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    New York to Vancouver
    Tourism Vancouver provided my airfare to Vancouver since I was one of TBEX's speakers. They booked me on a 7:30 a.m. Continental nonstop flight from Newark Liberty International Airport. Since I have status on Continental's partner airline, United, I was able to get a bulkhead seat (or exit row) for nothing. But they don't make them available for free until 24 hours in advance (they are available to anyone for an extra charge - prices start at $89). To ensure I was comfortable on the 737-900, I set my alarm the day before so I could check in exactly 24 hours in advance. I did and made a rookie mistake. My first choice was an exit-row aisle, but only windows and middle seats were available, so I grabbed the bulkhead aisle since it didn't have anyone in the middle seat (the flight was wide open). I thought I was going to be chillin'--until bad weather moved in the night before and caused a lot of cancellations, so the flight ended up being full. To make matters worse, a man took the middle seat with his 19-month-old son on his lap. Yikes! I'm glad I didn't pay for that seat, as I would've been livid. The extra space turned out to be the opposite--the kid was all over me. Lesson learned: Don't choose the bulkhead, because they usually assign those seats to families (there were two more screaming kids across the aisle). Remember: Kids can't sit in exit rows. NEXT PAGE


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