28 Mar 2000 phil   » (Master)

Finally back in Ottawa, and recovering from another one of His infamous visits. Luckily, this one scored a big zero on the heavy drinking scale, just a lot of good food (and a museum, who'd have guessed?)

I noticed a sign just a couple of blocks away from my apartment that makes me believe that our travel agent has moved from California. It reads "Far Horrors: Experts in Creative Travel"

Another airport, another surreal experience. In Minneapolis, all Air Canada operations are handled by their Star Alliance partner United. I stepped up to the counter, gave them my passport, and mentioned that I'd really really like to be on the 0600 flight to Chicago.

<Agent> 6 AM? Are you sure?
<Me> Yes.
<Agent> Sure?
<Me> Yes.
<Agent> Do you have a printed itinerary?
<Me> No, I changed my ticket yesterday.

Ah-ha. You could almost see the gears turning in his head. "He's going to look up my original record," I thought to myself, "find my information, and send me happily on my way."

<Agent> Hmm. I don't see anything with your name at all.

At my insistence, he called Air Canada's operations to see what exactly was going on. I only got to hear one side of the conversation, and it wasn't terribly encouraging.

<Agent> No. No. No, he's standing right here.
<Agent> No, I'm looking right at his luggage, it has an Ottawa to Minneapolis baggage tag on it!
<Agent> Yes, he's here in Minneapolis, and he says that he's supposed to be on the 6 AM flight to Chicago, connecting to Ottawa at 9:15.

To make a long story slightly less long, the man who changed my ticket had keyed in "MSY" instead of "MSP". Therefore, everyone (with the exception of the man actually in front of me) thought that I was in New Orleans.

This situation was repeated, almost verbatim, in Chicago when I went to pick up my second boarding pass. This time, the computer insisted that I was in Toronto (as my original itinerary was MSP->YYZ->YOW), and even the woman at the counter was a bit skeptical that I was standing in front of her. Finally, after much chatter and two more phone calls, she decided that I really was in Chicago, and I really did deserve to be back in Ottawa.

Raise your hand if you'll be attempting air travel anytime soon.

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