Departure Day at Last

Trip Start Jan 10, 2012
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Radisson Hotel, SEATAC

Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AaaaaGGGHH! Departure day and I only got as far as Seattle.  This agonizingly slow start is killing me!  Will I NEVER get to India??

Actually I knew I would only make it as far as Seattle today, but it hasn't reduced my angst. 

Planning this trip had been so easy, too easy it seems.  I researched the most efficient way to travel – whether to head east or west from Vancouver.  Time-wise it turned out not to matter.  All combinations of routes and airlines made for a 21-26 hour trip.  Cost-wise it did matter.  It was significantly cheaper, first of all, to fly out of Seattle instead of Vancouver, avoiding those pesky Canadian departure taxes.  It was also significantly cheaper to fly east on Continental or United or Lufthansa or Air France (in that order).  The least expensive fare heading west was $1,000 more than the cheapest going east.

I booked a commuter flight on Air Canada for tomorrow – Wednesday – followed by a Continental Airlines flight to Newark, NJ and on to New Delhi.  This is what my itinerary looked like:

Leave Vancouver   8:35 am;  arrive Seattle   9:24 am

Leave Seattle   10:55 am;  arrive Newark   7:00 pm  EST

Leave Newark   8:37 pm EST;  arrive New Delhi   9:20 pm Thursday

Pretty nice, huh?  No hanging around airports paying for WiFi to pass the time. 

Then on December 12th Continental sent me a new itinerary.  My 10:55 flight out of Seattle had been moved to 7:00 am.  There is no same-day plane, train or bus that can get me to Seattle from Vancouver in time to make that flight.  Hence I am spending the night in a Seattle airport hotel, and my departure for India is not a whoosh but a whimper. Continental emailed me this morning suggesting I check in and print my boarding passes for tomorrow.  I tried, but was taken to a window with THIS IS NOT A BOARDING PASS in large red letters.  A Continental customer representative must verify my travel documents.  I am informed that the most convenient customer representative is an airport kiosk – the most egregious form of contracting out.  [That last part was an editorial comment. ;) ]  I shall ask a human to verify my documents.

A further warning appeared on the same page: 

Note: When departing from Delhi, each traveler is allowed to carry-on one bag.  Please be aware that purses, briefcases, backpacks, and laptops do count towards this one carry-on bag limit.

My mind runs to ineffective security screening in Delhi, but perhaps I am wrong.  So much for avoiding the heartache of waiting for checked luggage.  :)

There is a silver lining to this tale of woe.  The flight to Seattle over the San Juan Islands was sunnily beautiful. Downtown Seattle looked magical. See the photo above.

And my former neighbour, Katherine, and her husband Ken and six-month-old baby Kayla met me for a drink at my hotel.  It was wonderful to see them and to meet Kayla who is utterly charming!

Soon. Soon. I hope soon.
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Cassandra on

Wonderful photo. =D Glad to hear you made to Seattle safe and sound. I look forward to reading what will happen next on your epic journey.

Tracey on

Travelling never seems to be straight forward anymore. I'm can see you pacing around your Seattle hotel room thinking "Let's get going to India!" Will be thnking of you on your long journey today.

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