PEARSON RIP-OFFS, PETS ON PLANES AND A WEE BIT OF ST. LUCIA
ON THE WAY TO ST. LUCIA – They’ve done it again. One of the worst major airports in North America, our own beloved Lester B. (I think I’ll start calling it Lesser B.; no offence to our former Prime Minister), has found yet another way to rip us off; and to alienate the American tourists we so heavily rely on.
Not having enough Canadian money with me this morning, I stopped at Terminal 3 to buy some yogurt, coffee, water and a small bag of those delicious but really bad for you mini-cinnamon rolls so I wouldn’t have to spend money on expensive, really bad for you food on my American Airlines flight to Miami. It came to a fairly steep but not really that awful $9.45, or thereabouts.
I asked if they took American greenbacks and was told yes. But when the cashier rang it up the display showed that my $20 U.S. was worth $19.60 Canadian.
Uh, folks, I don’t expect to make money on the deal and I understand it’s a bit of a burden (but not much) to change American money to Canadian and that you probably have to use a bank that’s getting rich on foreign exchange fees, but the Canadian dollar started the day around 88 cents U.S. Which means that Lesser B. Pearson, or the folks who run the café on behalf of the GTAA, was/were, in effect, charging me something like 12 or 14 per cent for my transaction.
If you go to the LCBO with U.S. cash, they’ll give you a small exchange rate that goes in your favour; maybe a couple percentage points these days. But these guys PENALIZE people when the American dollar is worth something like $1.12 Canadian.
Get real, folks. I don’t much care about losing the 50 cents or whatever it was, but what kind of image does this give to American tourists who fill our restaurants and hotels?
Hey, GTAA, isn’t it enough that your baggage service sucks, that you make people pay for wi-fi when many airports provide it for free, that you have a terrible, terrible selection of restaurants and almost no decent shops for passengers and even less for people waiting for their friends or loved ones to arrive? Now you’re gonna let folks reach into their wallets with ridiculous exchange policies?
PETS ON BOARD
Didn’t get around to talking about the pets on board issue on Wednesday. In case you missed it, Air Canada will start allowing – for a fee – folks to bring their pets on board an airplane.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything alive on my airplane except people. If you want to bring your dog, stick them in the baggage compartment where they belong. And, I’m sorry, but if you think the animal’s going to be traumatized you’re either way too indulgent or your pet needs to see a psychiatrist.
I love dogs. I’ve had many over the years and they’re wonderful pets. But they’re not people. They don’t belong in the passenger compartment of an airplane.
And don’t get me started on cats. I have no idea whatsoever why people like them, and I’m also allergic to cat fur. I’d have a terrible time of it if someone was to bring on one board.
“HEY, BARACK, CAN YOU PASS ME MY MAGAZINE?”
Great item in the Wall Street Journal the other day (I think) on the perils of the dreaded middle seat on an airplane. The story said something like or 40 per r cent of folks said they wouldn’t want to sit in the middle even if it was between a celebrity couple.
Personally, I think it would be worth the sacrifice to sit next to Shania Twain or Scarlett Johansson or Michelle Obama.
ST. LUCIA TEASE - BEACH PICTURE
I’ll have more from St. Lucia tomorrow but suffice to say this place is SPECTACTULAR. I’m staying at Jalousie Plantation, which is cradled in a lovely valley between Gros Piton and Petit (but still damned big and hugely impressive) Piton. It’s unbelievably beautiful and the beach, as you can see, is lovely. I’ll have more tomorrow if all goes to plan.
Hey, the TV in my (palatial) room even gets City News from Toronto.