[Coladam] Finally back west

PAMELA & RUSSELL VILNEFF tempest at tamcotec.com
Sat Jul 22 23:27:57 EDT 2006

Well, Ron, we can't top that story!  Had fun getting home ourselves.

We arrived at the airport at 11:20 am or so for our 1:35 flight, only to
discover it too had been cancelled.  We were rebooked and confirmed on the
next flight which was supposed to depart at 3:30 but had been delayed to
4:30.  Told we should go thru security about 3:00 pm.  Went off to find
seats on arrivals level, as departures in O'hare Terminal 2 has absolutely
nowhere to sit (except on the ground) until you go through security.  Sat
around for a couple of hours, reading and fretting, then decided to go get
something to eat.  As there is also nowhere to eat until you go through
security, we had to go back to the bus/shuttle terminal clear on the other
side of the Hilton hotel to find a meager hot dog stand.  This killed about
an hour.

Went back to T2 to the check in desk to determine if the flight was still
scheduled for 4:30.  By this time it had been bumped to 5:00 pm.  Determined
to stay out of security until absolutely necessary, we went back to our
seats on departures for an hour (where I could still go outside to smoke).
Discovered at that point that security is now confiscating cigarette
lighters, which I had not been told before checking our luggage  - grrr.  I
had three lighters on me and lost them all.  Gave two away so at least all
was not lost.  How come Air Canada didn't tell us this???Anyway . . .

Finally went through security at 3:30 and over to our gate, stopped to talk
to the folks at the desk who told us that the flight had now been bumped
back to 6:00.  Sigh.  At least now we had access to food.  Spent more time
sitting around waiting.  At 5:45 we were told departure had been delayed
once more to 6:25 pm and that there was still (!) a chance the flight could
be cancelled.  Kept an eagle eye on the board.  At 6:00 a fellow Torontonian
with a laptop told us that the flight had actually left Toronto (cheers all
around at that information) and should be landing about 6:15.  In the
meantime, the delayed sign had been removed from the board and the words
"delayed to 6:50"  had appeared.  Finally, confirmation that we were
actually getting out of there.  Yay!

Well, the plane landed about 6:25, was debarked, cleaned and we were finally
allowed to board about 7:10.  We pushed from the gate about 7:30 and a great
cheer went up when we left the ground at 7:40 pm.  We were very lucky - we
got to the airport early and were able to get confirmed with boarding
passes.  Many were not so lucky.  As far as we know, that was the only AC
flight from Chicago to Toronto that day.  The one after ours, scheduled to
push at 8:00 pm was confirmed on time, but hadn't arrived by the time we
left so who knows.  The fellow sharing our row on the plane said that he had
been booked on the 8:35 am flight and was just getting out.

Arrived in Toronto at about 9:55 Toronto time, having lost an hour in midair
(and I'm still trying to find it!).  Got onto the ground, taxied in, and
then sat for about ten minutes about 100 yards from the gate while the folks
on the ground got organized.  (Somebody find a chute, a ladder, heck, an
open window and just get me off this thing!)  Finally, we were able to get
off the plane.  By the time we found a bathroom, went through customs and
got our luggage, it was about 10:30.  The best and fastest part of our trip
was the limo ride home.  Walked in the door about 10:50 pm.

Mother and Dad (who drove home) made to Lansing, MI before we were even off
the ground, even with encountering horrific traffic jams on I80, and had
left a message for us at 10:00 pm wondering where we were.  Well, Mom, it's
like this...

Anyway, we're home safely, I even made it to work yesterday and was only an
hour late, to the great relief of my boss, who was sure I wasn't coming in
at all.  We're taking the weekend to relax, do some laundry and housework,
and reassure the cat that we haven't deserted him.

We agree with Ron - the week was great up to the minute we set foot in
O'hare on Thursday morning.  It's a very nice airport, but I've seen more
than enough of it for quite a while.  We're even considering going back to
do some of the things we didn't get a chance to do this time around.
However, next time, I think we'll drive : ).

Here's to Guy, who came through for us in spectacular fashion, and here's to
the rest of us for persisting with these things.  Long may they continue.
We'll be in Ottawa with bells on and will enjoy being able to drive - no
airports for us for a while, thanks.

With love to all,

Pam and Russell

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