Dire prognostications - 2

January 7, 2014

So midnight passed and some planes were taking off.  Our captain was chatty and kept us informed, but as the hours started to pass people got fractious.  The police were called to our gate and three people removed which gives you an idea of the frustration that was building up.

I'm going to save commentary for later, and I started while sitting around to write notes on how this could be done a lot better using complexity theory – something I will post on the weekend.  However for the moment:

The sequence of events 

  1. Just after midnight meal vouchers are offered but only if you queue and by then I have already brought something to eat.
  2. Around 0300 or so, at the next door gate they had the bright idea of getting the flight to Edmonton off without bags, giving people the choice of staying or getting home and getting their bags a few days later.  Smart idea by that captain, most people took the offer.
  3. An hour later we get the same offer, which most people take.  Pity no one thought of it earlier.  They have also had the bright idea of taking planes to the fuel farm.  So we all board and settle in. The arrival board at Halifax now has us arriving at 0830 and my contact Ray says he will pick us up.
  4. After some time on the plane we are told we are waiting for a push back
  5. After more time on the plane we get an apology for the delay in the pushback and a bottle of water
  6. A good hour after we have boarded the captain apologies but the crew have now run out of time and we have to deplane.  Child in front of me who has been travelling for 36 hours bursts into tears and we all know how he feels.  No information is given as to what we should do.
  7. Everyone off and finally told to go to Westjet customer services desk – frantic rush to make it but then stand in a  queue for around 45 minutes
  8. At desk told that they hope for a rescue flight in the morning, I can be booked on a scheduled evening flight but if so will not be allowed on rescue flight.  Given three $10 meal vouchers and told to check again at 1100
  9. Have breakfast, sit around reading, go back to Customer Services, queue now looks like it will take 2/3 hours to get to the head.  Fortunately announcement is made that there is no news for halifax passengers so would we please leave the area.  No more meal vouchers unless we stay in the queue.  No indication of a way out.
  10. Ray phones me, may have Air Canada flight to Monkton, I need to move Terminals.  Just as I leave secure area I get the message that its not on.   Head for a new Westjet queue.  This is so long estimate is 3/4 hours.
  11. Talk with WestJet staff member, he suggests getting a hotel and checking back tomorrow.   Hotel vouchers if you queue otherwise take pot luck with a claim
  12. Find a hotel
  13. Phone hotel for shuttle, freeze nearly to death waiting for it.  After 30 minutes cannot feel hands or ears so go into terminal and phone again.  Told to wait in terminal.
  14. Forty five minutes later phone them again (this is costing me as its international roaming and no courtesy phone) and told shuttle is outside,   Finally make it
  15. Arrive at hotel, charged $18 for what I thought was a free shuttle, but OK I check in looking forward to a shower and bed.
  16. Get into room, no heating, turn heating on and stand over luke warm air flow for half an hour then complain.  Told to wait twenty minutes,
  17. Wait thirty minutes, still freezing have now donned extra shirt and pullover still in outdoor gear.  Phone them.  Told they can do nothing I have to wait
  18. Around 2100 go to bed fully clothed, cannot really feel feet anymore but fall asleep finally

As you can see from the picture some planes took off.

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