “personal item” (read large purse replacement bag). Out came the sandwich I bought for the flight, the notebook I am using to organize my trip, a set of headphones, three cables (knowing one must surely be right)and the items previously listed.
Search to make sure I had my passport and wallet. Do I need anything else? Back into the bag go most of my extracted items, in the wrong order of course so they don’t fit. Out comes everything again while I repack. Need to make sure my sandwich is on top...
The passengers on either side were doing their best to maintain a calm, patient and unbothered appearance. I apologize. I manage to cram my bag under the seat without taking one of them out with my elbow. I search for my seatbelt. Finally I settle and it seems that all is well...
Cue the hot flash. Off comes the seatbelt. Up I get to open the overhead air cooling and remove my sweater. I wiggle around to try put my sweater over my shoulders, knowing it will be needed shortly. Back into my seat I wedge myself, around I rummage for my seatbelt, more apologies, and then a deep breath as I try and calm the nerves I have frazzled.
Not counting the overhead bin opening on takeoff and the possibility that my bag was going to take out the poor passenger seated in its projected path, it was a smooth flight.
Toronto, what do you have in store for me this time?