Eighteen ways to pass the time between Montreal and San Francisco

There’s a common misconception that international air travel can be boring. I’m here to disprove it with this handy list of 18 ways you can pass the time between (just to take an example at random) Montreal and San Francisco.

  1. Idly flick CNN on in your hotel room at 2200 the night before you fly. Note that American Airlines are grounding ‘hundreds of flights’ the next morning because of a compliance issue.
  2. Express surprise that Qantas is still showing your flight as ‘confirmed’, even though a quick check of AA.com indicates it is one of the many cancelled flights.
  3. Ring American Airlines. For maximum enjoyment, spend 50 minutes on hold.
  4. Discover that the only flight available to make your connection at Chicago O’Hare departs Montreal at 6am.
  5. Note that this means getting up at 3am to check in, and that it is already 11.30pm.
  6. Sleep briefly.
  7. Get up at 3am and check out of your hotel.
  8. Discover that because of some unspecified code in the AA ticketing system, the check-in agent can’t issue boarding cards without redoing your booking from scratch.
  9. Wait while check-in agent does booking from scratch.
  10. Queue in deserted hall for US customs to open.
  11. Clear US customs.
  12. Sit in empty departure lounge with six other people waiting to board flight.
  13. Board eerily-empty aircraft and discover that even though AA has cancelled over 800 flights today, this one is only carrying half a dozen passengers.
  14. Travel, very bumpily, to Chicago O’Hare.
  15. Discover that, while you were in flight, your San Francisco flight was cancelled.
  16. Wait as the Admiral’s Club staff re-book you … on a flight departing Chicago at 6.30pm. Yes, that’s right, 10 hours away.
  17. Have pizza for breakfast and contemplate your lost afternoon that you were supposed to be spending at Fishermans Wharf, and which you will instead be spending in the Admiral’s Club at O’Hare.
  18. Write long list of ways to pass the time between Montreal and Chicago.