The flight home from Toronto was colourful, to say the least. I’ll call it the Italian, British and French adventure. It started with my much earlier than expected arrival at the airport which gave me the opportunity to switch to an earlier flight. I was in luck there was a seat remaining, and only a ten-minute wait to boarding.

So let me explain the Italian “leg”, which brought me back to our honeymoon and the few days we spent in Italy. Back then, we watched as people fought for the same seat on the train (they all had tickets) with no conductor in site — just an Armani-wearing cappucino-cart-pushing Italian babe handing out free coffee and biscotti.  How does this relate to my Porter experience?

To set the stage, rows 10 and higher boarded first. I was in the second group. I boarded and walked back to row 9, and looked at the two men sitting in the seats.  One of them had to be in my seat. Nope, I realized I was at the wrong row. Should have been row 6. Back three rows I go, but there are still two men sitting there. I said, “I think you’re in my seat.” He replied by pulling out his boarding pass, which was for the same seat as mine. Back up to the front I go to see the flight attendant. She asks me to stand behind her (almost in the cockpit). After a couple of minutes I ask the pilot if I can just join him up there. It was pretty cramped though and definitely not allowed. The flight attendant checks with another Porter ground guy on why I have the same boarding pass. He finally says, it should be 10D. So back I go to the 10th row, but both C and D are occupied. But A and B are both empty. So, better than in Italy I ended up with the only seat that was to itself.

Up, up and away, and the British “leg” of my adventure occurs. When you think of Britain, you may think of bangers and mash, or beer and the Queen, but ultimately it’s known for it’s never ending rain. As you know, it’s not a very long flight from Toronto, usually about an hour. Porter offers in flight service of a boxed snack (half a sandwich, cheese/crackers, cookie) and your choice of beverage (wine, beer, juice, pop). Since it’s included in the price, my tray was down as soon as the cart started rolling. For beverage choice, I selected a chilled Stella Artois. She (badly) poured some of it into a glass (yes, a real one), put the can in the drink spot on the tray and put the glass on the flat part of the tray.

While I was focused on putting my book down on the empty seat beside me, the glass started to slide because the plane was still climbing. Next thing I knew my beer had spilt all over the inside of my legs. So, I grabbed the glass, put it back on the table. Asked for serviettes, pulled by coat out from under me. While reaching for the serviettes from the flight attendant, it fell on me again! How does this relate to Britain? I was all wet, just like my last trip there!

The rest of the flight was the “France” leg of my journey. The two flight attendants were scrambling to get through service to 40 rows of a full plane (with the exception of my empty neighbouring seat). With a tail wind pushing us to an earlier arrival, they had lost 10 minutes for clean up and my spill had interrupted the initial service. Just like the cyclists in the Tour de France, the two flight attendants helped each other to deliver break-neck speed service. By the end of the flight they looked like they had cycled through the Pyrenees.

Even getting a bit wet couldn’t put a damper on my Fly Porter experience. All in all, very professional, top-notch service and an early arrival too!

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