Málaga to Vancouver then Calgary - Eating Our Way Around Andalucia - 2022 - CycleBlaze

November 11, 2022

Málaga to Vancouver then Calgary

Our early morning (or late night?) taxi was right on time.  We arrived at airport by 3:45 am for our 6 am departure to Paris on Air France.

The airport wasn't busy, except for our flight and one other.  There was a stupidly long lineup, with everyone having to check-in with the two desk agents, even if they only have carry-on. There are no electronic kiosks to speed things up.  Is this a Spanish job creation policy?  Possibly.  

We were about 3/4 of the way back in the line.  It was slow. Slow. Slow.

By the time we checked in, the Air France agents were in a rush. We got boarding passes only as far as Vancouver - the gate agent didn't see our onward Westjet flight to Calgary, and didn't have time to investigate.  She asked what was in the bike bags, and we were truthful.  But they didn't charge us. Air France's bike fee is $175 CAD, so we dodged a bullet. I think they just didn't have time to deal with it. Hurray! But we also didn't have time to investigate why our bags weren't checked through to Calgary. We have a long wait in Vancouver, so will figure it out there.

After checking in, the next stop was the oversized luggage x-ray machine, where we had to line up again and it added to the stress, since we were cutting it close to departure time. But the luggage check and security both went quickly, and we still had a bit of time to wait before we boarded our (now delayed) plane.

We had a short flight to Paris, with our bikes known to be on board thanks to both of us having Apple airtags.  The flight attendant told us not to worry about making our connection, because there were MANY people on our flight heading to Vancouver, and they'd hold a flight rather than leaving 50 people behind.  In the end, we arrived at the Vancouver departure gate towards the end of boarding, so walked right on. Our 9 hour flight was completely full.  I slept a bit, and watched some movies.  There is very good food on a flight leaving Paris. Much better than the Canadian dreck that they'd fed us on the Toronto - Paris flight.

We arrived on time in Vancouver and breezed through Customs.  I guess they've sorted out the nightmare lines from earlier in the year.

Because our bags weren't checked through, we had to pick them up and head to Westjet to see what was up.  It turned out that our original flight to Calgary had been cancelled.  After a lot of waiting, they put us on an earlier flight than we were supposed to have taken. Fine with us! Also fine that they didn't charge any bike fees. But once again, we had to open up the bike bags for a manual security search because (like Calgary), Vancouver doesn't have an oversized x-ray machine. 

Our flight to Calgary was not anywhere near full, and was uneventful, other than waiting ages for our bags. I think it was almost as long as the short flight from Vancouver had taken. Exhausted after the long journey, we were grateful for the pickup by Gail's husband.  We were also grateful that the -2o something temps from earlier in the week  had increased to a balmy -5 C or so.  I still had a drive to get home to the interior of BC, but the roads were quiet and in good winter driving condition.  The other good news is that ski season is underway, so that'll keep me busy for the winter.

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