Fist fights, geo-trackers and carry-on luggage; welcome to flying 2022

Deb recounts her harrowing trip home to West Virginia

Mom Judy left, and daughter Debby right. (Tom Patterson photo)

Mom Judy left, and daughter Debby right. (Tom Patterson photo)

In my last column I talked about the travel insanity I expected to embark upon, and wondered if I might need liquor or bail money. Turns out I didn’t, but several passengers ended up being arrested, and probably drunk by the end of the night.

I dreaded flying this trip, which is a first for me. I’ve flown all my life and love it, but not in our current times.

People were completely stressed out, my flights were either changed or delayed, and I just tried to go with the flow. I ended up going to Montreal instead of Toronto, which I thought would be a breeze. Nope. It was an absolute zoo, and people travelling were pushed passed their ability to be patient, or even control themselves.

We were all headed to the international flight wing, had been thru security and we hit a line up to customs none of us understood, but we were snaked down multiple halls. Every one of us had a flight to catch, but we were crawling in this line as they were calling for flights to board.

This caused people to start cutting in line saying “their flight was boarding.” This happened several times and then sparks flew, there was yelling somewhere close to me, and then the shoving started and an actual fist fight started between two men and a woman.

I quietly made my way to the wall and tried to blend in and slide myself away from the mayhem.

A CATSA security guard arrived, followed by a customs security guard, then the RCMP. They began to yell collectively to stop, to no avail. I continued making my way down the wall.

Then came the handcuffs, for all three. They were not going to make their flights that day, so really it accomplished nothing. It showed me, though, how volatile people had become.

I kept a very low profile after “the incident,” and figured the airline knew I was in the building checked in and I would get to my destination somehow, and I did. Flight delays were OK in my case, as I eventually made it to my gate and on board.

READ MORE: Travel insanity teaches patience

I learned several things about flying right now. First, go knowing there are lineups everywhere. Don’t panic. Everyone in the airport is going somewhere too, so pack your patience and expect delays. Once you check-in, the airline knows you are there and the flight you are headed to, so again, don’t panic.

Second, carry on your medication, keys, whatever it is you must have on your person for the trip. Avoid checking baggage if you can. I have no idea where the luggage goes, but it seems to evaporate. So do not expect to be re-united anytime soon.

One lady I met bought a geo-tracker and put it in her luggage to see where it went. It ended up in Kentucky and we were in Washington, DC. Not sure that little gadget really was of use, but she kept looking at it hopelessly, as she was headed to participate in a wedding.

Third, pack as light as you can. No extra shoes, those are heavy. Travel size toiletries, because you can get them everywhere. One or two pairs of pants, one dress up and three shirts, you can always wash them. Roll everything up and stuff your shoes with socks and undies. Light is key.

Last, expect the unexpected and don’t become flustered and angry, it gets you nowhere but in trouble and fast. Go with the flow and then you won’t end up in jail.

Finally, I am planning my next trip home with much delight and happiness. I found out I can get home on Amtrak.

 

One of the many beautiful churches in West Virginia. Where I’ve been for many Christmas eves. (Deb Meissner photo)

One of the many beautiful churches in West Virginia. Where I’ve been for many Christmas eves. (Deb Meissner photo)

This Heritage Home was made of bricks made on the property in the early 1800’s, and it is where I call home. (Deb Meissner photo)

This Heritage Home was made of bricks made on the property in the early 1800’s, and it is where I call home. (Deb Meissner photo)