Updated with photos and the final leg of our journey.
I’m writing this from a rocking chair in a public bathroom in the Calgary International Airport. We were supposed to be home in our place in Edmonton over an hour ago. Why aren’t we there, you ask?
Well, we had a direct flight from Victoria to Edmonton. Our flight was almost over, and the pilot had turned on the seatbelt sign and announced our descent, when another announcement came through: the weather in Edmonton was too bad to land at the moment so we were going to maintain altitude and circle around for the time being.
Circling in the air near Edmonton. So close, but so far.
Up to this point, Calvin was doing all right. Not perfect, but not super annoying to the surrounding passengers. He was cranky during takeoff because we had to hold him against our chest with him facing us, and of course he just wanted to turn around and look at everything and move around as much as possible. I was expecting the same thing for the descent, so when the seatbelt sign went on at the end, I pulled out the Cheerios which only mildly kept him calmer. But after about 5 minutes of circling, he just instantly fell asleep on my chest which was awesome!
So next came the announcement that we would be changing course and heading down to Calgary to land there. Calvin slept through that part of the flight and even the noisy landing, and woke up again shortly after we stopped.
I think the crew originally thought we would just refuel and turn right back around, but after a couple minutes of being on Calgary turf, they announced that everybody would deboard and get a different flight to Edmonton, or other cities if Edmonton was just a connection. So we joined the line at the service desk.
After a couple minutes I standing there, a WestJet employee, Jeremy, came up to us and said, “It’s near the end of my shift, but I want to help you out since you have a kid.” You hear about the kindness of these employees on commercials, so seeing this in real life sent me into a little outburst of pregnant lady emotion. Then I laughed at myself.
Jeremy took us to the desk at an empty gate and tried to get us on another fight. There was one leaving at 6:00pm, which was about 20 minutes away. That would have been awesome, except he knew we wouldn’t have time to go down, retrieve our bags, and recheck them in time. And that would have been a hassle to have to do the whole deal over again. So he booked us on the next one which was leaving at 7:55. Seconds after he confirmed it, the flight was delayed to 9:30 (probably due to the changes with our original plane), but this was still our best option.
And then I heard that it is delayed even more, to 9:50. So we are waiting for a total of about 4 hours. Good thing Calvin is such a friendly fella. Too bad Calvin loves to run around.
But it really hasn’t been that bad. We got a $20 food voucher, so we bought a feast at Tim Hortons. I really wish I took a photo of it all. They encouraged us to use the entire voucher because it couldn’t be carried over to another food vendor. So Tim has lunch for tomorrow, and a snack, and a dessert…
So at this point we have an hour and a half until take off. Originally I had wanted to do laundry and relax this evening, but now all I can hope for is for Calvin to fall asleep soon.
Update since we arrived home:
So we finally got to board our plane. Calvin still wasn’t asleep at this time, and it was almost 10:00. We were informed that we were going to wait for a little bit for a couple passengers who checked in but hadn’t shown up yet, then were informed that we had to wait while they removed their luggage. Calvin was quite cranky this entire time, but there was an elderly lady and a middle aged man behind us to entertained him and helped make him not be annoying. As soon as we started making our way down the runway, Calvin fell asleep and stayed that way the entire time.
And then we finally got home at midnight. About 6 hours later than planned.
I want to say a big thank you to Jeremy the West Jet staff member, and also John, our ride home, who kindly stayed up late to bring us home.