Friday, April 27, 2007

First let's deal with the travel arrangements

So, we went to Vegas.

Darlene said if we had opened a fortune cookie just prior to leaving, it would have said, 'expect delays'.

Well, we started on a good note. Scheduled departure time: 7:30pm. Actual departure time: 10:30pm. Reason? Problems with the aircraft. So we arrive at terminal 2 in Vegas around 12:30am and I'm thinking, get a shuttle bus, check in, everything will be fine. PPPfft! There I go thinking again.... Although the signs clearly indicated where shuttle buses would be picking people up, there were no shuttle buses to be seen. No problem. We'll wait. Well, we would have been waiting a long time because they don't come to terminal 2 at 12:30am (fact is - I don't know if they go there at all unless you've booked in advance).

So we had to catch a shuttle to terminal 1, where lo and behold, there are countless shuttle buses waiting to take people to hotels. How did we find all this out? Signs? Nope. I had to search for and ask around airport staff after the crowd got restless waiting for a shuttle. I managed to find out an inter-terminal shuttle was around the corner, out of sight of the shuttle bus loading area. Good work McCarron Airport. But man oh man did the limousine service (who were there in droves) ever make out like bandits with the folks who didn't want to wait or figure out what was going on.

We checked into our hotel (The Hotel at Mandalay Bay) and walked into a room that was definitely not non-smoking, so we went back to the desk and got a much better room as a result.

It was 2am when we got to our final room.

I'll leave the actual Vegas details until another post, because now I feel it appropriate to share with you the details of our return trip.

The return flight situation was just as bad. Our 5:00pm flight was already 2 hours delayed when we got to the terminal. Before anyone starts with 'well, that's what you get for flying Air Canada', let me say that I only chose the airline because I had some Aeroplan (reward) miles to burn. Scheduled departure - 5:15pm. Actual departure - 7:40pm. No wonder my friends have a more appropriate motto for this airline - 'Air Canada - we're not happy 'til you're not happy'.

While we were waiting for our flight, a Toronto bound flight's passengers (again - Air Canada) were informed that their flight missed out on getting catered, so go get something at Burger King or Pizza Hut (the only restaurants available in terminal 2) before you board.

OK, forget everything bad I said about Air Canada. They gave us $8 vouchers to spend in the terminal on snacks (only honoured at Burger King or Pizza Hut - not the snack store - no snacks for you!)......

Once we arrived in Calgary, I overheard a lot of grumbling from passengers. Some noted the lack of explanation or apology from the flight deck regarding the delay. Others noted that they knew of other friends whose recent flights out of Vegas on this airline were also delayed several hours. I saw the pilot and co-pilot quickly slam the door of the cockpit once they saw how upset some passengers were. Then, to top off the trip, they wouldn't let us off the plane right away because of a so-called security incident in the terminal. I have a feeling there are going to be a few calls or letters to Air Canada in the next few days regarding their service.

Seriously Air Canada, you could do better than this............


Carla said...

Other than that Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Karl Plesz said...

Is she making fun of me....... ?