Airtransat - What a Deal
Trip Start May 14, 2012
79Trip End Ongoing
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I realized quite quickly that the reason I was able to get such a killer deal on the flight ($49 plus fees from Toronto to Dublin) was because the airplane seemed to be held together by superglue. But no complaints - thanks Airtransat for not breaking the bank. I had to get to Toronto via the VIA trains, but missed the first shuttle bus to the airport because the conveyor belt to get the luggage into the station was broken. I being around 5:45pm and with my flight leaving at 8pm, this boded well for a relaxed check-in at the airport.
But, in the end, I printed my ticket and breezed through security to arrive at my gate just as they were calling out for the first passengers to board. Once on the plane I realized I was stuck in the middle seat (read: not aisle or window) but the two girls beside me were a hoot to hang out with. They were a mother and daughter from Kanata (she went to Earl of March and Ottawa U) going to Ireland for the week and neither felt obligated to sit next to each other and so talked over me the whole time. The mom was quite the piece of work.
We lifted off a bit after 8pm and would land in Dublin around 7:45 am (2:45am Ontario time), so when they turned off the lights at midnight (while the pale ghosts of The Artist and Green Lantern played mutely on the communal tv screens - correct, no individual screens) we could only nod for a few hours before being wakened by light pulling through the windows and the squeaky wheels of the duty-free merchandise carts pushed down the parallel aisles.
With no gravol in reach, both the daughter (Shannon) and I guzzled the complimentary wine that came with our evening meal (not complimentary at any other point - well I shouldn't have been expecting KLM standards...). Our stewardess gave us two consecutive glasses each but was interrupted by some turbulence and had to back the cart up a notch. Fine by us - we downed our glasses so she could refill them a third time when she passed again. We were more apt to nap afterwards.
Another in-flight movie and several uncomfortable body shifts later, we were flying over the Emerald Isle. We had to fill our small cards for customs before we landed and it's a good thing we did: with the giant lineup for non-EU passport holders at the airport I'm sure we would have NEVER had the time to do it other than our bumpy landing (I'm not sure if my nationality read "Canada" or "Canaalsdhgljahsld").
Getting off the flight I saw Guilia, an acquaintance from Ottawa who was also going to the Congress, who was also on my flight and who was also booking into Citihostels - my de facto el cheapo residence until next Wednesday. We put our heads together to figure out which bus we needed to take (aided by wonderful Congress volunteers at the terminal) and set off into the city. We met Guilia's friend Kim, who was also staying at the hostel, upon arrival.
Neither of us wanted to talk about how we had all of three Airtransat (read: fitful) hours of sleep and that the Opening Ceremonies were that afternoon. But, ah, this is the life.