The sleepy polar bear would tag along on the availability of a plus one invite. I selected one of the few reasonable westbound flights, then commenced logistics planning.
The timing worked out well, enabling a swift commute under off-peak traffic conditions and a virtually vacant array of check-in kiosks. Even the lineup for the check-in cashiers didn't span more than five parties. Staggering was the difference from the early AM rush (presumably business meetings) and red-eye budget flights.
Also unthinkably quick was the security screening process: A trial lane was opened for select flyers, in which passengers did not need to remove electronics from their bag for a screening. What a blessing it was! There were significantly fewer people in this lane, meaning that there was no rush to assemble all of one's belongings to keep the queue moving.
Of course, in spite of this, I ended up dropping a handful of chargers on grimy floor when attempting to rearrange belongings between backpack and carry-on.
"You are actually easy to find." I was informed. "You are the most purple person here." Admittedly, the hair and jacket speak louder than I often anticipate.
- A complimentary water bottle
- Significantly more leg room
- Complimentary food and beverage, inclusive of alcoholic beverages and attentive order placement service
- Cabin space separated from Economy flyers (though this does not stop a certain few from infiltrating for overhead space)
- Wider seats and greater delineation from adjacent passengers
- Foot rest
Even at a glance, the additional perks were well worth the premium. Being seated in the Economy sections is equivalent to experiencing the peasant life - a life I often tolerate for my Vancouver trips, albeit unwillingly.
Many passengers opted for wine and coffee - the former supposedly selected by a sommelier. In the face of several interim follow-ups for any additional drink requests, I merely requested a water bottle refill.
For the vast majority of the trip, I entertained myself with Bejeweled 2. Sleeping minimally, I also enjoyed a bit of Code Breaker, (a favourite from my childhood), Letter Mix, and two rounds of mahjong with the remotely seated sleepy polar bear, for some games permitted multi-player modes.
At long last, we would descend into Calgary just as the skies began to dim.
Soon, the sleepy polar bear found me at the luggage belt and luggage was retrieved. Down the corridor and across the road we went, until we finally spotted the car rental counters. The scene was, remarkably, quite desolate: Lineups were basically nonexistent.