The airport mess, up close and personal

Claude McIntosh
The airport mess, up close and personal
(Photo : Seaway News)

Got a taste of the made-in-Canada airport mess on July 2.

Plan was to drive my daughter to Trudeau Airport in Montreal for an evening Air Canada flight to Boston booked days in advance, a flight she has taken before with no departure wrinkles.

On June 30 with the evening flight a possible no-go, she paid an extra $100 to be re-booked on an early morning (July 2) flight, figuring that even with delays she could still get to Boston for a connection to Rhode Island later in the evening.

On the evening of July 1 she received a notice that the flight had been re-scheduled to later in the morning.

So, instead of leaving for Montreal at 4:30 a.m., we left at 6 a.m. Somewhere around the Quebec border she received another text message. A new departure time. The flight would leave an hour earlier. Traffic was light so we could still make it with time to spare. This was soon followed by another notice that the departure time again had been adjusted. Then about five miles from the airport, the coup de grace. Air Canada had cancelled the flight to Boston for the day. The text message blamed staffing issues. However, there were a few first-class seats available on a later flight at $1,200 a pop. It meant at least 100 passengers had to find another way to get to Boston with about an hour’s notice. Imagine a couple showing up at the airport with two or three kids in tow and getting hit over the head with that announcement. Unfortunately, the innocent (Air Canada counter people) take the abuse while the execs hide behind public relations blather.

So, it was turn around and head back to Cornwall. But getting to Boston was not a lost cause. A flight out of Massena was available for 4:45 p.m. So, off it was to Massena.

Next up will be a wrestling match with Air Canada to get some kind of refund. There are stories of calls to Air Canada being put on hold for several hours.

Later in the day I’m reading in the Toronto Sun that the federal transport minister has washed his hands of the mess. He called it a world-wide problem that is beyond his reach. But the Sun said statistics show Canadian airlines – with Air Canada at the top – have the most delayed/cancelled flights in the world.

Well, they can’t blame this one on V. Putin.

The Sun said the ArriveCAN app screening process extended by the feds is playing a big role in the delays and cancellations.

Perhaps the federal transport minister should come down off the mountain and hang-out at a Canadian airport for a day.

He can explain to the unwashed why there is nothing he can do to make it better.

THIS AND THAT: In the Indigenous culture, elders are respected individuals who play key roles in their communities. They are important knowledge keepers, and they also help to ensure cultural continuity. As living connections to the past, elders serve as teachers, healers, advisors and councillors. Not always in our society. Case in point: Few months back the spouse of a municipal councillor complained on Facebook that the older members of council were an albatross around the necks of the young, “progressive” members of council, one being her husband. … Gas pump prognosticator Dan McTeague heads up something called Canadians for Affordable Energy. Methinks the “affordable” bus left the station a long time ago. .. Statistics supplied by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit show that COVID-19 hospital numbers are down and the positivity rate sits around 3.5%. However, this doesn’t reflect the number of unreported cases. In the last three weeks eight people I know, all fully vaccinated, tested positive and went into voluntary five-day quarantine. One was admitted to hospital. It’s still out there ready for a fall/winter counter-attack.

HERE AND THERE:  The trick is to know what is a legitimate price increase and what is good-old, opportunistic price gouging. … The Cat says the cheapest gas he got in Atlanta – aka Hotlanta – was courtesy of a Mexican restaurant. … Canadian National (CN) might own the country’s most effective speed bump: The rickety rail crossing on Nick Kaneb Drive.

THIS MONTH CIRCA 1957: Ontario Provincial Police said they were following several leads after the body of a 22-year-old Chesterville woman was found badly beaten outside her home. Her two-year-old daughter inside the home was unharmed. Her husband was away at the time. Police said a blood-stained hammer and sickle were believed to be the murder weapons. The murder remains unsolved. … Faced with strong opposition from nearby residents and downtown merchants, a Toronto developer withdrew his application to build a large shopping centre on the old training grounds behind Cornwall Armoury. … A 24-hour strike by unionized garbage collectors employed by a private contractor ended when the men returned to work. Meanwhile, 100 members of Local 234 of the Union of Civic Employees were back on the job after a 10-day strike. The settlement gave the city workers a 44-hour work week, a 10% pay increase (to $1.38 an hour), a pension plan and medical plan. Cornwall and District Labor Council played a big role in negotiating the settlement. … Only 75 Morrisburg homes remained to be moved with 40 to be re-located to Ingleside. … Central Park pool was opened Tuesday and Thursday nights for adults. … One shot was fired at three men attempting to flee the Rivermead Dairy plant on Cumberland Street after they were discovered by patrol officers Cecil Runions and Arnold O’Malley trying to open the office safe. They were arrested inside the building. … Two new city parks – Ste. Therese and Fairview – were opened. The Ste. Therese park was on property (Thirteenth and Churchill) purchased eight years earlier by the Garden City Social Club for $600. … Among the new items donated to the Wood House Museum was a calf-skin travelling trunk once owned by William Polley of Moulinette and believed to be at least 100 years old. … Floyd Lefebvre’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh gave Kingcot a 12-9 win over Domtar in North End Fastball League play.

TRIVIA: When he was a high school student, this former mayor of Cornwall had a summer job with the city working as a playground supervisor.

TRIVIA ANSWER:  Riley’s Bakery has been selling baked goods out of its Pitt Street store for more than 90 years.

QUOTED  “In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem.” – George Carlin
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