Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas Pics

Enjoy these photos, some taken in Newfoundland, some in Toronto, of our holiday shenanigans. Speaking of which, my getting back to the Big Smoke was an awful kerfuffle. My 6AM flight (which we woke up at 3:30AM to catch) from St.John's (YYT) left late which mattered little because my connecting flight in Halifax (YHZ) was cancelled (ostensibly due to weather - 20 flights were cancelled, mostly Air Canada ones). Thoughtfully, Air Canada went out of their way to offer me a piece of paper with a phone number on it. After oscillating between the customer service desk and trying the phone number (I never did speak to an agent) I discovered I had been placed on standby, along with everyone else on two afternoon flights and reserved on a flight for January 1st. Rather than passively accept whatever crap they handed me, I decided to connect to Halifax airport's wi-fi (thank you Internet) and find another flight. WestJet came up empty but Porter Air had a flight leaving early the afternoon that went through Ottawa (YOW) and landed at the downtown Island Airport (YTZ, not YYZ which is Pearson Int'l). I booked it, I took it, and I landed terra firma at 4PM local time (30 minutes late due to head winds) which was only 6½ hours later than I should have arrived. 45 minutes later, I walked through my front door, over 30hrs faster than had I accepted Air Canada's offer. I later calculated I had travelled by car, jet plane, prop plane, passed through 4 airports (though only 2 security checks), took a ferry (probably less than 300ft separate the Island Airport from mainland Toronto), a bus, the subway and finally, a streetcar. I suppose if I'd taken my bicycle or hitched a ride on a donkey I would've covered every mode of transport. I'm like the armed forces (by land, sea and air). Ah well, that only leaves me to try to recoup my losses from the indubitable scoundrels at Air Canada (hereby known as Air Cannot). I will say this, while I'm opposed to an airport on Toronto Island (It doesn't make sense economically or environmentally and unbelievably, can take the same amount of time to get as Pearson), flying Porter does feel pretty glamorous. You get all the little perks such as complimentary lunch and Stella Artois and when you land on the island you see Toronto's skyline stretched out before you. All this while stepping out of a small twin prop plane onto the tarmac, followed by a short boat ride to shore. It's like you're in an old film noir movie or something ("this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" kind of movie). Shameful isn't it? Me enjoying glamour over principles.

The following video shows the storm that scraped over Halifax that begat my mini-epic odyssey in the first place.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's your review on Porter Air?

10:43 AM, January 02, 2008  
Blogger Rowdyman said...

It's actually pretty good. Affordable, flexible, friendly and best of all, they ARE NOT Air Canada. I'm generally against the Island Airport expanding but it is pretty neat landing on the island, stepping off a prop plane and walking to a waiting ferry. In 2008 they are planning on offering trips to NYC so it might become my dirty little secret.

11:52 AM, January 02, 2008  

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