1/7/08

Not-so-Calm Air

As I've said before, I'm pretty comfortable with flying.

Generally I either read till my eyes get droopy, break out the laptop for some quality prime-time-at-my-fingertips viewing... or on rare occasions... I tune into the in-flight doodad (be that sattelite TV, TV-on demand or in-flight movie).

But I've had a couple unnerving things happen during this recent trip home that makes me a little more wary of flying.

1.) When flying from Winnipeg to Toronto en route to PEI... we hit some pretty serious turbulence. I was mostly okay (I wasn't feeling too hot to begin with.... so the shaking didn't really help) but folks around me were getting sick, and kids were crying. I half-expected the masks to fall from the ceiling at any given moment.

2.) Flying from Charlottetown to Toronto ... just before we were about to descend, the flight attendants made a call for medical personnel. I don't know exactly what was going on (though it took all the restraint I had in my quivering journalist's body not to ask) but luckily there were FOUR doctors/nurses on board... and upon disembarking, a small EMT team at the door to meet us. Both, a relief. But it did make me think of that House episode where buddy gets the bends and Cuddy and House are left to solve the mystery at x-hundred feet.

3.) Noticed when taxing towards the gate in Toronto, that the wings on larger planes are prone to wiggling. I don't know about you, but I don't think steel/metal etc. should wiggle. But that's just me.

4) Note to all potential Calm Air passengers. Your baggage is neither safe nor secure abord the aircraft. And I'm not just talking checked baggage, carry-ons are vulnerable too. My flight back to Rankin was a bit of a nightmare… less for me, and more for my fellow passengers. In the post-Christmas gluttony, every single one of us (it seemed) packed too many heavy bags. With just twenty-four of us on the flight from Winnipeg, we had to make an unscheduled stop in Thompson (to refuel because our bags were too fat), and an extended stop in Churchill … because the weather in Arviat was a bit sketchy. As we got off the plane in Churchill (why we have to do this, I have no sweet clue….we don't have to in any of the other little fart-stops) our flight attendant told us that if we had a carry-on bag we'd have to check it. Which is dumb, because it is called a CARRY-ON for a reason, no? Anyways, this caused a lot of grumpy passengers… we all anticipated this would mean having to pay an extra 75 bucks for a third checked piece of luggage… luckily this wasn't the case. They waived the fee. BUT it wasn't until a good 45 minutes later that we found out they needed even MORE fuel … (because of the weather in Arviat) as a result, any baggage not marked "priority" wasn't getting on the plane. That meant if you checked 2 pieces of baggage, you were only getting the lighter one (as in my case) and all the items passengers had been FORCED to check in Churchill weren't getting to Arviat/Rankin/Baker. Maybe not till Monday. Quite a disaster, being as many people checked their "essentials" carry-on luggage… because they didn't feel safe checking laptops. So we have people with some medicine checked in baggage that may or may not reach final destinations for another couple of days. A1 work. *shakes head.

2 comments:

Jen January 8, 2008 at 1:15 AM  

Wings, better to wiggle, then snap right off...lol. If the steel can't move, then it will just snap under pressure. :)

Anonymous January 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM  

Jackie:

Glad to hear you arrived safely back in Rankin. You folks in the North have the most interesting info and tid bits that we in the South can learn about. I knew that they warn you that your "carry on bag" can shift its contents during the flight and to be careful when opening. But to actually need more fuel because of the weight of the carry ons is interesting.

I once flew in a very small plane from one Hawian Island to another and they put my purse in a small compartment in the wing. The pilot carried our luggage from the airport to the plane and we could look at the instrument panel as we flew. That would probably not be all that strange when flying in the North as you probably have lots of very small planes.

I've been checking the blog for updates so now that you have returned your "readers" will be expecting you to keep the blog updated.

Edith