Once upon a time, a woman called Super Shuttle for a ride to the airport. For her 7:30 flight, they picked her up at 3:45. AM. It might not have been so bad, except Penwiper, distraught that yet another of her humans was leaving her (she had seen the suitcases in the hall), spent the entire night hitting said human in the face or, once shut out of the room, sitting and yowling loudly outside the door. So much for sleep.
I got the the airport three hours before the flight, and spent the time in the United Lounge. I deeply appreciate not having to hang out at the gate. I appreciated it even more when I had no access to a lounge in Montreal and …. spent three hours hanging out at the gate.
Air Canada people are, like most Canadians, nice. Really nice. I would fly with them any time. (Unlike, say, another international airline who shall go unnamed but whose initials are “AF” and who are based at Charles de Gaulle International Airport.)
Montreal airport was nothing special, especially given that I spent three hours at the gate. Next to the gate was a toy store. I kept saying “I’m too old for stuffed animals….I’m too old for stuffed animals…. I’m too old for….
I don’t have a name for the owl, other than Pride Owl. He (of course he’s a he) needs a better name.
The flight from Montreal was not bad — I had two seats to myself. I couldn’t sleep (I never sleep on airplanes), but I had noise-reducing headphones, a full phone battery, and soothing music on my iPhone. The trip went faster than I expected.
I often use mobility assistance in airports. Due to fibromyalgia, walking the distances required is a slow process,, especially given the luggage involved. I try to check most everything, but that still leaves me with a small carry on, a backpack, and medical equipment. (Twenty minute walks to the gate become 40 minute walks for me when my fibro kicks in.) If I have a luggage cart to lean on, the walks are less of a problem, but you don’t see luggage carts once you get through security.) One of the advantages is the ability to get through lines quickly.
When I got to Barcelona, there was no mobility assistance. No problem, I thought. I would just take a long time, but I could do this, as long as I didn’t have to stand too long. I hobbled the short walk to passport control. As I rounded the corner, I said to myself, “That’s not too bad.” Then I got closer, and saw the line snaked around another corner. “Hmmm.” I walked abound that corner so I could get to the line’s end and “Holy crap.” The line doubled back and forth several times. It was Space Mountain the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The only thing missing was a “You must be this tall to use this passport kiosk” sign.
So I stood and I stood and I stood some more. Quite unpleasant — painful, even — but I was in the same boat as everyone else. It was worth it to see Barcelona.
[To be continued.]