Monday, November 19, 2001
Travel day. We woke up fairly early, and finished off the fruit and English muffins for breakfast. Did a final pack and a check around the room and then checked out and headed to the airport. Randy dropped me and the luggage off at the terminal and went to return the car. He returned a short time later, and we checked in at Aloha Airlines. Because we were there earlier than we thought, we were able to get onto an earlier flight (9:30 instead of 10:20). Aloha Airlines was able to check our bags all the way through to Vancouver, so we wouldn’t have to pick them up in the Honolulu airport.
The flight to Honolulu was only about 70% full, so we weren’t packed in like sardines. However, this time they came around and served the little containers of juice! I was quite excited. Maybe they only do that on the morning flights or something.
Got off the plane and decided to head to the Air Canada check-in to get our boarding passes. When we got there, there was already a big line-up of people waiting for the check-in agents to arrive. A lot of the people in line were Canada 3000 passengers (who were stranded after Canada 3000 went bankrupt) that were trying to get home using Air Canada. Luckily, we were able to use the Priority check-in, so we were first in line for that. We found out that the gate agents didn’t start working until 11:00am. So, we had to wait around for about 45 minutes. As we were waiting in line, we started chatting with the couple that were at the front of the Economy check-in line. Dave and Linda were from Vancouver, and they were one of the unlucky ones that had flown out to Hawaii on Canada 3000.
We had hoped that we could possibly get an upgrade, but when we checked in, the agent said that we would have to talk to the agent at the gate. We asked whether we could get a window seat (because we had an aisle and middle), and the agent said that the window seat next to us was still open, and that no one would be sitting in it. But for some reason, she couldn’t actually move one of us into that seat.
So, we took our boarding cards and went through security. We ran into Dave and Linda, and asked them if they wanted to grab a bite to eat with us. They said sure, so we headed off to the food court. Randy and I weren’t that hungry, so we just shared a Chinese combo plate. Afterwards, we wandered around the airport. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was closed, so we weren’t able to go in and relax there. None of the other Star Alliance lounges were open either. So, we just hung out in the main terminal with everyone else.
The gate agents were supposed to be at the gate at 1:00pm, but of course they were late getting set up. Finally, they allowed people to enter the boarding area. We were one of the first people to approach the gate agent, to see if we could get upgraded. We were told that Business Class was already full. We asked if we could get a window seat, and she said that the whole plane was full and there were no other seats available. So, why did the other agent say that no one would be sitting next to us?? Grrr.
But since we actually were sitting together this time, we couldn’t argue too much. We finally boarded the plane and settled in. We had a gal come and sit in the window seat next to us. It turns out that she is a flight attendant for Air Canada, and she was in Honolulu for the weekend with her boyfriend. I asked her how come she wasn’t sitting in business class (cause a lot of flight attendants get upgraded). She said that when she was checking in, the agent had told her that she was going to put her in business class, but by the time she actually got around to doing it, the seats were gone. However, this gal noticed when she got on the plane that there were some empty seats in business class, so I don’t know what the gate agents are talking about when they said there was no availability. Another Grrrr.
Anyway, the flight was fine. The movie was Planet of the Apes. I was actually able to see the screen this time, so it helped make the flight go by a little faster.
Because we were near the front of the plane, we were able to get off and to a customs agent without having to wait in line. Since we had declared bringing back a bird of paradise plant, the customs guy said that we would have to go and see a Food & Agriculture agent to determine whether the plant was ‘legal’ or not. We went to get our luggage first, and waited for quite a while. They finally came out, and we were then directed to the side area to see the Food & Agriculture agent. The gal looked at it briefly and said it was okay. And that was it, so we were outta there!