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Delays and Diversions
Posted On 08/25/2015 00:52:08 by jayseahawk

 

DELAYS & DIVERSIONS

 

This episode for the letter 'D' takes us back to 1998. It was in October, the exact date is lost in the mists of memory. It was to be my first visit to Canada. I had earlier in the year, met an email friend in Deal, my home town. The lady was Canadian and after a week when she moved on to meet other friends in different parts of England and also spent some time in Belgium and Holland before returning home to Canada, I received an invitation to visit with her in Canada. An offer I happily accepted and arranged for my 3 weeks summer leave to be in mid - October. We continued to exchange emails on a very regular basis through the following months... I booked my flights well in advance and managed to get a good deal on price, and so was all set for the great adventure. Little knowing the runaround or should I say fly around I was soon to embark on.

 

The day of departure arrived and my neighbour, Sean drove me to Heathrow airport. My trip to Canada was to be London - Amsterdam - Vancouver. A little over 12 hours… All went to plan on the flight to Amsterdam. There was only a short delay before boarding the leg of the flight to Vancouver. We then sat and sat and sat some more on the tarmac with little to no information as to what was causing the delay. After an hour and a half we were served a meal and then returned to the terminal where we were told that the plane was suffering from computer problems and could not take off. And also that they did not have another plane they could call into service so we could continue our flight to Vancouver… I must admit the airlines' ground crew were in an unenviable position. How they managed to keep their cool, well the Good Lord only knows... As they found seats for families and more fortunate as it turned out singles like myself on various other airlines through the night and into the following day. Some families were split up, placed on different flights with changes at various U.S. airports… Mother and kid going one way and father and kid going another. One half maybe going through St Louis and the other via Chicago it must have been a nightmare for them getting back together in Vancouver… For my own onward journey I had a five hour wait, some of which I spent in a plush room at the Amsterdam Airport Sheraton courtesy of the airline… the bed was big enough to land a 747 on, but which if I had closed my eyes on it I would have crashed out for a week… before flying to Frankfurt on a different carrier who would then I was told fly me to San Francisco where yet another airline would whiz me through the last leg to Vancouver.

 

Before leaving Amsterdam, I was able to make contact with a relative of the lady who was to meet me at YVR and let her know that I was going to be very, very late and would call again from Frankfurt with as best an ETA as I was able to get… It was good that I did as there was hardly enough time to catch a breath in San Francisco. After reclaiming my baggage, going through US customs and then finding where to check it back in for the flight to Vancouver, I must say San Francisco doesn't have the most user friendly airport I have ever passed through. Very little signage and staff seemed to be very thin on the ground to get directions to where I needed to go. It seemed like I was at a half gallop from the time I left one plane and boarded the next…

 

If my memory still serves me right, my original 12 and a bit hours flight took close to 25 hours by the time I cleared immigration and customs in Vancouver to be met by the Canadian Lady who would in a few short months become my wife.

 

(I have not named airlines because I believe that apart from the lack of info while we sat on the tarmac in Amsterdam, the staff did their best to make a bad situation as painless as possible.)



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Viewing 1 - 5 out of 5 Comments

08/26/2015 09:40:07


dabbymac wrote:

I don't remember all the details of my most harrowing travel, but I do remember the exhaustion and jet lag.  

 I have always found jet lag to be worse flying west to east... On that seemingly, never ending trip, I was so relieved to finally reach my destination with all of my baggage arriving with me, I don't have any real recollection of jet lag. I do know I slept really soundly that night in the hotel.



08/26/2015 04:15:13

I don't remember all the details of my most harrowing travel, but I do remember the exhaustion and jet lag.  



08/25/2015 03:11:53


Live2Love wrote:

After hearing all that you went through, I can tell this is a very special lady! It is always nice to hear how two people get together. Those kind of stories are the best! Love stories!! :)

Sadly it didn't turn out to be that way. But that is a whole 'nother story that won't see the light of day in this series of my life experiences or any other one for that matter... Both of my wives may briefly be mentioned because they are relevant to the happening I am writing about at the time, but that is as far as I will go... What is past is done and no mud will be thrown.



08/25/2015 01:56:14

I knew there was a very good reason why I dislike travelling! What a perfectly horrendous experience. From the armchair aspect, it was excellent, I'm just glad it was you, and not me, who had to live through it. The main thing is that you ended up in the right place with the right person, which makes almost any inconvenience worth putting up with. Thanks for entertaining us!





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