We’re into the home stretch now… Our flight leaves in just over 12 hours and in just over 24 hours we should be touching down in Europe. That is if the fog that showed up this morning doesn’t delay our flight out of Victoria. It figures – days on end of beautiful sun and warm weather and just before we’re supposed to leave the fog rolls in… It looks like everything was leaving on time this morning so fingers crossed for tomorrow’s flights.
Speaking of flights, I have to describe the Air Canada check-in process (for those of you who have followed my previous travel blogs you’ll know this is an endless source of inspiration – or was that frustration?). So we’re traveling as a group of 15 and have been told that we have to check-in at the airport… Okay but they gave me a booking code so let’s see what happens. Amazing. I can actually log in and start the check in process… I can see my seats (right at the back of the plane for all three flights… nice). I can even select a different seat (not that there’s any better ones available)… Okay. This might work. Cancel this and let’s see if I can add Marie and Caitlin. It works. I add a couple more students. That works too… I can see seat assignments. Looks like it’s going to work. Let’s go for the rest… Okay, can only check in 9 people at a time. That makes sense. Not at all – note the ironic tone – why 9? But things are going so well so deep breath and let’s open two browser windows at the same time and try that. That’ll fool ’em. Sweet. It actually seems to be working. Then I get the helpful “Do you need more time” dialogue… Why yes. Yes I do. Thank you very much. I get 5 whole additional minutes and then it shuts the whole process down… just as I’m finishing entering the second batch of names in the second browser window. Grrrrr.
Go back to the first window and restart the process. Enter the names. Click continue. Get the “We’re sorry but one or more of your flights is not available for web check-in at this time” message. What? I was just checking in the same flights two minutes ago. Grrr. Try again. No luck. Go back to just the same 4 passengers that worked the first time. Now that’s not working either. What the heck? Clear the cache. Shut the browser down. Start over again trying just the 4 passengers that worked the first time. Works this time. Go figure. Try entering the rest of the first 9 passengers. Not happening. Must be one of the kids’ fault. Try just 5 passengers. That seems to work. Must have gotten rid of the weak link. I know… Let’s really fool ’em. Let’s do this in three windows with 5 passengers each. Type fast. Really fast. Sweet. Got all 15 names entered in 3 browser windows before the “Do you want more time?” message. Now go back to the first set of 5 names and click continue… Sweet. I can see seats. I can see names. This is going to work… It’s only been 25 minutes (a new record for navigating Air Canada’s web check-in process) and maybe we can shave a bit of time off tomorrow morning and actually sit down to eat our Tim Hortons… Let’s start by doing something about that middle seat they’ve assigned me at the very back of the plane… We’ll just move Marie to a middle seat (she’s tiny – she doesn’t need an aisle seat). So over to 700B for her… They don’t really have 700 rows – it just seems like that when you’re assigned to row 68 or some fool thing like that… As soon as I click on Marie’s new seat I get a “Seat selection is not permitted for itineraries with more than 4 travellers” message. What??? Why didn’t you tell me that when I added 5 or 6 or 9 passengers? The only reason I wanted to try checking in at all was to try to make sure we all had good seats and you tell me half an hour later and 9 steps into the process that I can’t do it… Grrr… Maybe it will work if I do 4 at a time… To heck with it… We’ll just check-in at the Air Canada counter tomorrow morning. Hopefully the staff are in a good mood when we get there at 4:30am. I’m sure they’ll be happy to see 15 kids show up wanting to sit beside their friends… Won’t they??