For someone with chronic pain or a disability sitting around an airport all day is a very difficult thing to do. With this in mind I book my flights as back to back as possible, leaving enough time so I don't have to rush for the next flight, but I'm not waiting all day either. Its a fine balance when youre flying right across the country.
This is where my trouble started today. I had left North Bay at 6am. Had everything gone as planned, I would have had a leisurely coffee in Toronto while I waited for my 8 am flight.
Our plane in North Bay, wasn't ready for take off, the gas truck had broken down, once gassed up we had waited long enough in the ice and snow to require de-icing. That left us an hour late.
when you are in a wheel chair you must wait until everyone else has left the plane and they will bring you to your gate. knowing how late i was i canceled it and took my chances, hoping against hope that i could catch my connecting flight to St.John's.
The best laid plans are sometimes broken for good reasons, and I try to remember everything in life is fluid and you have to remain flexible. I was today, my shortest flight had me waking at 4am and heading out the door forty minutes later. While we waited, we heard there would be a delay. I was now going to arrive in Toronto at 6.40, so a delay didn't worry me until we were on the plane and they announced another small delay. It was 7.20am by the time the plane pulled away. It wasn't lost on me that at that exact moment they were calling a pre-boarding announcement in Toronto on a connecting flight I was about to miss.
Once in Toronto, I was relieved when the I saw it was also delayed, but only for fifteen minutes. I grabbed a driver of those golf carts and away we fly through the airport to the gate. We got there only to be told they had just closed off the flight and there was no way to board me. I watched as my plane pulled away from the gate.
The system will rebook in cases like this. I was rebooked on the last flight of the day arriving in Gander at 1am. With countless hours in Toronto airport. I went and stood in the incredibly long customer service line while two agents helped many people. there was no provision for handicapped people. I was glad I had my cane to lean on.
Once there and able to state my case, she was able to squeeze me on an earlier flight, one that got me into Gander at 8pm. I was so grateful. Still four hours in Toronto and three in St.John's. I choose the look at the bright side. I called my sister Val in St.Johns to ask what we were having for supper!! The bonus is, I got to see her. she came to the airport and we had a great couple of hours together. My sister Queen was there visiting her so it made it that much better.
It seems no matter how much planning you do to make it easy, you have to be prepared for anything while travelling...
Things I did right
- Took my cane.
- Asked for assistance
- Pre-boarded each flight
- No carry on only a larger cross body bag
- Made sure to eat and drink
- Sat and rested alternatively walked and stretched
- Took extra pain medication in my carry on in case of lost luggage
- Aisle seat
- Very light weight but warm coat, easy to carry but practical when I arrive there.