Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Lessons From My Flight to Egypt aka Never Attempt to Fly in an Icestorm

You guys, it has been the craziest 72 hours of my life. Okay, well maybe not my entire life, but pretty dang close. 

It all started from my last post, when I made it to the Ottawa airport despite the crazy snow storm that hit earlier that day. Turns out I wa on one of only two flights that went out that day. 

I got a bit cocky at that point, thinking that I was invincible to weather set-backs. Needless to say, that was DEFINITELY not the case. 

Anywho, I had about a million connection flights - starting in Ottawa then to Toronto then to NYC then to Cairo and then to my final destination of Sharm el Sheik in Egypt. My stepdad had some sort of strange premonition about the whole travel situation an had told me to take a bus straight to NYC, but I assumed that my flights would work out and, lesbehonest, I will jump at any excuse not to take the bus. 

Anywho, there was a freezing rain storm in Toronto, which was actually called 'a state of emergency' by Mayor Rob Ford until people decided to ignore him. Some of the flights out of Toronto were starting to get canceled, but mine was still 'on time' so I was feeling helpful. 

We actually boarded the plane on time, but then thins started to unravel. They had to escort someone off the plane with emergency guards, and then shortly after the pilot went on the speakerphone and said that we were overweight - the workers had put too much gas in the plane - and would two people mind if they switched off of the plane for some giftcards? I obvi didn't volunteer since I had a connecting flight to catch in NYC. 

Then, the pilot came on the phone again an said that due to the heaviness of the ice from the freezing rain, the door was heavier than usual and had broken a pulley when one of the stewardesses closed the door. So we sat on the Tarmac for over an hour before they announced that we were going to deplane. 

I managed to get back to the ticket counter surprisingly fast - there were two other flights to NYC that were canceled almost at the same time - and managed to get another flight that would get me into NYC juuuust in time for my connection. 

I was feeling pretty good about myself, and had even alerted the airline in NYC that I would be running late, but then they delayed my new flight. And then they delayed it some more. And then they canceled it and all other flights going in or out of Toronto. 

I ran back to the ticket counter but all the flights were booked solid, so I decided to bail and take an overnight bus to NYC so that I could catch the flight to Cairo the next day, which only leaves once a day from JFK airport. 

My nerves were starting to unravel a bit, so I decided to take myself out for dinner and some vino before boarding the bus. I was just finishing up my meal, when my waiter came by and informed me that a mystery person had bought me my dinner. I was so exhausted that I could have cried - thanks mystery person! You seriously made my day ;)

The bus was brutal, as any overnight bus is, but got me there in one piece and I even found a cheap shuttle bus on 42nd and 8th that took me right to the JFK airport. 

Note: there is no free wifi at JFK. It is the WORST! You have to go through this awful process of buying time online, for exhuberant prices, which makes coordination of travel plan with family in Egypt slightly tricky. 

But I managed to reschedule my flight to Cairo without any extra charges - only problem was that my final flight to Sharm wa full so I wouldn't be able to fly until the 25th. Meaning I would be spending Christmas Eve in an airport. 

This was the only point where I legit just wanted to sit down and cry, but I persevered because, well, I was determined to sort out the situation. 

Anyway, I got on a flight later that night and begged someone in the airport to let me use their iPad to send my fam a heads-up email.

The flight went well - I sat beside a lovely Egyptian lady who not spoke a handful of English words and an old ex-military American guy, who was so upset about my travel woes that he became determined to find a solution for me. As he said 'I can't just let a poor little American girl stay at the airport by herself on Christmas Eve. We gotta take care of our own, ya know?' The fact that I am Canadian didn't seem to phase him ;)

Anywho, we ended up getting me on standby for an earlier flight - which I am just about to board, assuming nothing else disastrous happens in the next hour. 

Did I mention that my luggage got lost? Yep, I'm not even making this shizzit up haha. It's like I am stuck in a dark comedy and I can't escape it...fingers crossed this doesn't set the tone for the rest of my upcoming travels(!!)

I can't deny, it has certainly been an eventful travelling experience, although not one that I would like to repeat. I feel like I am now a pro at all things related to airport baggage, canceled flights, and sorting out general madness in airports. 

Can't wait to be rejoined with mi familia in a short few hours!! If I don't have wifi again in the next few days, I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

No comments:

Post a Comment