Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.


Living downtown makes getting a ride to the airport pretty seamless. I tried the Checker Cab app and I could be picked up in 1 minute but it also said I had to pay cash. Even a taxi business with an app can have some legacy issues. Being a modern consumer, I opted for Uber. It took 3 minutes for the driver to get to my front door. We made some small talk and when I told him I had lived in Peace River, he told me that he had been up there. Why? He was a geologist.

There were old jokes about geologists driving taxi cabs. The new jokes will use Uber. The general population tends to gets resentful when people in the oil business start making stupid money. It used to stop with "it serves them right". Now the survival of the planet is on the line. It was on the news.

Check-in was a breeze. KLM has self-serve kiosks but they also had a ton of agents who were very fast. They'd have several people checked through before I got my passport scanned.

People in the airport business often say "If you've seen one airport, you've seen one airport". Airports today are like malls, but with fewer teenagers and more seating. You can never take your airport experience for granted. Security protocols change. What about my shoes? I'm pretty sure that even the settings on metal detectors vary depending on threat level. I wore the same belt numerous times without issue and then one time it set off the metal detector alert. After that, I always take my belt off but I secretly wonder if it would be detected or not.

One recent trend is to run all passengers through a giant duty free mall on their way to their gates. I don't understand how adding carryon clutter serves the airline business but there's lots of whiskey and perfume for sale if you need it.

Calgary's new International Terminal (who will this piece of infrastructure be named after?) was birthed during an oil boom so there is plenty of capacity. Security uses a system that allows people to fill trays on both sides of the conveyor belt. Most of the delays in security lineups revolve around people loading up trays. More people putting their items in trays at the same time should be faster in theory. It was super fast for me but there weren't any international flights leaving for a few hours (there was more activity on the US side). My goal is to sleep for most of the trip and not eat any thing until Friday morning's breakfast. .