Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Back to Toronto

Posted by urufish on August 6, 2007

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We (daughter and myself), left Montevideo on Saturday morning to fly to Buenos Aires, to connect with an AC flight going to Toronto. It was the first time that I can remember getting up at 7am in Uruguay. Walking the dog at 7:30am was interesting. The streets were deserted. The dog crap was stone cold.

The drive to the airport was uneventful. But my daughter fainted just before security which livened things up a bit. Security called the nurse. She called a doctor. In Uruguay, the doctor comes with an ambulance. It appeard about 30 minutes before takeoff. They took my daughter into the ambulance and closed the door. About 10 minutes before flight time, a supervisor came out to ask the doctor if he was going to clear her so she could fly. I went into the ambulance and explained she only had 3 or 4 hours sleep the night before and that’s why she fainted. He agreed and let her go. The supervisor drove her (you get a wheelchair when you faint) through security and to a van to be driven directly to the plane. All the passengers were waiting at the gate when we got there. They held off boarding until the doctor finished checking her out. Most flights to BA are delayed so no one was particularly annoyed or surprised by the delay. Another perk of fainting is that they give you the seats right in the front of the plane and when the plane lands, you get driven off too.

We took the TAM flight which is the only one that flies to Ezeiza, BA’s international airport. Flyling TAM last week felt a little weird. This is the same TAM that had a plane crash in Brazil last week, killing everyone on board. When my daughter got out of the van at the plane, she looked up, saw the name and asked ‘isn’t that the plane that crashed last week?’ I said ‘no’. That was a different airline. Good thing my daughter still believes me. By taking a plane that flies to Ezeiza, instead of Aeroparque, we could check our luggage straight through to Toronto when we checked in at Montevideo. We were also able to take advantage of being in transit so we didn’t have to clear customs in Aregentina and lastly, the most important advantage of all, we didn’t have to make our way from Aeroparque airport (the local airpot) to Ezeiza.

When we were waiting to get our boarding passes for the AC flight, we ran into Migel, a partner in the company we used to bring our container to Uruguay. Migel and his brother, Oscar, own Canur. Migel was one of the guys who packed our container. Small world eh?

Migel was also flying back to Toronto on our flight. Turns out he flew on the same plane that we were flying out on. He was flying back on it too. He had to accompany a family from Toronto to BA and he had to get back the same day. So he would be flying for about 30 hours. I think he does this a lot. That’s how he gets his super Elite status.

The AC agent gave us a seat next to the emergency exit.. Row 18 on an AC 767. The extra leg room was nice, (I always sit in that seat), but this time we were in for a surprise. The first emergency door row’s seat does not recline. Sitting straight up in your seat for 13 hours isn’t my idea of fun. But there wasn’t much choice. Didn’t get much sleep.

The first class section is worthy of mention for those of you (like me), who hadn’t seen these new seats before. My first impression is that I was in some kind of futuristic cyber cafe. The seats are all set individually, on a diagonal–not in 2’s. Besides the suite of electronics gizmos you get with your seat, there is a small seat that faces you, probably to connect with your seat reclined, to turn it into a full sized bed for those 6′ and under. I assume if you have an abbreviated behind, you could sit there, facing the current occupant, playing cards.

Economy was improved too. I’ve been on planes where I can choose from one of many TV channels but this one didn’t have that. You got to choose from a dozen movies. On a 13 hour flight, this made staying awake bearable.

Going through customs/immigration when we arrived in Toronto was very different. For the first time in my life, I did not have to wait in line. This through me off because I didn’t have any documents out. Usually, we get into line and I have plenty of time to get things organized. I fumbled around for a few seconds, finding our passports and forms. He asked if I had anything to declare. I said we had a carton of cigarettes. He asked us how long we’d been away. I told him ‘quite a while, since November 2005’. He didn’t even blink. He just stamped the passports and said ‘OK, have a nice day’.

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2 Responses to “Back to Toronto”

  1. Wilbur said

    American Airlines also flies to Ezeiza. I think TAM is a bit cheaper though.

  2. urufish said

    Yep,you’re right. The long haulers, like American all fly later in the day. Because they cant get into the US or Canada until the next morning. I should have said morning flight.

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