Back in June of this year I was trapped in Montreal due to the wild inefficiency of the airport combined with terrible service from Air Canada. This weekend I experienced a similar trauma however not as bad as last time. If you didn’t get to read my last airport adventure you can read Trapped in Montreal: My Travel Nightmare!
So what happened this time? I had an 8:10AM flight on Saturday morning to go back to Los Angeles. I thought it would be pretty easy, an early Saturday morning with a direct flight – sounds simple…right? As a frequent traveler I’m used to thing not going according to plan but I do think that Montreal has done a great job of making one of the most inefficient airports on the planet.
I checked-in at around 6:15AM only to be notified that a new baggage system they had installed in the airport was not working. This means that anyone with checked bags had to literally wait in a non-moving line. The agent told me some people had been in line since 4AM when they first opened and still have not moved an inch. Of course I made a video to document the experience!
Could you imagine that? Over two hours in line and you’re still in the same place! By the time I got in line the estimates from agents were in the 3,000-4,000 person range. Also – this isn’t the security line or the customs line, this is just to drop your bag off so it can go under the plane!
So a process that normally takes about 30 minutes took three hours! When I finally got to put my bag under the plane the person running the machines said, “we have a very advanced baggage system – it works really well and is the future of automated baggage handling.”
I responded by saying, “I see, and how long has it been running for?”
“Three months without a problem,” he said.
“Hmmm,” I said. “Doesn’t sound like the future of baggage handling if only three-months in the system is completely broken and you have no back-up plan for how to get bags on the plane.”
“I guess that’s a good point he said.” My bag went through on a conveyor belt and then into a mechanical elevator. After my bad went under a red light came on. “Oh no!” the baggage handler exclaimed, “it’s broken again.” It took them 20 minutes to get the next person’s bag on the belt!
Montreal is a great city but the airport seems to be about as efficient as a trip to the local DMV! Of course if you’re going for vacation stick to the summer months since about 8 months out of the year the weather in Montreal is terrible. Visit LA during those other 8 months since our bad weather is the six days of rain we get a year 🙂