I’m finally home from the great expedition to Portland and Seattle, via Vancouver, and feeling partially human again after being up nearly 33 hours straight, surviving a 10 hour flight delay and losing my luggage.
I apologize first for the crappy quality photos but all I had to document the insanity was my Blackberry, because I sent the DSLR off to Whistler with Chris. Who did recover his luggage by the way, today, at 5 a.m. PT, and probably only because I found it sitting in a pile of “RUSH, PRIORITY” luggage in Toronto yesterday when I arrived and raised holy hell to have it shipped back to him in Vancouver, where they were supposed to hold it but didn’t. I walked it personally to the conveyor belt to the next available flight BACK to Vancouver (yes by the way, it did travel to Japan, as we suspected). In the end he has only missed one day of good skiing. What part of “hold my luggage in Vancouver” they didn’t understand, I will never know, but I’m guessing it has to do with the outsourced call centre in India that butchered his file.
So… after sitting in the airport all day Sunday waiting for my 5:40 pm flight, it started to snow about 15 minutes before we boarded. Which resulted in sitting on a plane for four hours, beside a gentleman who desperately needed to shower and use some deodorant. This snowfall would have been all in a day’s work for the folks at Pearson, but Vancouver is beside itself with the wintry weather its had lately, and is not equipped to deal with it. One plane slipped off the end of a runway and effectively blocked it for the night, leaving only one runway available, with priority going to inbound planes. They eventually canceled my flight and sent us and several hundred other passengers from other flights to a single gate to await our fate (pictured above). We were told we’d be moved to a new flight to depart at 11:45 pm, which soon became 2 am, which eventually actualized at 3:30 am.
My original flight and another one were combined onto a Boeing 777 and we were told so too was our luggage, which supposedly accounted for the delay in take off. Not so, I soon discovered (after dealing with Chris’s luggage, I had to get in line again for an hour, to file my own lost luggage claim – the look on the baggage claim rep’s face was priceless when I stepped up to his computer, again). So I got home yesterday afternoon around 2:30 ET, a complete sketch case. I slept for a couple hours and got up to drive (two hours) to my parent’s place to get Zeus, stopping at the airport again on my way out hoping to find my luggage. I only found it this morning, on my way back. Life is returning to a form of normal and I have a day and a half to recover at home before I go back to work on Thursday.
As for the trip, it was heavily tainted with stress because of Chris’s lost ski gear, and his head nearly exploded about a half hour before we arrived at YVR to drop me off, when he got the call from Air Canada to say “oh sir, we’ve found your luggage and it’s on it’s way to Toronto!” There’s lots of fun stuff to report too and now that I’m at home, with my luggage, and laundry on the go, I can reflect on it and enjoy. I’ve also got my photos here to go through so that will help bring back the positive memories, so stay tuned.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, Air Canada will only compensate Chris for $100 towards “essentials” like undies, socks, a few clothing items and personal care products that he needed to buy while we were in the US, and equipment rentals at Whistler, which as I’ve explained before is nearly impossible for him because most of his gear is custom sized. I will get nothing – not even my short-term parking coverage. I didn’t even get a call to say my luggage was there. It was just my own (returning?) luck that I found it when I stopped in to look, again.