Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Back Home From Canadian Holiday
Monday I arrived back home from my ten-day annual holiday in Canada.
You're probably wondering why I haven't written. I have a very good reason, I was EXHAUSTED.
I have so much to tell about my time in Canada but on this blog I'm going to vent about the Pearson Airport in Toronto.
In years past I have taken a flight to Buffalo, which is right over the border from Canada. I took the flight to Buffalo because the rate was significantly less expensive than flying directly into Toronto and Pearson Airport. Pat would then pick me up at the Buffalo airport and drive me back to his then home in Toronto, a two hour drive. I've always felt a guilty about having Pat make that two hour drive each way. So this year when I checked the flights, I found that the price for a flight to Toronto (Pearson) was significantly less than in years past.
I made my flight reservations to go directly into Pearson Airpot in Toronto. Little did I know I made a HUGE mistake.
First, Pat no longer lives in Toronto but now lives in his fabulous brand new condo in downtown Hamilton. Hamilton is forty miles closer to Buffalo. Toronto is almost as far the other way. So that "advantage" was no longer applicable. I didn't shorten Pat's trip to pick me up.
Another big problem, I would now have to go through customs in Toronto. In the past when Pat picked me up in Buffalo, all I had to do was show my passport at the border crossing guard. However, when one flies directly into Toronto, you have to fill out a customs disclosure form in Philadelphia. Then when you arrived in Toronto you have to go through the maze (three times) that is customs. And all VERY CONFUSING. Did I say confusing? CONFUSING!
Plus there was the problem of Pat getting to Pearson Airport. Buffalo is easy. Pearson is a nightmare of spaghetti roads. CONFUSING!
Now that was just coming into Toronto. Going out on Monday was even worse if that was possible.
Pat and I decided to take a bus to the airport. We left Hamilton in plenty of time but were still delayed because there was a motorcycle accident (which included a fatality) on the road leading to the airport.
When we finally arrived at the airport we couldn't find the terminal where I was to get my plane. Pat asked another fellow passenger on the elevator where our terminal was. He directed us to a terminal. We were so appreciative until we realized it was the WRONG
We asked on of those Visitor Attendants where our terminal was. Yes, I was going to America. He walked us for what seemed like two miles to another terminal. Up escalators, down escalators until Pat and I were separated by security. I again had to go through the maze of security, THREE TIMES! This time I had to take off my shoes and belt, something which I didn't have to do in Philly because I'm and Old Man (75 and over).
I load up the bins to go through the conveyor belt and step into the X-ray machines which visually strips me naked.
I asked to empty everything in my pockets. I thought I did. Oh, I forgot that used tissue.
I stepped into the stripper X-ray machine again, trying to keep my shorts from falling sans belt.
Again I was asked to empty my pockets. Oops! I had disposable gloves from my time with Pat from our daily litter patrol in Gore Park.
I step into the stripper X-ray machine again.
"Step out and empty your pockets!"
I step out and am asked if I would mind being patted down. Why not? They've already seen me naked. Lower the lights and put on the soft background music and pat me down.
I get patted down and pass . . . . finally! Of course they found nothing in my pockets. It's at this time I wonder what they do when someone is wearing a cock ring.
Now it was time to put my passport in the automated machine to pass the next phase of security. Of course I put it in upside down. Then before I knew it my picture was already taken. I needed this voucher with my photo on it to pass the next phase of security.
Did I mention that going through Security at Pearson was a NIGHTMARE?
I finally get through security, belt on, shoes on and ask where the American Airlines terminal is. I am directed to a stairwell that descends to the ground level. What? Americans don't get to wait in the Big Room to see the airplanes coming in and going out? Apparently not.
As I descend the stairs I hear a man over the loudspeaker paging "Mr. Tipton and Mr. Kahn, report to the front desk."
Oh My God! Am I not done yet? And what's with this "Mr. Kahn?" That's sounds like a terrorist to me.
I "report" to the front desk and apparently I am LATE. The plane has already loaded and they were waiting for me!
I rush out onto the hot tarmac. Oh, did I mentioned the WHOLE time I was in Canada I experienced a heat wave EVERY DAY. My departure day was no different.
Picture me hobbling across the sun baked tarmac to the stairwell to the plane.
I get on and of course my overhead bin is full. Of course. I load my luggage three seats down the aisle and I squeeze in my tiny window seat. Just my luck I have a big guy on the aisle sharing my space. Not his fault but at least he didn't stink like my last time I was on this plane back to Philly.
Thank goodness the flight back to Philly was only an hour in length. Airline travel on these little planes is not comfortable folks, even though I pay extra for "extra leg room" which really isn't.
This time back to Philly my flight wasn't delayed like it was the last two times. In fact I got back before my ride.
What a relief to get back to a decent airport, Philadelphia International.
As in all my trips I learn. I learned a lot from this trip but the main thing I learned is that NEVER AGAIN will I fly directly into Toronto and Pearson. The absolute worst nightmare I have ever had in an airport. THE WORST.
Other than the Pearson Airport Nightmare, how was your Canadian holiday? Fabulous, just fabulous! It was a shame that my experience at Pearson had to happen.
Here's a message to Toronto, if you want to establish yourself as a world class city, straighten out that airport. It is a disaster.
Speaking of which, notice how my video sequence it confusing? That was Pearson Airport at Toronto. Never again folks, never again.