#4: “Who Doesn’t Love Travelling?” from 8/22/2007


8 minute read

January 20, 2009


I’m so frustrated right now.  Airplanes, airports, stewardesses….er….”flight attendants.”

If only I had some sort of forum to express my current level of discomfort…

WAIT!  I have my very own blog! 

This may not be about real estate, but here goes anyways…


If I’m a little cranky it’s because I didn’t get home last night until 2:30AM.  While American Airlines flight #420 was supposed to dock at Pearson at 10:05PM, there were a few setbacks, to say the least.



Let’s start from the beginning.

Last Tuesday, I arrived at Pearson International Airport at 12:30PM for my 2:55PM flight.  I lined up out front of the American Airlines kiosk, and began the process of the self-check-in.  What a great invention!  When it works…

After several “error” and “please contact customer service representative” messages, a nice lady wearing the AA pin came over and told me to come to her kiosk.  She typed a few keys, pressed a few buttons, hmmm’d, haw’d, and then continued on her merry way.  She did this for a few minutes, before I finally asked, “Is there a problem?”

“Well,” she droned, “Your flight’s been cancelled.”

“WHEN were you going to tell me that?” I asked in about the nicest tone I would use all day.

“Didn’t somebody from the airline call you to tell you?”

“Uh, no,” I said.  “Do they usually do that?  Are they supposed to?”


Sometimes.  Like when?  Like for who?  Do they flip a coin?

She got me on an Air Canada flight to Chicago so I could make my connecting flight to Guadalajara, but this flight was 55 minutes EARLIER than my scheduled flight.

“You’d better ski-daddle!” she said.

I took the tram to Terminal 2, and then the REAL problems began.

You see, I was taking my golf clubs with me.  I don’t have a carrying case for them, but I figured they still have those plastic bags for oversized luggage—like skis, and that my quandary could be easily dealt with.

Not so much.

The lady at the Air Canada kiosk politely informed me, “I cannot accept your luggage in that condition.”  I asked her if she could find me a plastic bag and a roll of tape, and she said, “We’re all out of bags.”  I asked her what she suggested I do, and she said I should ask at customer service…..on the other side of customs.

Okay.  So I’ll line up for an hour—an hour that I don’t have, and go through customs only to come BACK to the Air Canada kiosk so she can check my luggage?

“Sir, I can’t give you a luggage tag with your bag in that condition.”  She then informed me that I couldn’t go through to the customer service with my bags, if I didn’t have a luggage tag.

What came first: the chicken, or the egg?

I left her kiosk, went to another one, where the person there had seemingly more experience dealing with this, and gave me a luggage tag.

I then proceeded to customs, in search of a plastic bag for my clubs.  I completely ignored the fact that it was 1:05PM and my flight was at 2:00PM.

I asked the first lady in uniform, “Excuse me, where can I get a plastic bag for my clubs?”

“You’re supposed to get one at the kiosk,” she replied.  I told her that they were out of bags, and that I was told to get one at customer service.

She looked like a deer in the headlights.  Then what she did next absolutely amazed me.

She turned 180-degrees, and walked away.

Must be nice.  A problem presents itself, and you just up-and-leave.

So I followed her, and she said, “Back into line sir!”

“Hold on a second,” I began.  “I have an issue here, and I need some assistance.  I require a plastic bag for my golf clubs.  They are out of plastic bags at the kiosk.  Please, use your problem-solving skills that netted you this incredible job at the airport in the first place, and help me out.”

Yeah, I was becoming very unpleasant to deal with.

“Back into line, sir!”

I got back into line—the FIRST line, as there were two, and once you made your way through maze #1 and got the cheese, you could now enter maze #2 in search of treasure at the end.

It was not 1:30PM, and I had neither passed through customs, nor got my plastic bag.

“1:55PM to La Guardia?  1:55PM to La Guardia?”  A customer service lady went up and down the line pulling out people who were in danger of missing their flights.

“How about 2:00PM to Chicago,” I asked.

“Not yet, sir.”

Right.  Would I feel vindication when she pulls me out of line in about four minutes?  Probably not.  I had made my way through maze #1 and successfully obtained the aforementioned cheese, and was crossing into maze #2 when I made a sharp left turn and headed towards the customs desks.

I held my ticket up.  “2:00PM to Chicago, right?”  The lady looked around for help.  Heaven forbid she should make a judgement call on her own.  “That other lady was calling 2:00PM to Chicago,” I told her.  She agreed, and I proceed to customs.

This part, I always love.

“What’s your occupation,” he asked me.

“Real estate.”

“What kind of real estate?”


“Any commercial?”


“So you are really in BOTH residential and commercial then, aren’t you?”

GOTCHA!  WE NABBED A TERRORIST!! He slipped up—he’s in BOTH residential AND commercial!”

After another series of ridiculous questions, I proceeded through to the customer service kiosk with 15 minutes to catch my flight.  I approached the customer service desk, and the lovely lady sat on the phone and didn’t look up at me at all.

“Excuse me?” I tried so valiantly.

She didn’t say a word.

I waited another minute.  Now I was down to about 12 minutes to catch my flight.

“Excuse me?” I tried again.

This time, she put up her index finger, as if to say I should wait.  She’d be with me shortly.

So I went to the desk beside hers, opened up the drawer, and VOILA!  A roll of plastic bags and a roll of tape.

“Excuuuuuuse me,” she said, clearly demonstrating to me her ability to speak English.

