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

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

James April 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm

An airline that gave you a hotel and meal coupon when delayed? Clearly this story isn't about an airline based in the US….


Dan April 6, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Nice story until you lost me at going to Walgren's in Toronto. Its an American chain not located in Canada


Ger April 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

That kind of rung some alarm bells for me too. I was about to do a search and see if they had pulled a Target and tried to expand into Canada, but you answered my saved me the trouble.


ger April 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

typo. sorry


belle April 7, 2014 at 10:58 am
Toronto has both Walgreens & CVS. Just because it's an American chain doesn't mean it doesn't exist outside of America. What about American companies such as McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc.? They have locations worldwide, not just in America.


Dan April 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

nobody will dispute that…….you just won't find Walgreens


Guest reader April 10, 2014 at 10:08 am

Ummm — one thing all you naysayers haven't noticed is that OP says they went to the Walgreens *outside* the airport. Have you maybe thought that a NY Walgreens was closer to the hotel? Have you maybe thought that OP's health insurance requred they use Walgreens?


Dan April 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

Being a Canadian, having an office in Toronto and flying in/out of Pearson hundreds of times would dictate that I am a wee bit more familiar with the geography than yourself,GR. Closest Walgreens is Niagara Falls, NY, some 2 hours and an International border crossing away. In any event, the story was good and perhaps the name of the drugstore was mistaken.


Not Good Enough April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Or generic. I've had a doctor tell me "go to walgreens to get the prescription" because it is ubiquitous.

prp April 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

They're are no Walgreens in Canada..end of discussion


saffie April 15, 2014 at 9:35 am

Hate to break it to you guys, but you're nit-picking over the STUPIDEST point of contention. Who cares if the guy got the name of the drug store correct? I have to go to drug stores for my kids and for general purposes all the time, and if I'm in an unfamiliar place I don't always remember which drug store I went to unless I still have the bag to check. Just because the poster got the drug store name wrong doesn't make the story untrue. Stay calm and don't sweat the petty stuff! Seriously.


Give a break September 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm

i agree with saffie you are making a mess of a small thing,and give the admitted of the story a break considering they are not an adult.


sexygal January 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I applaud their "attitude" towards the situation! I wish everyone could be "like" that, meaning trying to "make the best of the situation" that they're in! Aye, aye!


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