Part 6: The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner…
Back into action, Up to the Top?*** – To Chicago with American Airlines, American Eagle and British Airways
*** = Hang on. Why title has changed 2/3rds the way through the report? This part explains why…
Part 6: The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner
Getting off the plane, I negotiated my past the horde of people waiting for their wheeliebags, and headed into the terminal, hunting for the connections area.
Eventually, my hunt leads me to Immigration – which was also deemed as the connection area.
It’s somewhere this way.
Hmm. This has all sorts of wrongablity written over it. What was looking like a reasonably comfortable connection was starting to get tighter by the minute.
I presented my passport and landing card, and was allowed to proceed after light questioning, which lead me into luggage reclaim… and where I found out that there is no straight interline for baggage – all bags must be reclaimed, then dropped off (akin to the US arrivals system)
Grrrrrrrr. Starting to get annoyed now. It’s possible to do a straight interline in T1, yet it’s a fully manual process in T3. Wonderful.
Of course, there were no free carts, and me being tight fisted, I waited a fair chunk of time for the bags to come out… to be confronted with a long old queue for Canadian Customs.
Thankfully it seems, Customs were not interested in me, and directed me to baggage re-check, where there two lines – one for WestJet customers, and one for everyone else. Thankfully the “everyone else” line was empty. My bags were rescanned and I was invited to lug my own luggage onto the belts.
After that little debacle I followed the signs for connections that took me… you’ve guessed it – into the public arrivals area.
What sort of person designed this level of Dante’s inferno?
I found my way by chance to the upper level and after floundering trying to find the right security gate, a member of staff directed me to the right concourse.
Thankfully, security itself was very quiet, and I was through within minutes. It was then a case of hiking through the B pier, and finally to the C gates which a gate guardian protected.
After getting some Canadian Maple Leaf Cookies (just for my father…), my attentions turned to the next thing: a lounge.
From there – I could see the gates, and a sign to the British Airways Lounge. I followed the sign to the lift, and up to an oasis after the pain I just went through.
Lounge stop: British Airways Galleries Lounge
Meals eaten quickly 1
I headed into the lounge where I was welcomed after looking very exhausted. The lounge agent, who started to do some tapping at her keyboard, took my boarding pass. I thought nothing of it as she confirmed my bags and apologised for the way luggage is handled at T3.
After a short while I was issued with a replacement boarding pass on BA stock with a ticket for pre-flight dining.
Hang on… Preflight dining – On an economy class ticket? My brain was still fried dealing with immigration (and carrying 65kg again), so I headed off to the pre-flight dining not knowing what actually was in my hand…
I was welcomed to pre-flight dining and my invite taken from me. As I sat down to settle down on a starter, I read what was on my boarding pass…
Class = J = Seat 63J… class = CLUB WORLD.
That were the first letters I saw. 63J is not an economy class seat no matter how you cut it. I then broke into a big smile as I saw the other words on the boarding pass - CLUB WORLD.
To say I ran back to reception and thanked the agent.
This is a rare Double Upgrade, from a seat in World Traveller, skipping straight past World Traveller Plus and straight onto the Top Deck of a 747.
Suddenly, going through Toronto wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
I dived into the main course when boarding was called. Talk about bad luck in timing.
I’m getting there gov. Hang on!
The lounge itself was very Galleries style, with fancy lights and blue hues everywhere.
Main lounge area
I finished off my meal and grabbed a bottle of water. I made the effort to thank the lounge staff who wished me a good flight, and I headed for the gate
I headed into the area, and skipped the economy line – straight to the Fast Track. My boarding pass was beeped, and I was let through… onto my first upper deck experience.
Well everyone loves a first time don’t they?
De Plane boss… and a seat on the upper deck is MINE!
Next up: BA098 Toronto Pearson T3 to London Heathrow… in CLUB WORLD.