I don’t usually post about my travel days, they are not very exciting but I had a more unusual trip home this time. The day started out fine, got a cab to CDG (I was so done carrying my suitcase anywhere) and everything seemed good. I did have an aisle seat of which I am not a fan, especially on overseas flights because all you do is get hit in the arm from all the people walking up and down the aisle. I like my window where I’m safe from all the traffic. Anyway, after several movies we were headed for a landing in Montreal. We hit some air pockets which was okay, I have a strong stomach but we continued to hit air pockets and we were VERY close to the ground and the landing was not all it could have been and I was actually trying to review the safety directions in my head. I’m not a nervous flyer but it was a little scary.
Turns out they were due to the crazy storm that was moving in to Montreal and as my flight was delayed one hour, then two hours I started to wonder whether I would be going home at all. And then it was cancelled and thus started by odyssey to get home. I called the 800 number (even though I was in Canada and paying international rates) because that is what all the travel experts tell you to do. Apparently United has outsourced their call center to India because all of the agents I talked to during the course of the evening were Indian which made it even harder to understand while in a busy airport. The phone agent confirmed I was on a flight the next morning to Chicago and then to Cleveland. My dad found a Holiday Inn at the airport and got me a room with his points and I headed to the hotel.
The hotel had a shuttle and on it were all of us stranded travelers. One was from Youngstown and one girl was from Sydney, Australia. We had a lovely chat about her country where all I had been and how much I adored it.
I got to the hotel and decided to check my reservation and found I only had a flight from Chicago to Cleveland but no way to get to Chicago. Back to the 800 number while at the same time posting on Facebook about my bonus night in Montreal. An old friend of mine from grade school (who happens to work for United in Cleveland) saw my post and asked if I needed help rebooking and I told her I was on hold so if she could do anything to let me know and I could hang up. Somehow she was able to be more helpful in Cleveland via Facebook than anyone I talked to on the customer service line. Thank goodness for her – she was able to confirm me on a flight to Chicago and the connecting flight to Cleveland. I was then able to collapse into bed until returning to face the airport once again in the morning.
A side note – I was intrigued by the new customs process in Montreal and wonder if they have made similar changes at the airports in the states. They have finally figured out a way where you do not have to go picked up your checked bag and drag it through customs to then recheck it on the other side. There is a little of a creep factor with the new process as you go through TSA type security and then a customs agent has a picture of your checked bag on his screen once he scans your boarding pass. Query what else they took pictures of??? Oh well, I’m all for anything that involves less dragging of my bag.
So I returned to the airport bright and early the next morning and finally got to leave Canada. Only to arrive in Chicago to find my flight was already 2 hours delayed, sigh… Then it was 3 and eventually it was a 4 hour delay so I ended up getting home approximately 24 hours later than scheduled but I did make it!
It was a great trip and I was so lucky to be a part of it! Thanks for following along and I will return to my usual more knitting related posts until I manage to save some more money for my next adventure!