How much do I hate flying? Let me count the ways...
1) The flight crew on my departing night flight go on strike so I have to lug my bags all the way home and lose a day I could have spent with my family I hardly ever get to see.
2) I lose the lovely seat I had booked that had a circle of open seats all around me for my one year old to cause chaos without getting Cheerios on anyone or kicking the back of someone's chair while she's sitting on my lap for story time.
3) I instead get crammed in the back of the plane right next to the screaming engine and have to rock my poor child to sleep and she screams in frustration at not being able to lie down properly (on the bright side, this was the only time she screamed the whole vacation).
4) The line for foreigners in Vancouver airport was long enough I thought I was going to get onto Space Mountain on a hot July day and was unlucky enough to be behind an enormous number of huge tour bus parties from the Far East.
And that was my flight TO Vancouver.
As for the return:
5) One leg of the journey was fine. I had one hour for my connecting flight and had to get there quickly with my happy little child attached to my front, cheering "Weeeee!" on every moving walk way and escalator. That wasn't the bad part. The bad part was rushing to get there and then finding out a long time later that the crew on this flight was on strike too and I was going to have to spend a night in beautiful Detroit.
6) The lady at the gate (let's call her Kim, because that was her real name) told us all there was a free shuttle to the hotel that Northwest would pay for and we had $15 in coupons to spend on food there. THERE IS NO SHUTTLE TO THE DOUBLE TREE HOTEL THEY PUT US UP IN.
7) When we (I made friends with other Lost souls of Flight 815) finally figured this out, we shared a cab and figured we could present the bill to NWA later. The first cab filled up before I could get on with my increasingly annoyed little girl.
8) I finally stepped up to a cab who refused to take me because he didn't have a car seat.
9) When I finally got there, my daughter was so wound up, she didn't fall asleep until half past midnight, and in the meantime, crawled all over my face and hit me painfully in the nose twice. The bed was so high, I woke up constantly to make sure she wouldn't roll off.
10) I only had enough formula to last the trip home. I thus ran out.
11) The next day, my flight changed gates twice. This wouldn't mean much to those who didn't have to carry around as much as I was.
12) They refused to reimburse us for the taxis and Kim claimed to have never said that there was a shuttle.
13) The plane we got on was faulty and we sat there for an hour and a half until they finally kicked us off. My daughter slept for the whole time we WOULD have been traveling, but was now awake and ready to go with bells on.
14) We got onto a new plane and sat there for two hours because flight control "forgot" (the pilot's words) to reschedule us into the air. Boy, don't I feel confident.
15) The milk I bought her has now gone bad before she could finish it because this is all taking so damn long. There is no milk on the plane, only creamer for tea and coffee.
16) I finally get home, and my luggage is stored away because it arrived before me. No one is manning the NWA luggage storage desk.
17) I have to wait in the check in line for another half an hour to get the one under appreciated NWA employee to go down and unlock the door and let me get my bags full of touristy crap and swim diapers.
And those are the reasons, my friends, I hate flying. I didn't even bother mentioning the fact that they now charge for snacks because that was the least of my worries.
It is their right to strike, certainly, but I wish I had known ahead of time so I could avoid their company altogether and spurn them as I would a rabid cur.
On the plus side, my daughter was absolutely amazing the whole damn time (aside from the hits to my nose) and deserves an award for best behaved one year old in the history of time. I was more likely to throw a tantrum in the face of our joyous experiences than she was.