A Travellerspoint blog

England

PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE REQUIRED

when you hate winter and love to travel. Checking in from London Heathrow

It isn’t bad enough that winter in Newfoundland lasts a minimum of 6 months (Nov-April) but it randomly chooses to take us hostage with little hope of escape. February travel can be hell anywhere in North America, but no where is it as paralyzing as it is in Newfoundland. What aggravates the issue is the fact that there are so few aircraft that come on to the island and many are small and can’t tackle the brutal winds we get on any bad day let alone the wind storm we have had the past 24 hours that chased another winter storm. When a storm hits and delays happen, the first seats out are much sought after. I wanted and needed one of those seats!

I had anticipated delays so booked a 6 am flight to ensure plenty of time to make a 6 pm departure out of Montreal. That was a bust because the weather prevented flights from getting in or out of Gander and St. John’s and even Deer Lake was shut down due to an aircraft stuck on the runway. Things were looking dismal. After my first flight was cancelled, I was rebooked through St. John’s with plenty of time to meet Paula only to have the St. John’s Montreal leg cancel an hour later. After some time a seat opened up to Toronto and I finally had an itinerary that would get me to Amsterdam 6 hours after Paula. I was delighted to see the first flight leave Gander in the morning and had regained some confidence I might actually get somewhere. Now there is a lesson in what happens next. DO NOT TRUST AIRLINE WEBSITES. I checked the Air Canada website only to learn my 10:20 departure to St. John’s was delayed until 12:10. This was not an issue as I was not leaving St. John’s until 8pm. I was still concerned about the weather and decided to check in at work only to learn that the first flight from Gander encountered moderate turbulence and wind shear. Believe it or not, I don’t like to fly on a good day so I was less than excited about that. I worked out a plan B, which was to hitch a ride with my Nephew returning to university. I ran to the airport to confirm (at 9:30) that would be ok and said I would let them know in next hour. Good I had a plan because despite what the website said, I heard an aircraft take off overhead at about 10:20 and rechecked the website, only to learn that my flight had left on time without me. The two hour delay was updated with a departure time.

Any way, I had a great drive in with Matt and it reduced my 8 hours wait time in St. John’s to 4. With only an hour to connect in Toronto making the connection to London was iffy but the stars were aligned and here I am in Heathrow airport enjoying a Pret a Manger Sandwich and happily watching the mobs of people. I would sure love to know where all these people are going.

Paula has reported in from the hotel and I hope to meet her there in 4 hours. Things are shaping up. I will check in tomorrow after we have had some time to explore Amsterdam. Off to board my final flight.

Posted by curlygirl 05:06 Archived in England Tagged barcelona travel amsterdam weather delays Comments (1)

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