When you live on an island you have to get off it sometime. Some of us more than others, because of the nature of our jobs. I travel by float plane a lot; 2-4 times per month actually, between Victoria and Vancouver. I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
- They’re loud. Wear the ear plugs. You’ll need them.
- Better yet, get yourself a pair of good in-ear noise-cancelling headphones. That way you can listen to music or podcasts without cranking the volume to dangerous levels.
The smell of fuel gets to me, but here’s a trick: single engine, sit near the back; twin engine, sit near the front. Or is that the other way around. Anyway. Works for me. I might just be used to it by now.
- Ladies, the pilot with your life in his hands will ask you to put your oversized purse in the back of the plane, especially if you’re sitting near an emergency exit. Be a dear, swallow your bitchiness and don’t give him any sass about it. Your shit will be all right. I promise. I don’t want to have to trip over your shit getting out if the plane ever hits the drink.
- Get yourself an account, sign up for loyalty points and book your flights online. It’s cheaper and you get points toward free flights.
- Don’t ever miss your flight, stay over in Vancouver, party, then catch a flight in the morning hung over. Just. Don’t. (Ahem, this one was told to me by a friend. I swear.)
- During the flight, you can look all you want for whales in the ocean below. I’ve never seen any though. 🙁
- Look up instead. You never, ever get tired of the view, especially in summer.
- In winter or during peak periods when it’s busy, don’t be late for check in. They will sell your seat to a standby passenger. I’ve seen it happen a couple of times.
- About flying in winter: sure we don’t get snow, but we do get wind and fog and low clouds. And wind. If you love rollercoasters, you’ll love flying float planes in winter. Did I say wind?
- Better yet, if you fly a lot in winter and get air sick easily, and you’re made of money or have time, you could always take a helicopter or the ferry.