Things we’ve discovered traveling together over the past 18 years:
- Looking for hotels on empty stomaches is a bad idea
- The navigator (read: Darlene) shouldn’t hesitate when offering directions to the driver (read: me)
- Maps in the Rough Guide are published with different scales
Today we discovered another little secret to smooth travelling: ask at the gate if you lose your passports and your boarding passes together.
We awoke at 5:30am to catch the shuttle to Pearson; everything went smoothly from hotel to terminal. Time was on our side with a 8:40am departure time and a 6:30am arrival at Terminal 1.
We had one overweight bag, but after some last minute shuffling the kind woman at Baggage Assistance gave us a pass with an “Oversize Bag”. This meant taking it to a different scanning location. There, upon putting the suitcase on the conveyor and watching it disappear into the x-ray…
Technician: What do you have in the suitcase?
Technician: What’s in the suitcase…normal stuff?
Me: Uh, yeah, normal stuff.
Technician: OK, have a good day.
…through airport security with relative ease, and into try to get some breakfast before boarding.
So far, so good.
Now, let me say, it’s a tad humiliating to admit asking 4 people before finishing my first cup of coffee if they had found a passport. Two passports, in fact: mine and Ian’s.
We had split up as a family since Darlene was checking her carry-on. One of us is a bit of a control-freak, so I kept Ian’s passport in my possession. He and I went to find breakfast.
The first place we went wasn’t serving breakfast, so found another. Darlene joined us, and soon after our boarding call was made. At this point…
Me: Did I give you the passports?
I had flashbacks of the time taken over the past 8 months getting the visas in order. I had no idea how I would replicate this over the coming weeks if I couldn’t get on the flight.
Despite genuine sympathy from the Air Canada Customer desk, a bartender, and the person who makes those announcements at the airport, the server at the first restaurant had the best advice, “If you don’t have your boarding pass either, go to the gate. That’s where I’d take a passport if I found one.” (This doesn’t happen all the time?!)
The upside is we didn’t have to wait long in line since it took about the same time to board a Boeing 767-300 as it did to find two passports. Nor were we stressed about flying!