Friday, July 8, 2011

Air Canada

I chose Air Canada because it's the cheapest way to get from Seoul to Toronto. In the future, I may just have to suck it up and splurge on a non-stop flight with another airline because I'm not sure I can tolerate another trip like this (I say this, yet I still have the return flight to contend with...)

We arrived at Incheon Airport 3 1/2 hours early because Clark needed to get to work. I had already done the on-line check in and confirmed my seat, so getting the boarding passes was simple enough. Passing through security was likewise without difficulty, and no one batted an eye at my giant carry-on's filled with water, formula, food, etc. Incheon truly is a lovely airport, and after a very brief run through a couple of Duty-Free shops, Logan and I settled down in a kid's play/nursing area to wait for our boarding call (2 carry-on's and a baby was just too heavy for any extended shopping to occur).

We boarded with the First-Class passengers,but were then forced to sit on the runway for about 90 minutes. Blaming the wind, the pilot announced the ground crew needed to unload some extra cargo because we were too heavy for take-off. This would've been ok with me except for the Nazi cabin crew who demanded I stay seated and hold onto Logan even though we were parked; we hadn't even taxied down the runway. They refused to let me sit him on the floor in front of me (we were in the bulkhead seats) or even let him stand. Eating was just about the only way to keep him calm ~ so he munched and munched and munched some more...

Once we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was finally turned off they presented me with two options: hold him or hold him. At no time was I allowed to have any part of him touching the ground (I tried it once and got reemed out huge). He slept on and off for a total of about 3 hours, but the poor little guy was so uncomfortable (never mind the pain and sweat his mommy was in) that he was constantly crying out and writhing around. Once, when he was fast asleep, I asked for a bassinet but was refused on the grounds that he was too old and had the ability to sit up; my assurances that I would pick up him immediately if he woke fell on deaf ears. Each time the meal cart came by they'd tease me and ask if I'd like something ~ "Uh, sure, are you gonna hold my baby or let me put him on the floor while I eat? Yeah, didn't think so." I was, however, able to drink water.

He didn't show any interest in the tv screen or any of the toys I'd brought along, but the elderly Korean couple behind us provided some comic relief from time to time, as did the magazines and emergency safety card instruction booklet. The man sitting next to us was of absolutely no help, preferring to stare straight ahead engrossed in movies, hogging the armrest, and spilling his scalding hot ramen noodle water onto my leg. Once, Logan did manage to rip his glasses from his face, which was worth a good giggle from mommy.

I found the change table in the bathroom pretty convenient, but a little to my surprise no one ever offered to let us go ahead of them, so we often waited in line 10-15 minutes. When I had to go, the flight attendants held on to him for me; but poor Bubby REALLY didn't like that idea.

The second leg, from Vancouver to Toronto, was smoother than the first. In Vancouver we easily passed through customs thanks to the notarized consent letter Clark and I had prepared for solo travel with Logan, and the baggage claim was a breeze because my suitcase was tagged priority. This flight was only about half full, so they moved us to an almost empty row, where Logan got his own seat next to one of the sweetest women in the world who helped me entertain him the rest of the way.

The lesson in all of this? If you can afford it, do not fly Air Canada buy your baby their own seat!


  1. I try my best to advise AGAINST bulkhead seating! I never find it to be worth it! The best I can say is if the flight is not full, finding a row of 2 or 3 seats and booking the window, hoping no one will want the aisle. When he's bigger and you need to book a seat, then I recommend booking a row of 3, one window and one aisle. Generally no one will want to sit between you and you'll score an extra seat for free!
    I also had to forgo meals, when I did accept a meal once he kicked it off my miserable little bulkhead tray. Never again!
    When I wore Thomas in the Moby it helped to settle him and he slept for most of the trips we took. When he was 16mths though it was quite possibly the worst trip of my life. 4 hours of turbulence leaving Incheon meant I had to hold him the whole time. He was VERY unhappy and that was when Singapore Air moved us to a row of 3 at the back and I learned my new trick of NEVER booking bulkhead again! The return flight and future flights have all been easy-peasy since!
    I can never stress enough how much I loathe flying Air Canada. Singapore Air used to fly direct to Vancouver with seat sales, it was wonderful! But for some reason they stopped. So now I fly Singapore Air to San Francisco and get a cheap flight via Jet Blue or West Jet from there. The price is not bad and the service is way better!
    Hope you enjoy your time home and have a smoother flight back! Hugs!

  2. Strange. Me and J slept on the floor and J spent the majority of the time on the floor (we put a blankie down) - this is with AC. One of the stewardesses was a bit bitchy about it but not nazi.

    If I had to hold J the whole time that would have been the absolute worse.

    AC what a friggin joke. I really wanna try out Korean Air but they're so d@mn expensive. Hopefully you can put him down on the way home.

    ^ I don't know MC, the flights I take with AC are always packed. I'd rather chance it with the bulkhead and hope no one is too strict about putting baby on the floor.^^

  3. The flight from Incheon to Vancouver was full; not a single empty seat, so I'm thankful for the extra legroom in the bulkhead. Fauna, I can't believe you and J slept on the ground. The cabin crew I had were serious Nazis! >.<

  4. I just came back from Canada on an Air Canada flight and had a not so good experience. I can't imagine what it is like to travel all that way with such unhelpful flight attendants with a baby!!!!!!!!!