Air Canada’s New Motto: “You’re Halfway Home. Sorry About That”

We left Mexico yesterday which basically took all day. Our flight was delayed about seven times and we were moved to as many gates. The official word from Air Canada and our pilots was that the weather above Cancun was so severe that they had to circle like seagulls above a French fry factory and had to pull up from an attempted landing. The flight was diverted for refueling but it all sounds fishy to me as each and every other flight landed and took off without excuse. My theory is no one in the cockpit knew where the windshield wiper button was.

Many would be pleased to be stranded in Mexico but I would remind you that it was an airport. I had to buy a twenty-five dollar (not peso) cheeseburger and the guy who brought my bill had the gall to ask if I wanted to make a donation to his thirty-five foot walk-a-thon between the kitchen and my table. I smiled and said “no thanks; the foreplay was enough.”

We walked around the airport shops marveling mainly at prices. I could have bought sunglasses but there was bugger all to see. I bought two hundred cigarettes but there was nowhere to smoke them. I could have bought a watch to keep track of the fact that my connecting flight was airborne before I was even in Canada. I should have bought cologne or perfume for whoever ended up seated near me thinking air between their toes was more important than what I was breathing.

When I finally boarded the plane I thought it was a special aircraft that they send when customers are screwed over. The beds and blankets weren’t meant for me. I got a seat belt and a life preserver I would have to inflate with my mouth. I doubted I would have to use them with puddle phobic pilots. I was clinging to my seat most of the way home as I assumed we would be diverted to Florida when they saw snow banks in Toronto. I found myself staring at the pictures of a cigarette with a big red X through them. We all know you can’t smoke in an airplane but to put it in perspective, consider yourself very thirsty with forty or fifty pictures of bottled water with a red X through them. If anything it is a reminder of your thirst and I do believe airlines are subliminally torturing smokers.

The trip home wasn’t a total washout. I got to see part of a half dozen movies on people’s headrests so I know the end of a few. The Air Canada employees in Toronto were as friendly as fossils when they put us up in a hotel for three hours. I don’t usually complain about two double beds but in this case I’m pretty sure it was to confuse the bedbugs.

I hope I don’t sound too bitter as it was a great vacation but it ended with disillusionment stacked on disappointment. I was awake for over 30 hours and I caught the cold the guy beside me was spraying into his hand he thought was somehow hermetically sealed. It’s nothing a little chain smoking won’t fix. Air Can’tada was kind enough to buy me a Tim Horton’s coffee so I’m pretty much Canadian again and that I don’t mind.