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03-29-2010, 11:56 AM
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On Air Canada, German Flight attendants, and Black cab drivers

Berger shares his thoughts on Sunday.

PITTSBURGH (Mar. 29) — I knew something was unusual on Sunday morning as soon as I entered Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

As many of you know, I haven’t been attending quite as many Maple Leafs road games this season, as a result of budgetary restraints at THE FAN-590. Though I’ve missed the routine I had for the previous 17 NHL campaigns – and the competitive edge that went with it – I enjoyed the additional time at home with my family, and absolutely did not miss the crazed travel scene that has almost always, for reasons unexplained, been more pronounced at Pearson. Toronto’s airport is easily the most “unfriendly” of its kind on the NHL circuit, with no comparison to be made between it and the other large facilities in Canada [Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver].

Interminably, Pearson has been a haven for snooty, ill-tempered employees – not all, but many – and it’s a fact of life you learn to roll with as a frequent traveler based in southern Ontario. Frankly, way too many people work there, with not enough jobs to handle. As such, overkill is limitless. At no airport I’ve been to, for example, will you routinely witness 85-year-old grandmothers – incapacitated without a walker – undergoing full-body searches and security pat-downs. The stem of a reporter’s microphone is automatically considered to be a weapon of mass destruction until a physical bag-search is completed [even though, as I’ve been shown at other airports, a microphone looks almost identical under X-ray as it does in one’s hand]. Though most U.S. customs officials are friendly, informative and professional, Pearson has a larger per-capita allotment of power-thirsty demons looking to inconvenience you with the most banal concerns.

But, something was different even for Pearson on Sunday morning. It’s as if the airport was suddenly under Martial Law; the sort of lock-down travelers experience after a botched terrorist attempt somewhere in the world (such as the one last Christmas). Passengers couldn’t walk 10 feet without an “official” perusing the size of their checked and/or carry-on baggage. Children were being told to point out their parents. Whereas I am normally asked to twice show my boarding pass – at the entrance to customs, and then security – there were five requests this time, including two in the customs line-up and one before proceeding to the gate. For the first time in my experience, passengers had to ask permission to use the elevator to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge on the fourth floor of Terminal One. Hordes of people were being sent by customs officers to ante rooms for secondary searches.

Continued ..........

Can’t wait!


That's right, not a single mention of the fact that the Leafs played a game on Sunday.

MOD EDIT : Copyright rules prevent the posting of full articles.

Last edited by Mess: 03-29-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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