A Big Snowy Wrench

9 Dec

Never in my life had I imagined that I would ever have the fortune to travel to India, so imagine my excitement yesterday as we had all of our bags packed and were on the way to airport. I think that it fully hit me at that moment the magnitude of the trip that I was about to take.

Though as it happens, I’m currently writing this on my own couch in my own home right now.

We were supposed to fly out to Paris last night and connect there to Delhi. However, some crazy snow fell in Paris yesterday, which resulted in the cancellation of a huge number of flights and even the shutting down of the Eiffel tower! Consequently, our flight out to Paris was delayed and because we would be missing our connection to Delhi, the airline informed us that they would not be flying us out and we were responsible for seeking our own alternate arrangements.

Come again? WE were responsible for finding our own way?

During the few hours spent in the airport, feeling like Tom Hanks in The Terminal, we were told a number of frustrating things:

  • the airline call centre agent informed me that on their end, it was still showing that our flight was on time and scheduled to depart. Therefore, there was nothing that could be done for me to reschedule because technically, I was supposed to be on the flight at that time.
  • the airline’s ticket agent at the airport punched a few keys on her computer keyboard and told us that the next available flight for us was December 13th, a full FIVE days from our original date.
  • The BF was offered a refund for our plane tickets. Just like that – a refund without any consideration for all of the other expenses that we may have incurred for accommodations and other travel within our final destination, much less for the fact that this was a planned holiday. Kind of obvious that it was a major holiday, if you ask me.

By that time I was almost in tears, feeling that there was no sympathy for any of us travelers and that none of these people had any urge at all to help any of us. Instead, I was pretty appalled at the flippant way in which we were dealt. And it wasn’t just by one person, either.

After some time, The BF was lucky to connect with another agent on the phone who was more helpful and was sympathetic to our concerns. That there was a pretty stringent itinerary upon our arrival in India. That we had train and plane tickets and accommodations booked to travel within India and see the country. That our time there was pretty limited and while this circumstance was out of anyone’s control, any delay in our getting there would impact our trip significantly.

So this story ends well. We will be flying out tomorrow, 47 hours later than originally planned, on another airline via Amsterdam. And now our trip has been extended slightly, with our return date pushed back. This means that while we have to rearrange some of our schedule, it appears that we will have the time to see more than we had originally planned and visit additional cities.

I’ll now be missing both Christmas and New Year’s Eve here at home, but it’s not a bad trade-off at all as this trip to India is one opportunity of a lifetime that I’m lucky enough to take advantage of.

Until then, this picture I snapped at the airport in Toronto is all we’ll be seeing of the Taj Mahal for now.

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9 Responses to “A Big Snowy Wrench”

  1. reni December 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    oh steph, sorry for all the hassles. i feel the same way – or at least am anxious cause i leave on the 24th for l.a. then the 30th for costa rica and those are the day before a big holidays and leaving from portland can cause weather delays. glad you are able to get things sorted out, and i do understand the major frustrations because of all the expenses for accommodations. well, amsterdam is pretty fun. go rock that sex museum there! lol

  2. Maureen December 9, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    OMG! i was getting pissed as i was reading this post! WHAT THE EFF!?! the horrible customer service your recieved is unbelievable and was getting me REALLY MAD!

    but the happy ending in this post softened up my mood. so happy that you’re able to make other arrangements and can now see more than originally planned! 🙂

  3. Elisse December 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    I was so sad for you when I saw your tweets about your delayed then cancelled flights!

    Despite the change in plans, I hope that your trip turns out even better than you originally planned!!! Have an amazing time!

  4. Leesh December 10, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    It all ended on a positive note so that’s all that matters. At least you are still going and didn’t give up. Your BF is awesome. Even though you’ll be away longer, it’s a trip of a lifetime. Christmas and New Years will be here again next year. Have fun and be safe!

  5. reni December 10, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    i love that the asian sensation team were all about comment after comment. that’s the spirit girls! 🙂

    • Steph December 10, 2010 at 1:08 am #

      LOL that’s right! You girls are pretty sensational. Thanks for the encouraging comments. Fingers crossed that all goes well tomorrow and I’ll be flying across the world!

  6. Steph S C-O December 10, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Ugh. Remind me never to use Air France!
    Have a great trip!!!!

  7. Krysten December 10, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Wow this is like my nightmare, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that and I’m happy to hear it sounds like things got a smidge better.

  8. kat December 10, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    airlines suck but I’m glad that it ended on a positive note! enjoy your trip and looking fwd to reading all about it!

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