When I booked the flight to Kelowna for our January trip to visit my mother-in-law, I knew winter could present some delays.  Getting to the airport, dropping off our Dodge Charger rental car at the Avis garage and taking only 20 minutes to get through security made me think this was going to be a breeze. An enthusiastic flight attendant named Dave on the first WestJet plane to Toronto brightened my day. He was witty and energetic. After nearly 3 hours of waiting for the second plane leaving from Toronto to take us to Calgary, we were informed by a very distressed flight attendant that all 168 passengers were not going to be embarking on a mechanically unsafe plane. It was going to the hangar to be repaired. “So where do we go?”, we asked as we waited in line to receive new flight plans and boarding passes. When we were paged, I thought we were to go to one gate but Garnet heard another number. We waited at the nearer one for 10 minutes and found out we were to be at the further one (23 gates away). Before leaving where we were, Garnet told the desk personnel to phone the other gate and say we were on our way. We were paged several times as we raced from Gate B2 to Gate B25. It was providential to have all our luggage with us rather than to be unsure where it would end up in the shuffle. Nevertheless as we were running, I was thinking of my poor husband who had grabbed my main suitcase as well as his own. He struggled on the escalators and the moving walkways. We arrived to hear the plan was to send us back to Montreal and then after a long wait there we would be on a direct flight to Calgary. I decided to stretch out over three bench seats and sleep when we got back to Montreal. The lunch I packed was eaten leisurely in Toronto but we would have to eat supper here. Now I just needed to catch up on a short night. Every noise imaginable in an airport and the opening and closing of the nearby exit door (it was minus 20 degrees celsius) didn’t keep me from the relaxing snooze. We got ready to leave again and  I found myself still on a window track through Calgary even on a 4th plane over the Rockies to Kelowna. I ususally feel some claustrophobia leaning against a window but this time I was happy to be out of the way of the aile activity. There were lots of beautiful nighttime city light views ! My 6ft 3inch husband was crammed into a middle seat and was generally patient about it but was already making vows to shorten all future air travel to 3 hrs or less. In Calgary we had time to make one bathroom stop and then we were in the air for 40 more minutes and in a midnight taxi to Bluebird Rd. We slipped into the bedroom and put our sleepy heads on the pillows and remembered none of this especially that it was 3am our time. We were still surprised to have gone all the way to Toronto for lunch and then back to a Montreal airport grill to have a Montreal Burger for supper before getting to Kelowna 22 hours after our morning departure. This hour has 22 minutes played on the entertainment system to Calgary. This TRIP has 22 HOURS was my experience. Summer trips to Kelowna in the past meant getting to the Montreal airport around breakfast and with the 3 hour time change, jumping in Okanagan Lake by noon local time. A new discount airline called New Leaf with à la carte service claims it gives passengers a seat and a seatbelt but the Kelowna mechanics will still be in charge of maintenance on their planes. Could it be better than Air Canada or WestJet? I call my boomerang trip from Montreal to Toronto and back not a WestJet flight but rather an EastJet flight.


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