Here’s how it goes:
- Book a Toronto-San Francisco flight on Air Canada’s website, allowing them to route you through Calgary.
- Check in the night before the flight and notice with some trepidation that you only have 50 minutes between flights. Reassure yourself that they probably don’t have US customs in Calgary (like they do in every other major airport in Canada) so you can check your bag directly through from Toronto to San Francisco without having to wait for it and recheck it in Calgary.
- The morning of the flight, awaken early with a slight state of panic about the Calgary 50-minute stopover issue. Call Air Canada, to be told that you do have to clear customs there, but that the time is sufficient since it’s a relatively small airport.
- Get to the airport with a suitcase that’s the maximum carry-on size (normally checked), plus a computer bag and a purse. Decide to carry it all on and lug it through security and out to the gate.
- Notice that another Air Canada flight (United codeshare) leaves for Calgary 45 minutes before your flight, hike over to that gate to check it out.
- Be told that in spite of the fact that Air Canada has put you on a too-tight connection, you have to pay $50 to change flights, and you have to go to the customer service desk 25 gates away to do that.
- With only 15 minutes before the flight leaves, quickly hoof it down to the customer service desk, toting suitcase + computer bag + purse, to be told that the flight has already closed its doors.
- Hike back to the gate and notice the gate agent with a slightly smarmy smile, and resist the urge to beat her up for sending you off on a fool’s errand.
- Get on your original flight and heave all the luggage into the overhead bin.
- In Calgary, arrive at the end of concourse A. Get the luggage down, jog all the way out the concourse and towards concourse C. Note the people waiting around for their luggage on the way, and offer a silent prayer of thanks that you didn’t check luggage.
- Get through US customs, then jog all the way down to the end of concourse C to the San Francisco departure gate.
- Repeat step 9.
- Burn many extra calories in frustration as the flight waits for another 45 minutes for transferring passengers.
Between this and the Air Canada diet plan (have you seen their food offerings lately??), you should have no problem getting into shape for that week on the beach. Of course, you might want to fly a different airline to get to your vacation destination on time.