Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Home Again

Left Seattle Monday via a very comfortable Alaskan Airlines flight.  As usual, they ask at the gate if anyone would like a free baggage check-in for their carry-ons, because the flight is full and there won't be much room in the overhead bins.  Charging to check your bags has the effect of making people turn up with carry-ons (which, in passing, are not policed in the slightest).  Full flights run out of space, so the airline, knowing this, offers free checking of bags at the gate, at the last minute, as you board the plane.

Left Vegas Tuesday by Air Canada to Toronto then Montreal (complicated routing caused by the need to use return-airfare flights to keep the cost reasonable).  Air Canada, though the flights were also full, has not yet discovered the check-it-at-the-gate trick.  I think it's because the American airlines really want their passengers to enjoy flying with them as much as possible, while Air Canada doesn't really care.  Moreover, there's no more checking the bag through to your final destination: you get off at the first point of entry, retrieve your bags and go through security again and check your bags again.  Seems like a backwards step to me.  On the plus side, after an initial speech about electronic devices while taxiing, they weren't mentioned again and Air Hostesses strode by me several times while landing without asking me to shut off my Kindle.  Perhaps some light progress is being made in certain areas.  American Airlines lets its pilots use iPads in the cockpit instead of carrying heavy bags of Flight Manuals aboard.  Passengers must shut theirs off though during takeoff and landing.  Huh?

Arrived late in Montreal, found the car and tried to start it.  No go.  Though the dash lights came on, the starter wouldn't even turn over.  Jet-lagged, I remembered having a similar problem caused by battery-post oxidation years ago, so clambered out, dug out some tools, removed the battery cables and cleaned the posts and clamps by the faint light of a distant street light.  Reg started it up right away, reminding me that on our car (a standard) you have to depress the clutch pedal to start it.  We'd rented automatics in Vegas and Seattle and I'd gotten used to stepping on the brake pedal to start them and had forgotten about the clutch!  On the plus side, our battery posts are now squeaky-clean.  Drove home without further ado and collapsed gratefully into our own beds.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome home!

    Now - When do you blast off for Belize? LOL!