Part 6: The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner…
Back into action, Up to the Top?*** – To Chicago with American Airlines, American Eagle and British Airways
- Dodging the Sword of Damocles (The Introduction)
- To Heathrow, T3 Lounges
- AA99 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare T5
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One Time Exception: A Loop Around the Loop
- To ORD, Chicago AA Lounges
- AA4008 Chicago O’Hare T3 to Toronto Pearson T3
- The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner… – THIS SECTION
- BA098 Toronto Pearson T3 to London Heathrow
- Homeward Bound
- Colour me…
*** = Hang on. Why title has changed 2/3rds the way through the report? This part explains why…
Part 6: The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner
Getting off the plane, I negotiated my past the horde of people waiting for their wheeliebags, and headed into the terminal, hunting for the connections area.
Eventually, my hunt leads me to Immigration – which was also deemed as the connection area.
Hmm. This has all sorts of wrongablity written over it. What was looking like a reasonably comfortable connection was starting to get tighter by the minute.
I presented my passport and landing card, and was allowed to proceed after light questioning, which lead me into luggage reclaim… and where I found out that there is no straight interline for baggage – all bags must be reclaimed, then dropped off (akin to the US arrivals system)
Grrrrrrrr. Starting to get annoyed now. It’s possible to do a straight interline in T1, yet it’s a fully manual process in T3. Wonderful.
Of course, there were no free carts, and me being tight fisted, I waited a fair chunk of time for the bags to come out… to be confronted with a long old queue for Canadian Customs.
Thankfully it seems, Customs were not interested in me, and directed me to baggage re-check, where there two lines – one for WestJet customers, and one for everyone else. Thankfully the “everyone else” line was empty. My bags were rescanned and I was invited to lug my own luggage onto the belts.
After that little debacle I followed the signs for connections that took me… you’ve guessed it – into the public arrivals area.
What sort of person designed this level of Dante’s inferno?
I found my way by chance to the upper level and after floundering trying to find the right security gate, a member of staff directed me to the right concourse.
Thankfully, security itself was very quiet, and I was through within minutes. It was then a case of hiking through the B pier, and finally to the C gates which a gate guardian protected.
After getting some Canadian Maple Leaf Cookies (just for my father…), my attentions turned to the next thing: a lounge.
From there – I could see the gates, and a sign to the British Airways Lounge. I followed the sign to the lift, and up to an oasis after the pain I just went through.
Lounge stop: British Airways Galleries Lounge
Meals eaten quickly 1
I headed into the lounge where I was welcomed after looking very exhausted. The lounge agent, who started to do some tapping at her keyboard, took my boarding pass. I thought nothing of it as she confirmed my bags and apologised for the way luggage is handled at T3.
After a short while I was issued with a replacement boarding pass on BA stock with a ticket for pre-flight dining.
Hang on… Preflight dining – On an economy class ticket? My brain was still fried dealing with immigration (and carrying 65kg again), so I headed off to the pre-flight dining not knowing what actually was in my hand…
I was welcomed to pre-flight dining and my invite taken from me. As I sat down to settle down on a starter, I read what was on my boarding pass…
Class = J = Seat 63J… class = CLUB WORLD.
That were the first letters I saw. 63J is not an economy class seat no matter how you cut it. I then broke into a big smile as I saw the other words on the boarding pass - CLUB WORLD.
To say I ran back to reception and thanked the agent.
This is a rare Double Upgrade, from a seat in World Traveller, skipping straight past World Traveller Plus and straight onto the Top Deck of a 747.
Suddenly, going through Toronto wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
I dived into the main course when boarding was called. Talk about bad luck in timing.
The lounge itself was very Galleries style, with fancy lights and blue hues everywhere.
I finished off my meal and grabbed a bottle of water. I made the effort to thank the lounge staff who wished me a good flight, and I headed for the gate
I headed into the area, and skipped the economy line – straight to the Fast Track. My boarding pass was beeped, and I was let through… onto my first upper deck experience.
Well everyone loves a first time don’t they?
Next up: BA098 Toronto Pearson T3 to London Heathrow… in CLUB WORLD.