Monday, July 27, 2009

Toronto Pearson International Airport

I arrived from San Francisco 70 minutes late. We did make up some time, from the ground delay at SFO. Getting to my connecting gate was simple. Get off the plane from the US, follow the signs to customs, show boarding pass and you are sent through a door into the transit area, walk down a long corridor, and arrive in the international departures terminal. Not even 15 minutes. Very nice, bright terminal, by the way.

Though I think when that airport agent sent me through that door instead of to the passport verification booths right next to it, she mistook my red german passport for a canadian passport. I noticed that a bunch of Canadians around me were sent through the door directly, while everyone else was sent to the passport booths. I didn't have my passport out, so when she saw it was red she just waved me through...

Boarding for Munich starts in an hour.

"We're just missing a fire extinguisher ..."

My flight to Toronto left San Francisco 90 minutes late because ... wait for it ... one cockpit fire extinguisher showed low pressure and they had to exchange it. However, apparently you can't just buy a fire extinguisher easily at an airport.

After waiting for 30 minutes (on the plane...) Air Canada finally located a fire extinguisher at United Airlines. United needed some paperwork processed before they release the fire extinguisher to Air Canada (clearly I'm flying with a banana airline, that can't be trusted to pay its bills). The pilot came on and explained that "the paperwork from United will take 20 minutes or so to process".

Another half hour later, a United technician steps onboard with the bright red fire extinguisher (yay!), pilot explains that they "have the bottle. Now we just need to do the paperwork and we are on our way". We left a mere 30 minutes later.

The cabin crew was very nice about it though, they passed out water, the (very nice) entertainment system was running, and since I have a 4 hour layover in Toronto, I don't mind being late. Though sitting 6 hours in a plane instead of the expected 4.5 is a bit annoying., especially when you know that you have another 8.5 hour flight after that.