Up at 5:00 a.m. this morning, Geneva time (GMT+1, AST+5). On the 5:41 a.m. train to the Geneva airport after checking out of Hotel Admiral (capsule review: nice central hotel with very friendly staff, clean but small rooms; would stay again).
The easyJet check-in in Geneva is completely kiosk-drive, and works simply and instantly. No crowds at checkin nor security, and the flight left exactly on time. Breezed out of Gatwick upon arrival; caught the National Express bus to Heathrow, and was there by 9:00 a.m.
Air Canada ticket counter staff at Heathrow were unusually helpful, and facilitated a change in my flight from London — Montreal — Charlottetown to London — Halifax — Charlottetown, shaving 5 hours off my travel time, and letting me say good-night to Oliver. And they waived the “change fee.” You rock (sometimes), Air Canada.
The flight over the Atlantic was uneventful but for leaving an hour and a half late — made up later — because of fog: regular moribund food, regular “show one and a half movies before Newfoundland” (cutting off As Good As It Gets half-way through). It seems like a much longer flight than it is, but that’s just because it’s homeward bound.
Air Canada still does the crazy “everyone deplanes in St. John’s and clears customs, then goes back through security and re-boards the plane” thing, but everyone hurried, and we made up all of the time we lost on the apron in London.
As I type, I’m in the Air Canada lounge in Halifax waiting for the quick flight to Charlottetown. The food offerings here have improved markedly, and I’ve just finished off a tasty bowl of Mexican Rice Soup with Okra, so French bread with oil and vinegar to dip, olives, gherkins, and a cup of decaf espresso.
Can’t wait to get home…