Yes it is a holiday finally, and I get to enjoy the first long weekend since Easter (which seems a long way away). No stores are open around me, but Ottawa has some benefits that other Ontario cities don’t have because we have the Rideau Center, which is deemed a “Tourist Area” so all of its stores will be open and we are across the river from Gatineau/Hull and there all stores are open today. Will I go shopping? I might run to Tim Horton’s to have a Pro-Monarchist Coffee and Donut, but that is about it.
Happy Victoria Day
Queen Victoria, no doubt wondering where Prince Albert is (in the can would be my guess)
Why do we celebrate this holiday still? We need a holiday in May as simple a reason as that. In Quebec they call it Journée nationale des patriotes , and not much is closed (so maybe I can get my beer over there?).
On Sunday I lamented about the pending Air Canada’s new baggage fee on your first bag going to the U.S. or International, however, I think now (thanks to my daughter) come across an ingenious method for not having to pay baggage fees completely (if you are traveling to the U.S. that is).
First let me voice my absolute contempt for yet another cash grab by the Airline industry. Yet another “hidden” cost for traveling is another hideous piece of trickery by an industry that seems to want to have the same reputation as those chaps who try to trick you with a game of “three card monty”. If I could figure out a way to somehow never have to pay these fees, I would, but I suspect even the method I will outline here, might get shut down quickly.
Methodology for Travelling with No Checked Baggage
First let us assume that you can carry two carry on bags, so you should be able to pack your “skimpies and smalls” easily enough, and if you are lucky, some toiletries, so that part of your ensemble should be taken care of. Either that or assume you can purchase your toiletries where you are going (if you are staying in a full service hotel, then you could get that for free, so you don’t need to pack things).
Next you need to start turning yourself into a checked bag:
Put on a pair of underwear, to start, just to be hygienic
Do you need a swimsuit? Put that on top of your underwear (or underneath if that is more comfortable)
You will need a t-shirt or two, so put those on
If you are going somewhere hot, layer two pairs of shorts
For some places, you might actually be done, but we will continue on.
You might need two dress shirts, so put those on (if one is a short sleeve shirt, maybe put that on first)
Next trousers, one or two pairs is about all you could do, but who knows? Two pairs our slacks on now.
Will you need a sports coat? That can go on top of all of that.
Add a wind-breaker on top and voilà you are packed
Do you look like Bib the Michelin man? Yes, you do. You are also in trouble if you have to be strip searched, but maybe not. Will this work? I have no idea, but it does seem like an interesting (if not off the wall) solution to this expensive issue.
My wife has also pointed out that you can simply go to a full service resort, go down with your swimsuit and purchase any dress clothes you might need, and donate them before you leave (to the local Salvation Army). This is a little expensive given the fee is only $25 for the first bag.
It is a long weekend, but I still endevor to put out some fine copy for my good readers, and it gives me a chance to rant a bit more. The way the gas prices in Ottawa have been inflating as this weekend approached is nothing less than colusionary in nature. You cannot tell me that the stations are not told by someone what the price is going to be, and that person talks to other folks at other companies to make sure everyone charges about the same. Oil is relatively cheap on the world market yet gas is still at historical highs here in Ottawa, hmmm, I wonder why that might be?
Air Canada’s new sets of fees for folks traveling with them goes to show that the Airline industry is certainly a mug’s game as well. You are going to make us pay for the 1st bag we put on the plane? Wow! My daughter came up with a novel solution for her carbon fibre knee brace which didn’t fit in her bag, she wore it onto the plane. Yes, it slowed down security, but it was one less bulky thing to go in her bag, so good on her. The next logical step would be for folks to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothing on the plane, so that they don’t have to check a bag, could make for a lot of folks who look like Bib the Michelin Man!
Some of the oldies but goodies I posted on the tweety this week included:
With penalty fees you incur sometimes can be reversed as I pointed out in The Bank Ate My Bill Payment, remember you don’t have to pay the fees, you can always ask for a refund (you might not get it, but you won’t if you don’t ask).
It’s too bad the TV show got cancelled but Sh*t My Dad Says is still a great book and I borrow from it with Overdrafts Summed Up Nicely.
I wrote this article before the business of service fees hit airlines. The bait and switch mentality of this industry is astounding. First, we had legroom fees, now we have luggage fees, as well? Astounding.
The Air Canada “Leg Room Tariff” is one step too far, in my estimation. Over the years, I have watched travelling in an airplane going from being an elegant thing. Civilized folks dressed well and were all civil with each other. These days I think it’s lucky that folks are wearing clean clothes. Don’t get me started about the people who travel in sandals and then complain that the plane is too cold.
As time has passed, we have gone lost complimentary candies at the start of flights and on landing to help you with “popping ears”. Wouldn’t be surprised to see pay toilets offered by an airline. Hidden costs abound in air travel these days. It is possible airlines could provide a free flight to Toronto from Ottawa and still end up charging you over $150 in service fees. Now there is a landing fee, does that mean if I don’t pay it we don’t land?.
This new tariff for the seats in the Economy that have a bit more legroom will cost more is beyond gouging. Being someone who does not fit in an airliner (unless I am in Business class or First Class), being able to sit in a seat that allows me not to fold myself in half to fit was excellent. Still, I will not have access to these seats unless I am willing to pay for them, and the seats are “available.”
The fee will only be $14 for each leg of your trip, to sit in a bulkhead seat or one of the emergency exits, but it stinks, in my estimation. If someone who cannot open the emergency exit pays for the seat but refuses to move, people may die? Seems like a safety issue to me.
Will you pay this fee? I don’t travel these days, so it is not a worry for me. For the frequent fliers out there, are you going to pay? I single out Air Canada on this one. I will bet other Airlines will add this fee quickly if Air Canada succeeds with this new fee.