It was a lovely day to start with, no really, it was. The sun was, apparent, and that’s always a good sign. After a particularly fulfilling Starbuck’s Green Tea Frapuccino it was on to the subway armed with my backpack and a chirpy attitude. 40 minutes later and I was on a shuttle bus to the airport, giddy with excitement as much as with the poor suspension. After all, today, August 2, was the day I was going to New York!
I looked out the airport’s B Terminal windows to see a rather interesting electrical storm approaching. A calm voice gently broke the news that due to the proximity of the storm, no flights would be landing or departing until after the storm had passed.
Hmmmm. An airport wait and I was unprepared with no book to read and no magazine to flick. So I bought a book with my last Canadian money at the bookshop. The book was called “In praise of slow” and it proved to be quite apt or a jinx…
The storm increased and further delays were expected. Huge bolts of lightning were coming down with loud bursts every few minutes but other than that it seemed to just be a fairly typical storm. After a few hours of waiting I was informed that my flight was cancelled. Not delayed… cancelled due to the weather. Have a nice day sir and come back tomorrow!
Ok! No problems I can leave my bag here overnight and just rush through check-in tomorrow – right? No! Due to security reasons my bag could not stay there overnight. Because at the stroke of midnight my already secured and thoroughly checked bag may be opened by mischievous elves or hobgoblins who may have anti-American sentiments. I don’t know about the elves but I was having a bit of a case of anti-American-Airlines sentiments after the weak excuse.
Meanwhile, overhead in the thundering skies of Toronto, an Air France plane was attempting to land. Due to the bad weather, the pilot overshot the runway and crashed into a ravine just in front of the busiest highway in Toronto. Every single person got off the plane alive just before it burst into flames which was an absolute miracle.
So it turned out to be a 10 hour wait the first day, followed by an 8 hour wait the next, until this flaked out Aussie made it on to a plane that appeared to be taking off. The first day’s wait passed easier than the second, as the hallucinogenic smell of burning plane passed the time with a few conscious dreams.
Check out the Air Crash Investigation episode of this crash.