Welcome to Posts from your Archive with a travel theme… if you have stories to share that you have posted on your blog in the past you will find the details at the end of the post.
Author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) is a seasoned traveler and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years. In this post she shares some of the joys of travel that we face when we put ourselves in the hands of airlines.
The Joys of #Travel Not! by D.G. Kaye
Traveling is hard enough these days, but add in a mix of extra city traffic, due to lane closures, construction and Toronto hosting the PanAm games, and driving in this city is a horror.
As many of you know, I’ve just returned from a week off to Las Vegas. This post is one of two (maybe three) I’ve written on my little getaway.
Within the week before I went on vacation to Las Vegas, two of our Canadian airlines had six bomb threats. And two days before I left, there was a Wildcat Strike by the fuelers of the airplanes. It was also July fourth weekend, and the U.S. was on an extra precautionary high alert.
Amidst all that commotion, you have me and my husband hoping our plane would take off SAFELY. There were two days of backlogged planes that were cancelled and delayed prior to the 5th, when we were to leave. I spent the previous day keeping an ear to the news updates, in hopes of hearing about the sudden unauthorized strike being resolved.
I went and did my 24 hour prior to flight check-in, and was happy to find that my flight, so far, hadn’t yet been cancelled. While I was surfing the Air Canada site, I thought I might as well double-check the baggage restrictions. My instincts told me that because there had been so much chatter and complaints about people getting ridiculous with the size and amount of their carry-ons, trying to avoid baggage fees, that the airlines may start clamping down at any time. No doubt, it’s those people with over-loaded carry-ons that ruin it for others. The overhead storage compartments on the plane get over-stuffed and the last stragglers on the plane often have no place to put their carry-ons.
So, naturally, as I surmised, the airlines had changed their dimensions of allowable carry-ons. Was it a coincidence these new guidelines changed within a month of my travel date? I found out that if regulations aren’t followed, our carry-ons would be checked and charged the same fee as though it were a regular bag. I also noted the standard carry-on legal size guide was somehow shortened to no longer than 21 1/2 inches long (from the previous 23″), INCLUDING WHEELS AND HANDLES.
I rummaged through my junk drawer, in search for a measuring tape. As I was measuring my ‘what had always been considered a legal size carry-on’, I discovered that my newest addition to my luggage, my Route 66 carry-on, was an inch and a half higher than now allowed. I called out to my hub to inform him that he had to go back down to the over-crowded locker, and bring up a different carry-on, because I didn’t want any unpleasant surprises at the airport.
Travel day arrived. I was happy to find that our scheduled flight for 9:15am was on time. I awoke at 4:00am and turned on my laptop to verify the plane was leaving on time, before I scurried around with last minute switching of things around between carry-ons, a quick coffee, and got dressed. Before I knew it, two hours had passed and the limo was picking us up at 6:15am. You may be thinking that’s early, three hours before flight time. But I anticipated it would be a hectic transition until boarding the plane. In fact, I was hoping I had given us enough time; twenty minute drive (with no traffic) to airport, and lots of time for line-ups. And line-ups there were!
I thought I’d be one step ahead by doing my web check-in and printing my boarding pass at home, but as it turned out, if you didn’t also print out baggage tags, you had to stand in some extremely lengthy lines to do so at a kiosk, then go to baggage drop off, or go to assisted check-in line where the line was half of what was doing at kiosk. I opted for the latter; what seemed like the lesser of the two evils.
The Air Canada zones were mobbed. I suspected there were many stranded passengers from the previous two days delays and cancellations. There we were, smack in the midst.
After the nice Air Canada check-in lady told us to have a nice flight and to go to U.S. customs, then to baggage drop-off. The usual protocol turned into a very lengthy exercise.
Normally, it was a three minute stroll to U.S. customs. But we had to take our bags about a half-mile down the airport to what seemed like a holding area. We weren’t allowed to go to customs at that point. The area was so crowded, and there were gated walkways patrolled by boarding pass checkers. They were only calling passengers by boarding times. We were asked to take a seat until our flight time was called.
“Are you kidding me?” I mumbled to myself as I surveyed what had to be at least a couple of hundred people waiting for their time to be called.
When I arrived there it was 6:50am, and they were only letting flights cross through departing at 8:50am. I pulled my husband out of the view of the boarding pass checkers, and tried to stand inconspicuously behind a big sign, keeping close to the walkway because there was no way I was going to be in another huge line to customs when our flight was called.
I was asked a few times to take a seat when the checkers glanced my way, but they were so busy turning people away, they didn’t reinforce their instructions to us, so we remained in our quick getaway spot.
About an hour later, around 7:50am, they finally called for the 9:15am flights to pass through customs. Hub and I were 2nd in line. Once in line, we stood another ten minutes until the entrance was opened, and then the walk to customs turned out to be another half mile back to where we originally checked in to go to customs.
We had to pass through another kiosk to swipe our passports and take our mugshots before proceeding to a customs agent for interrogation before we could drop off our bags. By this time I was feeling quite bitchy.
Yay, finally dropped off bags, and off to security line. Yes, I know the drill, I wanted to say as I smiled at the security checker. We unpacked, undressed, repacked, redressed, and finally we were on our way to our gate.
I stopped for a coffee so I could eat my breakfast I had in my purse—of which I had to show the customs agent; a flaxseed and corn wrap with chopped egg. Then I made one more stop. I stopped to get us our usual 500 ml bottle of water to have on the plane. The water that replaced the two half filled bottles we had to toss at security. “That will be $8.49,” the cheery girl at the cash said. I laughed out loud as I added my usual two cents about how I feel about being ripped off.
I said, “Are you kidding me?” As if I was really surprised that I’d be paying for a bottle of water almost the same as what a beer costs. Done ranting, I shoved my bottles of water in my purse and trekked about another half mile to my gate. No joke!
We just made it to the gate at the requested boarding time. By then I felt as though I’d run a marathon, lifted weights, and had put in a day’s work. Our flight took off on time. I sat in my cramped seat and wrote this post as we lifted off to the west.
Note: I’d like to proudly add that after traveling to so many places through the years and struggling with overweight luggage (my weakness) that I’ve learned the tricks of the trade and this trip, I successfully managed to be within the guidelines, without being stopped by the airlines going, and without being stopped by Canada customs on my return. For those of you who don’t know how many times I’ve been stopped in the past, this was a major feat. And because of the many issues I’ve encountered through my travels, they were the inspiration for my new upcoming book, Have Bags, Will Travel. A humorous book of tales about some of the places I’ve been to, and incidents that occurred with me and my bags on those trips.
My thanks to Debby for sharing the trials and tribulations of modern day travel. It used to be glamour all the way back in the 1950s as bags were carried to the plane and you were served a complimentary drink before take off. It is as they say for our safety…
About D.G. Kaye
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.
Debby has written a book about some of her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel
About the book
D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.
In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?
D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.
A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel
“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.
A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.
I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.
D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.
Other books by D.G. Kaye
Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
Connect to Debby Gies
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
How to participate in this series.
The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to firstname.lastname@example.org
You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.
So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 600 posts from 150 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.
The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.
Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally