Friday, January 11, 2019

Flights Cancelled!

As we got ready to head to the airport on Wednesday we felt fortunate.  A storm was heading our way and we felt good that we were going to beat it.

Our flight from Sydney to Halifax was at 9:20 and the earlier flight made it in and out and the skies looked clear.

tarmac at Sydney Nova Scotia

My first sign that something may be amiss is my niece's husband who lives in Halifax posted that schools were closed.  Oh no.... but so far no alert for us.

We arrived at the airport, checked in, oh I love this airport.  So small, only two gates and they are pretty much right next to each other.  Security is so smooth and easy and as soon as you clear you are at the gate.  No facilities once you clear security, oh well there is a small vending machine!  Oh and washrooms, don't forget the washrooms.

As we sat there we looked out at the skies and it was clear but we knew it was too good to be true.

Only five minutes after taking this picture the guy from security walked over to say "your flight has been cancelled".  Oh no!  You see the flight originated in Halifax and Halifax airport is shutdown due to ice and wind and snow!  

So we collect our bags and we call Air Canada to see what can be done.  As I sat on hold the lady at the gate (her name is Nancy - that is how small the airport is) dialed for us and gave the phone to me.  I hung up on my cell and used her direct number.  

They have rebooked us on tomorrow's flight.  That would be fine if we could risk it, but we have a cruise to catch and I don't want to risk not making tomorrow's flight.  I ask about possibly driving to Halifax and she says if we can do that we are booked now on a later flight to Toronto then an early flight out of Toronto on Thursday.  Yes that will do fine.

Nancy at the gate printed out our new schedule and even worked at getting us the best seats possible.  I am so impressed with the service here.  I have to say that this is normal in Cape Breton - people go out of their way to take care of others.  I even gave her a hug at the end.  Way to go Nancy.

As soon as our flight was cancelled we called Kenny (our nephew who is staying at our house and who dropped us off at the airport) to come back and pick us up.  

When he arrived we loaded the bags and we were on the road and on our way to Halifax.

Now during perfect conditions the drive should take about 3.5 hours to the airport.  But about a half hour into the drive we encountered snow, and it only got worse.  As we crossed the causeway onto the mainland of Nova Scotia it was the worst we had seen.

There is no way we would normally be driving in this but we don't really have much choice.  Bernie took it slow and soon the snow had stopped and the rain started.

Soon there was no more rain and the roads were clear.  Ahhh I see the light.

We arrived at the airport in enough time to catch our flight, but not our original flight.  Our new flight is scheduled for 1650.

Time for a light meal and some wine.

Our flight is a little delayed but only by a half hour.  

The plane arrives and everyone gets off.  Then just before we started pre boarding one of the gate agents passed out in the gangway to the plane.  Emergency crews arrived and it appears the worker may of had a heart attack.  Staff at the gate were all upset and asked for our patience.  I am impressed at how everyone did reacted.  When they asked everyone to clear the way for the stretcher everyone cleared. I pray that he will be okay.

We ended up leaving about an hour and a half late but we are just glad to be on the plane and heading West.  Also that the agent that was taken away was conscious.

Oh I should add that while we waited for our plane we called our insurance and they said that since the flight delay is over six hours they will cover a hotel room in Toronto and meals and expenses we have incurred.  Make sure you always get insurance!

At this time I also booked a hotel in Toronto.  The Doubletree by Hilton.

We touch down in Toronto and grab our bags.  Now only in Canada will you find Adirondack chairs and a fuse ball game in the baggage claim area.  

We head out with our bags to the hotel pick up spot.  It is damn cold!  We are not dressed for this weather we were expecting to be in Florida.  After a few minutes we call the hotel to see about the shuttle.  He tells us he will be there shortly.  After a half hour we call again - of course I am trying hard to be patient, but I am tired, cold, and hungry.  But I maintain my cool.  He will be here shortly.

He arrives and we drive the 10 minutes to the hotel.  We check in and the first thing I do is head to the business center to print out all the necessary papers we need for the insurance claim.  They want so much to back up the claim and we won't have access to a printer in Florida so we do it here.

Back in the room we change, and crawl into bed.  The alarm is set for 3:30 am - only five hours from now.  The bed is so comfortable though and I just want to sleep in but that darn alarm clock goes off at 3:30.

We shower and dress, and pack what we quickly unpacked last night.  We are downstairs for the 4:20 shuttle to the airport.  I haven't seen these hours since I finished work and I have to say I don't like it.

Back at the airport we check in and then go thru security.  Thank goodness we have Nexus and we could bypass the HUGE line, which must of been a few hundred people long.  We then clear US Customs and thankfully again because we have Nexus there was maybe only five people ahead of us.

Because of how fast we got thru we were able to sit and have some breakfast.  And we are starting to feel normal.

The flight is not that long, maybe 3 hours or so, I really can't tell it is all such a blur.  We both slept off and on but when we arrive we both are just relieved that we made it.

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