After a week spent celebrating Christmas with families, skiing and enjoying our cottage, the return on Sunday night was not without some drama.
Sunday afternoon we were back in our condo in Montreal, watching episode 9 of “The Crown” when Peter received a telephone call from British Airways. The attendant informed Peter that due to technical problems, the airplane would not leave Montreal Sunday night. Peter has a busy week at work so we needed to get back to London. The attendant then informed us that if we could get on the Air Canada flight AC423 at 18:00 to Toronto, they would put us on the BA flight from Toronto to London. It arrives an hour later than the Montreal flight but Peter could still make his meetings. We said yes and pretty much ran out the door, it was 15:50.
Now, for those of you who don’t know about the traffic situation in Montreal, let’s just say that Montreal is going through its own “Big Dig” and going West to the airport is a challenge on any given day. When you are in a hurry and should be at the airport two hours before a flight and you are already late, it’s not fun.
We could not get on the 20 West. We had to take Sherbrooke to Decarie and then Decarie to Cote De Liesse and then the airport. Us and half the city seemed to be going in the same direction. While Peter was navigating (and swearing) through traffic, I decided to call BA back and see if instead of going to Toronto on an Air Canada flight and then get on the BA flight to London, could we not simply get on the AC flight from Montreal to London. There is one at 8 pm.
After a long 20 minute wait I finally got through a guy name Andrew…he sounded more like Dev Patel but okay I will go along. I explained my situation and after answering a bunch of security questions he put me on hold to ask his supervisor what he could do about our situation. We got disconnected!! WTF!!!! Peter was still maneuvering the cars and speeding on Cote De Liesse so I called again. Waiting time, 15 minutes…We got to airport and Peter said, “Stay on call, see if anyone will answer and go up to BA desk to see if anyone is there. I’ll take care of the rental car.” We had planned to fill up before leaving the car back at Avis but in this case, we just left it there with 1/4 tank full and I probably will get a bill for a fill up at double the price but hey, time was of the essence.
17:05 (Flight is at 18:00) I ran into the airport and as I was looking for the BA desk someone from BA customer service answered my call. The woman who answered said her name was Rachel, again, she sounded like a Mindy Kaling but whatever. After three more security questions I explained our situation and asked if we could not just simply get on the AC flight out of Montreal. She answered that AC was not a BA partner and they couldn’t do that. I asked why is it then that BA was able to put us on the AC flight to Toronto. She did not know. She said to go ask Air Canada. WTF!!!!
In the end we gave up. We walked over to Air Canada. Talked to a manager who confirmed we were booked all the way in business (because Peter had upgraded us with his points) and that they would just give us our tickets. We went through security and straight to the gate since the plane was boarding.
In Toronto we switched terminals from domestic to international, went to the BA lounge for a quick meal and then boarded the flight that was delayed to 22:33. The flight over the Atlantic was really bumpy. I slept a bit but it wasn’t great.
We landed at LHR at 10:30 am London time. Back home, Peter just changed and went straight to work while I unpacked and started laundry. What was suppose to be a smooth LAST CROSSING from Montreal to London turned out to be hectic but at least this was our last for a while. I just hope the kids have an easier go at it on Thursday night.