Thoughts on a flight from #yyc to #yeg

By DJ Kelly April 9, 2009

I just landed in the Edmonton airport and had to head to the Air Canada lounge to share my thoughts on our flight from Calgary. You’re probably thinking this is going to be a post about business travellers on our flight. While I could go on and on about high speed rail versus the 38 minute turbo-prop trip, I won’t. This post is about our specific flight.

There are four of us travelling from Calgary to Orlando. Which actually means there are four of us travelling from Calgary to Edmonton. Then Edmonton to Denver, and finally Denver to Orlando. I’m not sure how this proved to be the most direct flight but that’s what Expedia gave us. I do however have to question how Calgary to Denver via Edmonton is the most direct flight. Wouldn’t it make more sense to go in the other direction? Not to mention I would expect more Calgary business people head to Denver than Edmonton business people. I may be wrong on that. Certainly I’m not a flight scheduling professional so I’ll just wonder instead…

Our flight got off to a slightly rocky start when the four of us were split up at security in Calgary into three different lines. All three of my fellow travellers made it to their metal detector before I did. For some reason I was in a line that had only one security guard who could allow a bag through the scanner. And that one guy was busy being the only guy who could sort through bags that came through the scanner. After a 8 minute delay (I timed it) it was finally my turn.

I pulled my liquds from my bag (I hate checking bags and we’re only go for four days) and put them in the bin with my cell, wallet, etc. The security guard was not impressed my liquids bag contained deodarant and a toothbrush as well. Nor was he impressed my sunblock was outside the ziplock bag. He proceeded to remove the non-liquids and dump the liquds all over the bin. (I’m still confused how this fit with the “put all liquids in one bag” rule). Not to mention I didn’t like him touching my toothbrush. Whatever though. After getting through the metal detector and reassembling my liquids into my bag I met up with two of my companions – who by this point have been clear of security for 15 minutes. But where was my wife? No one knew. Including Heather who was in line with her.

Heather and Jeanna headed to the lounge to get some reading material and I went on the search for my wife. Not at the gate. Not at either magazine stand. Where could she be? I returned to the gate and got a phone call from her. Apparently her epi-pen was being considered a liquid and had to be put inside her ziplock bag. Remember how mine was just dumped all over the bin? No luck for Chris. She was kicked out of security and sent back out into the airport to find a larger ziplock bag. So she would be allowed to care a lifesaving item. She’s travelled exenstively and had problems with the needle portion of the epi-pen before, but never the liquid part. None-the-less she finally joined us and we boarded our Dash-8 to Edmonton.

This part isn’t really a complaint but it did stand out to me as odd.

Our flight attendant was a jolly woman in her forties. She introduced herself as “D – which is short for Delightful”. Not my cup of tea but: okay. She then proceeded to reveal two things about herself in her preamble to the safety speech. “To answer the two questions most everyone has about me before you’ve asked them: No, I am not from Australia. I’m from London England. And to answer your second question: I have never worked for WestJet. Just because I’m happy doesn’t mean I had to have worked for WestJet. Happy people can work for Air Canada too. I know you’re used to us all being [insert grumpy sound] but I’m happy.” This was greated with a round of applause.

But my pleasure with our flight attendant was somwhat short lived. As she was serving drinks up the aisle I noticed on the back of her ID badge/lanyard she had a photo of a shirtless male model-type. I couldn’t help but think to myself how unprofessional this was. Not that I care if she is into shirtless chiseled men – I suspected as much. I just didn’t think she needed to carry it around her neck while she represented her company.

After passing us our drinks and moving onto the row if front of us is where the story started to come out….

The row in front of us was made up of flight attendants from a company called Sunview (or somethign like that). They all got to talking about where they’re from etc and after a moment or two the Air Canada flight attendant grabbed her lanyard, turned it around and showed the shirtless man to the row, proudly proclaiming “Can you believe this is mine?”

What? The photo? We guessed.

No the man. She went on to explain for the next 10 minutes – while the others waited for their garbage to be collected – that the man was her husband. He is spanish and from Santiago, Chile. He lives there, she last was there in January. She went on and on. He makes $10 a week, which after getting married she promptly informed him $5 of it was hers now. Perhaps the most revealing part of her tale was that he is 21 and this is scandalous. Probably because her son is 5 months older than her husband.

Thanks for sharing. Could you take the garbage from Christine? She’s been holding it for 20 minutes.

Where does Air Canada find these people?!

On the Denver flight I’m putting my earphones in and starting to read Richard Florida’s Canadian edition of “Who’s Your City?”. That’s the only way to avoid the weirdos.