It was a great trip despite our difficulties getting there. We flew from Los Angeles at about 10:30 pm expecting a 2 hour wait between planes in Washington DC. While deplaning I received an email informing us that our next flight had been cancelled. We found a surly gate agent that offered the choice of flying about 5 hours later to Toronto and then on to Montreal, or we could wait 8 or 9 hours and fly direct to Montreal. We chose the former and set about entertaining ourselves at the airport. We would have left the airport and checked out some sites but according to my phone we couldn’t get anywhere of interest and back before our next flight.
In Toronto we had 2 hours between flights. At least on paper we did. We made our way through customs and took our time checking out anything interesting along the way to our second gate. Back through security and John’s second hands on body search, due to his pacemaker keeping him out of the metal detector. We arrived at restaurant for a meal and a beer. Were not really sure what meal it was, since we didn’t really sleep on the flight from LAX and we’re now three hours ahead, tired and confused we enjoyed the meal.
After the meal it occurs to me to check our boarding pass for our next flight. According to what I was reading that plane had already left. There was no, “maybe we can run and catch it” about it. It was gone and we weren’t on it. I offered this observation to Robert who had great difficulty accepting the reality of our situation. We paid for our meal and gathered up John who had left us for bathroom break and headed off to get help. Damit! How did this happen? Where did the time go? didn’t we have 2 hours?
We did have 2 hours. But just barley 2 hours. Airplanes start boarding 30 minutes before they leave, plus we waited in the security line and wondered about the airport. In our lack of sleep confused state we simply missed our flight due to fatigue. It was decided this was our only defense as we pleaded for help form the airline to get us to Montreal. Afraid we may need to buy another ticket to Montreal, due to our careless respect for our first tickets, we found help. It turns out that flights from Toronto to Montreal leave every hour, we were booked on a flight leaving in another hour and a half to give us time to retrive our luggage and re-check in. Here we are waiting for our bags to re-emerge after their hands on security check after being removed the the plane we weren’t on.
Thursday was going to be a fine day of sightseeing and getting situated in the city prior to the race. Now it’s been spent on airplanes and in airports. We finally arrived in Montreal at about 8:00 pm and our Limo driver was nowhere to be seen. Repeated calls from Toronto and from the airport in Montreal were met with an answering machine. We were forced to take a taxi (a beat to crap Toyota Camery) to our hotel. The Orbitz travel voucher has all kinds of language on it about how they don’t even entertain the notion of refunds so now I’ve lost $55 due to the cancelled flight and our inability to get on a plane. Crap!
The next few days all went well as we enjoyed the city and the race. The F1 cars are amazing. Here’s an audio file recorded as we made our way to our seats for qualifying.
Click here to listen this audio file.
In our last few hours in Montreal it occurred to me that I was still holding the travel voucher for the failed limo ride from the airport. So I called the limo company again and got the answering machine. Then I turned off my caller ID from my phone and called again. SUCCESS! They answered. I explained that I wanted to use my voucher from our arrival to take a limo from the hotel to the airport, “sure” he said “what time would you like the driver to meet you?” Perfect. Yeah they seemed to be avoiding my calls, but so what, at least we’re getting what we’ve already paid for.