Well, we got off to a fairly good start this morning. We got to the airport at 8:30, so 2 hours before our 10:30 departure. That’s where things start to go weird. We were at the check-in counter for almost 45 minutes. The agent was having trouble with our reservation. Apparently, the issue is that in Detroit, Air Canada reservations are handled by United’s agents. And Air Canada does not “push” the infant (lap baby) boarding passes through to their system. She ended up having to call Air Canada to get us ticketed properly. A couple of things that worked GREAT for us: a car seat does not count as part of your checked bags (YES! 10 checked bags plus car seat means we didn’t have to abandon a box of water.) and they’ve waived the weight limit for Japan (another huge YES! Our big suitcase weighed 57.5 pounds and I couldn’t figure out how we were going to lose the 7.5 pounds…). Tak’s comment was, “We could have brought more water!” So now I’m thinking we have to book it to catch our flight at 10:30. Of course, security took forever. We had lots of bags, including 2 laptops and a stroller. We got to our gate and I saw another flight listed on the board. A moment of mild panic. But it was all good. Our flight left after that flight. The staff at the gate were super friendly and helped entertain Tsubaki.
Now the next “new” experience for me. The flight attendant asked everyone to line up to the left of the counter, because it was a full flight and she needed to count everyone to get an idea of how many men there were versus how many women. I had never heard this request, so I thought it was strange. That’s when we found out that our plane was an 18-seater!! And there were 17 passengers (actually, 19 including two lap babies – 12 men, 2 women, 3 kids, 2 infants). So they said the seat assignments didn’t matter. They were asking the men to sit in the front and the families to sit in the back. Then we were watching them load up the plane and our water did not make it… They couldn’t fit it on the plane. Tak was pretty worried, but I figured we had a 2-hour layover so they would still make it onto our Toronto-Narita plane.
The little plane was actually pretty cool. You could see straight through the cockpit and out the front window. Landing was pretty neat since we could see ourselves approaching the runway. Tsubaki was a bit fussy and squirmy, but it didn’t really matter because the plane itself was so loud! The biggest drawaback was there was no drink service… And because of not being able to take liquids through security, I didn’t have anything to drink. I had figured there would be drink service on the plane and we would fill our water bottles in Toronto. No big deal, except halfway through the flight Hana had a meltdown because she wanted a drink. After a couple of minutes of this, I got out her blankie for her and she fell asleep.
So, we arrived at Toronto airport and went through security. Toronto Pearson Airport has fairly poor signposting after you come out of security for an international transfer. We guessed right and walked down a long hall and went down an elevator where we finally came across a sign showing the flights and gates (our boarding pass didn’t list the gate). Well, our flight is delayed and due to leave at 18:05 – four hours late! So this means 6 hours to kill in Toronto Pearson Airport. When we started looking for lunch, I have to confess to being very dismayed by the minimal selection. But there is a nice seating area with some sculptures the kids can climb on. So hopefully, we’ll be on our way again this evening!!
Tsubaki finally crashed and is sleeping on a blanket on the floor. The other kids are now merrily trashing the space between 2 rows of seats, getting out all of their goodies which were planned for the long flight: wax bendy sticks, coloring sets, Pez dispensers. Guess I’d better do some cleanup! Only a couple more hours and we should be in the air again.
Gaku on the Little Plane
The View from the Back of the Plane
Hana at Toronto Pearson Airport