I never upgrade. This isn’t because I’m cheap, but because I’m broke. My fiancée and I are in the middle of immigration hell and immigration hell costs, so while others may be able to choose that option, I can’t. That said, I sometimes wish I could…
This has resulted in hellish flights, but this time took the cake with hellish connections. My mother graciously gifted me some of her Air Miles to fly from Saskatoon to Manchester to visit my gal this past Christmas, but these Air Miles bookings are always worse (and definitely different) on the itinerary than they are just 5 minutes previous on the phone during booking. Oh, and no seat selection. Boo.
As it turned out I was booked to fly on Air Canada from Saskatoon – Toronto – Copenhagen – Manchester. Ugh, not looking forward to this, but…
Saskatoon – Toronto was uneventful. In coach where it’s always cold and the leg room is sparse.
Toronto – Copenhagen was the unmitigated shits. It was one of those enormous air bus things (seated 3 – 4 – 3 across the cabin) and I was smushed against the cold window with a smelly dude with body overflow in my seat. They have to get the luggage balanced juuuust right on those things I’m told (but I’m probably naive and there’s some other sinister reason), so they dicked around with it for the better part of an hour.
My connection from Copenhagen to Manchester was already tight, but this made it worse and I missed my connection along with 6 other people. Someone directed me to the transfer counter where some paper-saving jerk behind the counter put me and a strange man on the same transfer ticket. At this point I was tired and dizzy from not being able to sleep or eat much (I’m a Saskatchewan girl and paying $8 for a burger is NOT okay).
What this meant is that we were forced to go to the transfer counter together and explain the situation. First it meant a huge hassle at security as they wanted to know why it had worked out that way and why it had been handwritten in red pen. He called some woman over and she proceeded to SCOLD me like a small child. I asked her politely to please not scold me as I hadn’t done anything to provoke it, and she proclaimed that I had a “bad attitude” and stormed off. I didn’t understand the point of my ticking off, but the other guy and I managed to get through.
At the KLM ticket counter, however, the guy who was sharing my boarding pass turned into the most absolute raving asshole I’d ever met, telling the people who were trying to help us how bad the service was, how he was some Starpower Special Snowflake Card Holder Extraordinaire and he was going to have their asses in slings blah blah. The first agent put up with him for about 3 minutes before telling him he had a “bad attitude” (I agreed with her, actually) and refused to serve us. The next agent had already printed MY boarding pass when the guy started in on her about the crappy service, etc. Even though now I was REALLY tired and snapped at him to shut up, she took away my boarding passes (MY boarding passes!) and refused to serve us. By the time the third agent came around I turned on him after getting her attention and gave him a stern, “Shut up and let me handle this,” and managed to politely navigate her towards my already-printed boarding passes and got it into my hands.
I didn’t see him on my flight to Amsterdam (rerouting HELL) nor did I see him in Manchester, which was his final destination. I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t care. All I know is that, rounding the corner to my gate with minutes to spare with my boarding passes in hand, I was 5 cities, 4 countries and 29 hours gone and soon to be spoilt within an inch of my life. Flights from hell can elicit the BEST sympathy from the one who loves you best!