Friday, February 26, 2010

Ski Trip to B.C.: Slippery Cab Driver, Delta Surprise

I am writing from a remote ski area in Revelstoke, British Columbia.

To get here I was supposed to fly to Minnesota, hop on flight to Calgary, and take six-hour Greyhound bus to Revelstoke. Travel time about 22 hours.

5:00 a.m.: alarm goes off.

5:30: Sleazy Travel Experience #1
my ski partner (not life partner, ski partner) get into local cab. (phone: 617 492-1100, don't ever use these guys)

Cab Driver: "With toll and charge station wagon, how does $40 to the airport, sound?"

Me: "What's wrong the meter?"

In the past, a ride to airport cost about $30.

Cab Driver: "I was just trying to make it simple."

Me: What's wrong with the meter?"

He turns on meter.

Cab Driver: "Which way do you want to go?"

He's trying to determine if I know the way. If I don't he'll probably take the scenic route through Vermont.

Me: "Go down Concord ave. and take a right."

Me: "No, not that right, that's one-way street."

And this year's Academy award for best actor pretending to be an innocent cab driver goes to --

Cab Driver: "You guys from around here?"

Me: "I've lived here for 20 years and used to take cabs from your company, until a driver tried to rip me off."

Cab Driver: "I'm from Revere."

That explains a lot.

We arrive at airport. Cab meter says "$20."

Cab driver becomes Mr. Helpful and takes our ski bags and other luggage from the car, places it gingerly on the curb. He and I don't look at each other. Erik pays him $20 for the ride, plus $10 for tolls and fee for using a station wagon. He adds $5 for tip.

5:40 a.m. Approach Delta check-in lady.

"You'll have to go the international counter. It's down there." She points to counter 50 yards away.

We lug 8-foot ski bags, boots, and carry ons to international counter.

Me: "We're supposed to catch the 8:00 flight to Minnesota and on to Calgary."

She takes our passports and starts typing into terminal. She types and types. She calls over a woman in a red blazer. Woman in red blazer starts typing on another terminal.

Type, type, type.