“No, no, you don’t need to apologize to me for being utterly useless,” I said.  “I’ll just do this myself.”  And then like Jerry Seinfeld, I began my rant: “You are in customer service.  You see, it’s the service that is the most important part.  Service is a verb.  A verb is an action word.  You need to take action.  But you didn’t, and you don’t.  So please, by all means, don’t let me keep you from your important phone call with your friend Mabel during which you will weigh the pros and cons over who should get their nails done first on Thursday.”

So she continued on her call!

I stood there, wrapping tape around my plastic-bag-covered golf clubs, and three other people in uniforms came over and began to watch.

“How am I doing?” I asked them.

With eight minutes to spare, I put my two pieces of luggage on the conveyor belt, and hurried through to the next security checkpoint.

They took my Gatorade away, not before offering me a few more sips.  No, that’s okay, I’m not thirsty.

Then after I went through the x-ray, they took my bag and waved that magic wand over it.

“I actually have like six minutes to get to my flight,” I told the overbearing man with unlimited intelligence.

“Son, the security of the world far outweighs your need to make your flight.  Perhaps you should have got here sooner!”

Or, perhaps my flight shouldn’t have been cancelled.  I decided against informing him of my plight.

After they called in Gil Grissom and the rest of the team from C.S.I. to analyze their special piece of fabric that they used with their magic wand over my gym bag, they let me go.

And I made my flight, with two minutes to spare.

I arrived in Guadalajara eight hours later to find…….no golf clubs.

Perhaps it was my fault?  Nah.  I can’t blame myself, afterall, I had only been working for Air Canada for less than a day…

My clubs arrived at Hotel Nueva Posada two full days later.  I missed out on two days of golf, meaning I was forced to sit by the pool and drink Corona all day instead…


So I have a great week in Mexico, bla bla.

I get to Guadalajara Airport yesterday morning, thinking perhaps, “This time might be different!”


My first flight to Dallas went off without a hitch.  I got there in tons of time to go through the invasive American security.  It never fails to amaze me how people crave the illusion of security.  Take away as many bottles of water as you want—you aren’t fooling anybody.  Oh wait, I take that back—you are fooling EVERYBODY!  Americans have never felt safer…

While making my way through the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport with my bags, that I had to re-check, I see an old security guard up ahead standing there doing nothing as people walk by him.  As luck would have it, he singles me out: “Stop there please sir.  What’s in the bag?”

I look down at my golf clubs, and think of saying to him, “Obviously, you’re not much of a racquetball player,” but I think better of it and inform him that my golf bag contains golf clubs. 

“And what about that one,” he asks, pointing to my suitcase.  “Um, that has my clothes.”  “Just clothes,” he asks, as if I’m the one being ridiculous.  “Well, there are some shoes in there too, maybe a hat.” 

He then completes the trifecta by asking what’s in my carry on bag.  I open it up and show him that I have nothing to hide, and he says, “Sir, if I wanted to see what was inside, I would have asked, but I didn’t.  I asked you to TELL me what’s inside.  I didn’t want to SEE what’s inside, I wanted to KNOW what’s inside.”

If only the rest of the world was run with this kind of efficiency.

I think in the Dallas government’s make-work initiative, they really struck gold with this old guy!  But I think he would be better served juggling rubber balls or painting kids faces than pretending to be doing security…

I take a look at the Departures board and see that my 6:05PM flight has been delayed….until 8:30PM.  That’s okay, afterall, it’s only 3:00PM.  I was actually hoping to have FIVE AND A HALF HOURS to myself.

I wish I was the kind of person who went to the airport to go shopping.  I mean, they have everything I need!  Jewelry, luggage, electronics, , Dallas Cowboys souvenirs….more jewelry….

After killing almost five hours, I go up to the kiosk and ask WHY our flight was delayed.

“Well, delays happen!” said the American Airlines representative.

“Well, I understand, I was just hoping that somebody might be able to tell me WHY.”

“Well, it seems that part of the crew was late in arriving.”

That makes sense.

Part of the crew, as I later learned, consisted of ONE person, since there were only two flight attendants.

So we were delayed three hours because Barbara forgot her American Airlines wings-pin on the nightstand in her Fort Worth duplex.  That seems totally fair.

At about 8:00PM, with no signs of pre-boarding, they announced that the flight had been delayed another hour until 9:05PM.

I guess Barbara had to go back, again, this time to get her lucky rabbit’s foot keychain.

After my sixth hour in the Dallas/Fort-Worth Airport, they changed the 9:05PM flight time to 9:18PM.  Wow, 9:18PM!  That is so accurate!

Ten minutes later, they changed the time to 9:21PM.  Good thing too, because I would hate to have been THREE MINUTES LATE!

We finally board the plane, and at about 9:50PM, the pilot comes on the mic.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he huffs, as if he has also been waiting six hours, “It seems there is a problem with the upper-ganechta-gazoink and the flutter-blaster.  So we’re gonna be delayed again, probably about twenty minutes.”

Exactly one hour later, he comes back on the mic.  “Sorry for the delay folks, it took a little longer than expected.”

A little longer.  That sure is sugar-coating it!  That’s like saying that a $600,000 house is a little more expensive than a $200,000 house.

We finally take off, and the three hour flight goes as smoothly as possible. 

I took five Gravols, found three empty seats, and passed the time.

I arrive at Pearson International Airport, with Mexico but a distant memory.

I pass through the security checkpoints and customs without a hitch.  Finally, everything is going my way.

I go downtstairs to the baggage claim and find……..no golf clubs.

But that’s okay.

I hate golf anyways….

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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1 Comment

  1. Duncan Scott

    at 6:02 pm

    I feel the Pain… however on airline has made the flight process enjoyable… I just flew to NYC and back on Porter… best flight experience ever!

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