Taking the "T"

Our Air Canada Nightmare

When our son Seth invited us to join him for four nights in Vancouver on his Pacific Northwest trip, we couldn’t resist.  And we had a great time (more about that in a later blog post).

But we were not prepared for what happened on the Toronto to Boston leg of our trip home on Thursday.  When our plane from Vancouver arrived in Toronto at 4:30 pm, Air Canada told us there was a “weather” problem in Boston and our connecting flight there was cancelled.  However, the weather in Boston was fine.  The problem was that Air Canada couldn’t come up with a flight crew.

Stuff happens.  We know that.  But although Air Canada had five flights to Boston the next day it took almost 24 hours to get us home. One gate agent explained that there is always a crew shortage near the end of the month because there is a limit to the number of hours per month that a crew can fly.

We spent a lot of time standing in line trying to arrange a flight to get us home earlier than our confirmed flight late the next afternoon.  That failed.  Then finding the transportation to the hotel that Air Canada provided for the night was not an easy task.  The airline gave us a hotel dinner voucher, but the only option at the hotel was to order in from a pizza restaurant. 

At least the room was clean.

We took the bus back to the airport at 6:30 a.m. and stood by for four flights, moving from gate to gate.  Each flight was oversold, and they paid passengers to give up seats (but only for passengers overbooked on the flight). We began to understand why the U.S. customs pre-clearance guy in Toronto told us he would never fly Air Canada.

Our confirmed flight home Friday night was delayed by mechanical difficulties.  But we did get home eventually. 

Besides the final twenty-four hours, it was a magical trip.



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