As much as I love checking out new airports and finding out which ones are awesome (hello Schiphol and Toronto!) and which ones suck (Sorry Keflavik) Today has been a very trying
day 24 hours.
I was supposed to fly out to Denver Wednesday morning at the crack of dawn to get to Fincon12 nice and early on Wednesday. I don’t like being late so perfect right? I then made a change which meant I left at a more reasonable time from an Airport closer to me, even better, and would arrive in Denver at 8:30PM. Just in time to meetup with some people!
Unfortunately runway maintenance at this local airport as well as torrential downpour (we get the tails of hurricanes here on the East Coast) spoiled my plans and with that, kind of my mood and excitement for fincon. 🙁 I checked in, boarded the plane only to sit there… and sit there and eventually get deplaned again and got soaking wet back on the way to the terminal. I found some mediocre airport food and then stood in line for 2 hours because my phone had at that point died only to be told the next flight wasn’t in the computer system yet and I was better to call the service number when I got home… OR fly out in the afternoon on Thursday and arrive in Denver mid-Friday morning. Yeah no, since I was supposed to fly back out Sunday and the time spent travelling that was just an insane plan.
So I went home, exhausted at that point, and called Air Canada again. I managed to get on the next mornings’ flight they told me to ask about at the airport and I was then supposed to fly out Thursday morning at 6AM to arrive in Denver at 10AM, that flight then got delayed until 1PM so I tried to rebook through a nearby airport, which didn’t go so well. Are you still following? I made it to that airport for 530AM on Thursday and in all the mess had forgotten one of my travel documents at some point int he previous 18 hours (Which as an immigrant might mean getting stuck at the Canadian border on my return)
I’m not sure why I decided to open my wallet and check since 1. I always have my PR card with me and 2. I don’t need it unless I’m entering Canada but I did check, some impulse told me to. It’s too ingrained in me to not triple check chings and then I freaked out. See, they don’t ask you for this document when you leave or when you get to the US. I have my US visa so nobody cares about me going to the US as long as I leave again. My trouble would have been, might have been with the Canadian border agents at the Halifax port of entry.
Ack. I know they’re friendly in Halifax and I have all kinds of proof (even with me) that I really live in Canada, legally and all…. But I wasn’t willing to risk it and at that point with all the delays and another weather system heading this way, the gate agent told me; ‘You know what if this much has gone wrong for you maybe it’s a sign you really shouldn’t go.’ She told me I could still go but warned me of delays and interruptions for the next THREE DAYS. Wait, so you mean I might not get there and even if I do get there I might get stuck because of my papers and will probably get delayed, or get stuck in a US airport somewhere because of MORE interruptions?
I said hell no, called my sister who picked me up and brought me home. I finally managed to sleep after 24 hours of basically no sleep and this afternoon called Aeroplan where a manager had already authorized a refund, I just had to get them to start the process. My nerves were completely shot at this point so I might have kind-of bawled to the guy on the other hand of the line, sorry dude. I’ll receive a full refund and get my Aeroplan miles back due to the situation.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been ‘stuck’ and it won’t be the last. It’s just a side-effect of travelling, you take the good with the bad and come what may. In January 2010 I got stuck in Halifax for four nights because of snow and ice on the runways. Thankfully our insurance then covered the hotel, the food and even some fun stuff like books and magazines.
While it sucks that I’ve been delayed and then cancelled for 24 hours, and then had to cancel everything, thankfully again I have insurance with my creditcard that will cover my missed night at the hotel and a few other incidentals like food and books, which as you might expect from me, I will use as much as I can. (I love books, I will definitely pick one up!) I’ll be filling out that paperwork this afternoon. *sigh* I’m still taking the day off, I’m a wreck… I’ll go back to work tomorrow and also tomorrow my bathroom renovation starts!
You know what though? I’ve been sick at airports while traveling, I’ve enjoyed headaches and crazy passengers, screaming and unruly children, cranky airline staff, delayed and cancelled flights , forgotten documents, second screenings at borders and all that other fun stuff. Come what may, you either love travel or you don’t. I still love it and I can’t wait to plan my next trip.
So while I’ve missed Fincon12….. perhaps I’ll get to go next year. I’m a few experiences richer and perhaps I’ll make it to CPFC12 in two weeks. 🙂