|Journal for 22-August-2004 : Paris|
No sleep on the flight :-(.
Air Canada's landing procedures just as efficient as their departures. It took them 45 minutes after landing to find some stairs for us. We were out in the open air and herded onto a bus, which did three laps of the terminal before dropping us in a place we had to walk 2ks along a dribbbling travelator to reach the terminal proper. No rush, as we had to wait an hour for our bags and even longer for our bikes.
And yes, Air Canada had managed to damage them pretty badly. Linda's bike's rear wheel had been wrenched out of the dropouts (no mean feat), the wheels buckled and one of my pannier racks sheered in half. They surpassed themselves this time. The bits they broke are not exactly flimsy.
Took an hour to get to the Air Canada official in Paris. Not only would the prick not offer us any assistance, he refused to even acknowledge the obvious damage to our bikes. The Air Canada baggage claim process requires us to have an AC official check the damage. The piss weak excuse was we hadn't used protective packaging and not had it checked in as such – even though we used the packaging provided by AC in Canada. He even refused to acknowledge there was any damage, even though solid bit of metal were now dangling from my bike. He simply refused to even accept we had a problem (or it was anything to do with him). Further he refused to disclose the name of his supervisor, or even react much to the death threat I terminated this conversation with (which was probably just as well for both of us).
Cycled to our hotel very slowly (slipping chains – bikes repaired with zip ties and duct tape). Crashed out asleep for an hour – exactly the wrong thing to do.
Struggled to find food on a Sunday evening with everything shut. Fortunately found a Pizza bar, only dodging Lady Di's driver the once. God I hope things improve. Travelling over the past few weeks has been more pain and less fun than it should be.