Our Air Transat Flight from Hell

We got on our Thomas Cook flight without incident only to learn that the seat configuration on this Airbus A330 was not the same as that on the Airbus we had from Calgary into Manchester in late April. This was an old plane with worn and stained seats. As well, the distance between seat backs from the seat in front was only 28 inches instead of the 32 inch spacing we had on the previous flight. I’m a pretty big guy at almost 6′ 2″ and when I sat in my aisle seat I couldn’t sit with my feet on the floor because my knees were jammed into the back of the seat in front. The seat in front was so close that I couldn’t use the tray when eating my meal because it was impossible to eat over the plate without hitting the back of the seat in front with my forehead. In fact, the tv in the back of the seat was so close that I couldn’t comfortably focus on the screen to watch any of the in flight entertainment either. Thankfully, there were some empty seats and I managed to get a double seat to myself, but I still had to sit sideways and wedge myself into the seat. It was impossible to relax or get comfortable for the entire eight plus hour flight back to Calgary.

The most troublesome part of this flight is that when I booked our flights in February, there was absolutely no mention on the Air Transat website that we would be jammed into a much smaller plane for the return leg of our trip. I prebooked our seat selection coming and going at extra cost. The flight attendants were very understanding but powerless to do much for anyone. There were some bigger guys than me on the plane and it was funny to see most of us taking turns wandering the narrow aisles of our plane….anything to keep the blood flowing to our legs. Once we finally arrived in Calgary, there were many negative comments about our flight from people as we waited in line to go through customs. I’ve learned my lesson though and will never fly Air Transat or Thomas Cook ever again. I’m drafting a letter of complaint to Air Transat but am not expecting much in the way of a response.

Matt & Sarah were waiting for us as we exited the baggage area and before long we were all settled in to our hotel for our one night stay. They had brought my laptop and our jackets that we had at their place while we were away. We enjoyed a nice walk over to a nearby Boston Pizza for supper. After supper, I busied myself with doing a few Windows 7, Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.4 updates courtesy of the free wifi at our hotel. There was no way I could keep my eyes open much after 9 pm though so I turned in early while Chris & Sarah chatted in the lobby.

We said our goodbyes to Matt & Sarah after breakfast at Perkins on Monday morning and left Calgary for points west in the rain. Thankfully, the weather improved a lot once we got into the mountains and we were in and out of sunshine almost the whole way to our friends Garry & Jean’s near Salmon Arm. Traffic was actually pretty good too despite the long weekend. We stopped in Revelstoke to have a look at the nearby hydro dam. Something I have always wanted to do but never have. It was a pretty impressive structure and definitely worth a photo or two. We loved our one night stay in the guest house on the lake with Garry & Jean. Hoping to see them down south next winter perhaps.