I’ve flown with Air Transat quite a bit, primarily because it’s cheaper than Air Canada when we’re talking about flying back and forth to the UK (which is usually where I’m flying back and forth from). One thing I’ll mention specifically for flying into London, UK, is that, as far as I’m aware, Air Transat flies only into Gatwick, not into Heathrow. For anyone who knows these airports, you might know that getting from Gatwick back into King’s Cross is a veritable pain in the ass, and the train you have to catch goes slower than I could bloody walk. But anyway. Air Transat as an airline is … okay. Depends largely on the plane you get, too. Sometimes you’ll get a newer plane, where you have your own personal tv, and other times, you’ll have to watch the communal tv. Like a peasant. It’s no wedding limousine service.
Now, I know that Air Transat has had some bad press recently. And I’m here to tell you that they kind of deserve it. At least, I had a really bad experience a few Christmases ago at Pearson Airport in Toronto. To start, we were delayed in the airport for something like … I want to say it was four hours. Maybe it was two. I don’t know, time kind of stopped. I was there with a friend, who was also heading back to the UK to continue school after our Christmas break, during which we had gone home to Niagara. Anyway, I remember being really tired and really thirsty, but I was too cheap to buy water or something. I remember saying to him, after having fallen asleep on him, “I’m the thirstiest bear in the woods.” It’s weird, the things we remember.
Anyway, so we finally boarded the plane. And then we were told, just kidding, not taking off yet, we have to defrost the wings. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention, it was pretty bloody freezing outside. Like -40 or something. Anyway, so there’s too much ice on the wings, they have to defrost it. Fine. Only it wasn’t. Because it took forever. And then we had to refuel. But it was really slippery and the truck couldn’t get to us or something. And then one of the employees out there fell and broke his arm. So, as you can imagine, this whole process took hours, I’d say around four hours? Again, it was a while ago. Hard for me to remember exactly.
During this whole ordeal, people were starting to freak out. Honestly, I don’t blame them. We’re stuck on this plane for who knows how long, and folks are starting to get claustrophobic, to the point where a few people demanded to get off the plane, which meant that their baggage had to be found and taken off the plane, too, which just took more time. At this point, I was starting to lose it a little. (Go to the next blog post, Air Transat – Part 2, to read the rest.)