It seemed foolish, but I actually went to bed for a couple of hours last night. And that is literally a couple of hours. I had to haul my bags down to the front desk and check out which granted me a clearance chit for security. The chit got me through my favorite security guards and on to the pier to join a few of the crew perusing the Internet which hanging out in the welcome tent.
My prebooked taxi was there promptly at 0200 and I was at the airport by 0225. There isn’t any traffic, but the route is primarily local roads complete with fully functioning stop lights. My driver was a new emigrant from Tanzania in the last few years. He and his wife, along with his brother & family made the transition. He described the challenges of cold that first winter and the joy of his 3 month old son.
Quebec City is a small airport. Really small. If you stand at the center of the one terminal you can see all the check in counters. Since they are so small, there is non of this “open the counter 3-4 hours before the flight non-sense.” Of course the website said to be checked in no later than 90 minutes out if you had luggage so I guess it was split the difference. Since there was free WiFi I took the opportunity to further run down my phone battery. When the counter opened, the very nice lady was more than willing to take my bags and point me toward security.
Security wasn’t open, so there I stood along with several dozen passengers off one of the Princess Ships who were also anxious to leave. I wrote my final batch of post cards while sitting at the gate and the lovely woman at the quick shop put them in the drop off box at the counter so that they will be posted at the end of the day.
Quebec City to Toronto. Of course my plane is in another terminal and I have to clear US Customs. Of course there is a line since we arrived late. Surprisingly, they have the new Kiosks + someone walking the line after the Kiosk and asking about boarding times. Those of us with tight connections actually were pulled out of line and passed through quickly. Even with a second set of security, I actually had five minutes at the new gate prior to boarding.
JFK…. Arrived at Terminal 7, departing at Terminal 1. George had checked for me – yes, I could change to a flight leaving at 1555 instead of 2145, that would be an additional 800E. No, I don’t think so.
First I entertained myself in the United Lounge at Terminal 7 for a number of hours. Lots of nice coffee, poor snacks, not crowded and excellent WiFi. About 1500 I wandered via the Sky Train to Terminal 1 and confirmed that JFK has the rudest, ill mannered and inconsiderate TSA screeners I have had the misfortune to encounter. It isn’t just that they take their breaks while sitting around one of the lanes (which they don’t bother to tell the people standing in line that the land is currently non-op) but they also yelled at everyone to get their things on the belts?
Hello? How about giving us some bins since they want every item placed in a bin. Can’t do anything without bins. Since I really don’t like the body scanners, I opt out. The reply I got was “I have no idea when we are going to be able to get you through. It can be a really long time.”
I just looked at the guy, waited till he actually made eye contact and asked him to please repeat what he just said as that it was so noisy I was having difficulty hearing. The repeat was “it might be a while till we have a female available” to which I happily told him I had hours and didn’t mind waiting.
It didn’t even take 15 minutes for him to decide that I really was going to wait, and he found one of the women who had been standing around talking for those self same 15 minutes. No fuss, no bother and less than 5 minutes later I was out of there.
The Lufthansa Lounge has United beat. They had warm food, even decaf lattes, working power outlets and blazing internet. Unfortunately, heat was a bit lacking. Kept on my jacket and munched till sundown.
The minute the plane launched and the fasten seatbelt sign was off, I motored the seat flat and drifted in and out of sleep for the entire flight. Bummer, all that good food in business class – and it is Yom Kippur.