Traveler Makes the Best of a Bad Situation

April 6, 2014

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

This isn’t really a flight from hell, just an experience that I would love to share with you guys. Okay, so in July I went from SEA (Seattle) to YOW (Ottawa, Canada) with a stopover in EWR (Newark). The returning flight was the same, but with a stopover in YYZ (Toronto, Canada). The outbound flight was great, and I believe it was on United. The returning flight was an adventure in a way that an adult would have hated, but I loved because I was with my mom and brother, and I’m not an adult.

We boarded the plane in YOW at around 6:30 or 7:00 pm. The flight was supposed to land in YYZ at 8:30 pm. After everyone was seated, we waited, and waited, and waited, with no information as to why it was half an hour after we were supposed to have landed.

Eventually, about an hour and a half after we were supposed to have departed, the pilot announces over the speaker that all passengers connecting in Toronto to Australia must deplane because they will not make their connections, and there was another flight they could catch directly to Australia. I wonder what the pilot was thinking about the other 200 passengers on the plane, about half of them who wouldn’t make their connections. Anyways, about 30 minutes after we would have landed in Toronto we took off, of course making my family miss our connecting flight to Seattle.

When we landed in Toronto, my mom, who was exhausted from hauling around two very jittery kids (between the ages of 9 and 13), dragged us to the customer service desk where, along with 150 other people, we waited not so patiently to be rebooked. Now it was about 9 pm so we weren’t very tired, but the screaming babies must have been! We finally got rebooked on the next flight to Seattle, which unfortunately left in 24 hours. We were given a 25 dollar voucher for food each, and told to go to the hotel that they had booked us in. Great, now it’s 11 pm, we are in a hotel eating nachos and ice cream, and watching TV (that part was actually really fun!).

As my mom is looking over all the documents we received, she realized that we had to be out of the hotel room by noon, and we had nothing else to do but go to the airport in the morning and wait 8.5 hours for our flight. Of course, just our luck that I get sick in the morning, so we have to taxi to Walgreens to pick up some medicine then taxi back to the airport, other than just taking the shuttle to the airport.

We finally got home to Seattle, and what should have been a 8 hour trip was a 32 hour trip. Unlike other people on that flight, I actually had fun because there is a first time for everything, and if you just look at a situation a different way it can change everything. Instead of saying, “Darn it, I have to wait in an airport for 8.5 hours,” I said, “Great, I can look at every restaurant and gift shop, and play on the escalators for 8.5 hours.” I admit that it did get really boring at the 6 hour mark, but it was only boring for 2.5 hours, not 8.5 hours!

P.S. The airline that we flew on the way from Ottawa to Toronto to Seattle was Air Canada. Have a great day!

– Sydney

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