"Good morning Mr. Torabi, Welcome to Air Canada! How may I assist you today?"
Wait a second... have I somehow transformed into a celebrity over night? Or am I that threatening in an airport that I must be treated with ultimate grace in order to prevent me from getting upset and taking my anger out on the plane. (It doesn’t help when more than a few names on the terror watch list match yours).
Usually when I step into Pearson airport I’m greeted with the grumpy voice of visible minorities (like myself) who have assumed the job of taking out their anger on the thousands of passengers they see each day. My bag is probably tossed around like the artificial salad I’m fed on the plane, it’s like the groundskeepers are competing to see who can rip the most handles off of suitcases. Not to mention the line-up for Tim Horton’s is longer than the one at customs and by the time it’s my turn to order they seem to be out of everything bagels every friggen time. But not to fear, I whisper to myself, soon I will be on the comfort of a plane, ill spot out that hot stewardess, flirt and get that extra bag of pretzels that will make me feel golden. Not only is the Persian guy whispering to himself scaring my fellow passengers but it’s also creating false hope. I always end up in the seat that makes me feel like I’m doing reverse sit-ups, the pillow seems to be wet and/or stained and the person beside me either loves to talk or loves to snore OR on odd occasions, sometimes both.
I could continue on about how the food seems worse than the Canada Room (shout-out to all my res students) or how I always get told to wait at the gate because “my row has not been called”. But instead I will treat you to the story of my latest experience – first class. My reading week getaway was booked for Wednesday at 8am – Toronto to Bermuda. Travelling with one of my good buddies, Daniel Morad. I was lucky that he is a Super Elite with Air Canada. Today’s interactive quiz: Is he super elite because he travels a lot or because he is really good at pulling scamsI direct you to www.danielmorad.com where you will find the answer. We walked into the shiny terminal 1 of Pearson at 6am and as Dan trailed behind, I got into the long check-in line. “WTF are you doing?” he shouted in the airport (probably not a wise decision in hindsight). I looked behind me expecting him to start another fight as he always does; I realized that he was standing at the front of the line for the Super Elites. After checking in our overweight bags – that would’ve run me upwards of 50$ had I still been in the scrub section that is economy, we watched the check-in agent place a shiny orange sticker on our bags saying “Priority” or as you say in French “Lucky Mother Fuckers”. For once, my bag wouldn’t be treated like it was Frank Ribery’s face and instead treated with class and elegance – (hmm...Cristiano Ronaldo??).
We then followed up to the security checks where we again had line-bypass. I thought this was the end of my incredible journey but it was just the beginning. The Air Canada lounge, equipped with breakfast, TV’s, internet, showers and.... alcohol was our next stop. All that is fine and gravy but to add some icing on the cake my fellow Super Elite members: Jose Calderon, Rasho Nesterovic, Andrea Bargnani and Marco Bellinelli – of the Toronto Raptors, showed up. We chatted with Jose and his pregnant wife took pictures with the fellas’ and went on our way.
We have been treated like kings. Our flight got cancelled on day 1, and I sit here typing this as it has been postponed 8 hours. Yet we’re tipsy off of vodka and walking around like we’re the Presidents of Uganda (I have no clue about the political structure of the Ugandanese government so don’t quote me on this). And we’ve yet to board onto our FIRST CLASS SEATS! Haha It all makes sense to me now when I was 4 years old and asked my mom what “Amir” means. The definition? Prince. And boy do I feel like one right now. Next time I board on an economy flight I will tell the person sitting beside me that I was treated like a prince and he/she CAN BE TOO! (This is not an endorsement for aircanada but while I’m speaking about endorsements check me out on facebook DJ Dynasty.)
From an area that you may never enter in your life, Amir Torabi
with admiration from Daniel Morad (danielmorad.com coming to a club night near you).
Thanks Amir... have fun budddyyyy!!!!