The adventures of flying…calm and assertive…

Good day, fellow travelers, friends and colleagues – I landed in Ontario several days ago and have been hanging out at a cottage of friends here in beautiful Georgian Bay… sun, swimming, catching up and all that… life’s good let me tell you.

Getting here on a red-eye was another story, though, let me tell you! I was back and forth on whether I should blog about it, but here it goes – mainly so you’re forewarned really and so it doesn’t happen to you. We flew Sunwing (didn’t know that this was actually an airline), but they do offer reasonably priced domestic flights.  So, trying to stretch my travel budget as far as it will go, I booked an overnight flight for my kid and myself. The nice lady at the check-in gave us bulk head seats without us even asking. We just wanted two seats together one by the window (my kid) and one seat beside it. After entertaining ourselves for a couple of hours at the airport and gate and a delay of about 1/2 hour we finally borded the plane. My kid was tired of course – well actually both of us, it’s close to midnight, but we were also excited and happy. We get into the plane to see the nice flight attendant to show us to our seats, she says sorry a lady with a broken leg (well, actually a foot and no cast) has your seats and for now you’ll have to wait in another row or sit down one in front of the other… we wait one row behind as people begin boarding. While they do, Ms. Flight Attendant ( Lucia) says to us that the plane will be very full and we might have to sit apart. To which I quickly said no, that wouldn’t work. We still have to wait until everyone is on the plane, but now she’s asks us to come to the little area, where they keep the food in the front and so we huddle there. Then she comes up to us and after asking how old my kid is, tells us that we might have to sit apart (on a this night flight) and so on – at which point I interrupt her to calmly and assertively tell her that we won’t be separated and that we would like proper seats together please.

And then, get this, she says to me, if I interrupt her again, she might not allow me on the plane at all since she has the right to do that. I am floored, my kid starts crying right about then and I then tell her that I work for the federal government and that if she doesn’t find proper seats together for us (that we paid for) she would have another thing coming. She’s off, my kid is upset… another flight attendant who seems normal and friendly assures me that seats would be found. Finally, after another 10 minutes of waiting we get our original seats back. During the flight she makes repeated attemps to “make good” and I am polite to her and mention nothing else.

Really makes you wonder though right? First of all, this could be dealt with at the gate. Find a good place for the poor woman, or were our seats the only seats on the plane where she would have enough room? Secondly maybe separate two adults or find a single person to move. And, to threaten to throw me out of the plane for interrupting (and being assertive and calmly refusing us being separated) … That’s a bit threatening – and in front of a kid?

I for one will think twice before flying Sunwing again, especially because I don’t like to be bullied and if you’re on a Sunwing flight across Canada one of these days, watch your back and remember the dog whisperer: calm and assertive…

Signing off for today from Georgian Bay

Your Traveling Translator

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