In a welcome change of pace, we did not have a red-eye return flight to Ottawa. Our flight left at a very reasonable 11:40am. Lots of time to sleep in a little, for breakfast, and to return our car rental.
I found our experience on the return flight to be less than satisfactory.
Our Air Canada flight was quite late in arriving in Las Vegas; Once
on the plane, we were again delayed by a problem in one of the bathrooms.
That, coupled with some excessive air traffic at the Las Vegas airport,
meant that we were several hours late getting into the air. The staff
made no attempt whatsoever to try and throw us a small bone for all
of this inconvenience - even their brief over-the-intercom apology
sounded like a tired and rote affair. Perhaps let us have the overpriced,
under-quality sandwiches for free? They even managed to disappoint
with empty soap dispensers in the bathrooms. When we arrived in Montreal
for our connector flight, we were then delayed again by the lack of
availability for someone to guide our plane to the jetway. Didn't anyone
call ahead? "Very disappointed with the level of service", I growled
to the staff at the head of the plane as we all exited. I don't think
they heard - they were conversing amongst themselves and did not seem
particularly focused on passengers. Not Very Happy,
On a positive note, the staff at the Montreal airport just managed (along with a lot of running on our part - we were very late, you see) to get us on the connecting flight to Ottawa on Air Canada Jazz, and the staff on that flight seemed much more accommodating. Isn't Air Canada Jazz a completely separately managed entity now? If so, it certainly comes across that way!
Video Clip: Late for our connector!
So, you've managed to reach the end of my narrative! To those of you with which I had the honour to travel: Thank you for being such great travel companions. We had a really good, matched group - skill, capability, and temperament-wise.
For a long time I'd wanted to spend a week and explore the mysterious and remote Escalante - and it did not disappoint! The Escalante area is most definitely a superb place for anyone looking for an off-the-beaten-path, filled-with-hidden-gems, pristine-and-wild piece of desert. 'nuff said!