Finally all in London
June 23, 2019

We are all finally in London together. Unfortunately it didn’t all go to plan though. On Friday I finished the conference in Montreal and as I had nothing to do in the afternoon I headed for the airport. While I was in the taxi heading for the airport, S & K were boarding their plane to London. They left on time and so we due to land in London at around 6:30am. The plan was that I would meet up with them at the airport as my flight from Montreal was due in also at 6:30am.

By the time I had cleared security, I had about 5 hours to wile away at the airport. My plan was to do some work as it was my last working afternoon before I started my leave. The set up in the Air Canada lounge though wasn’t ideal for working though I did manage to do some emails at least. I was constantly checking that all was still on time with my flight and at about 4pm it actually updated saying we would arrive at 6:15am so all seemed on track. Then suddenly at 5pm I got a notification that the flight was delayed and arriving now departing at 8pm (instead of 6:50pm) and then a few minutes later another one saying 8:35pm and then another one a few minutes after that saying 9:35pm. At about 8:45pm it updated then to a 9:50pm departure and I started to doubt I was ever going to leave Montreal.

There is a limited amount of time you can spend in a lounge in an airport and I was fast approaching that limit especially since the last 3 hours were unplanned. I had eaten everything there was to eat and watched enough Netflix and now wanted to actually get on a plane and leave. The added irritation was that I had specifically kept myself in UK time and with the 5 hour time difference it really did feel like 2am in the morning for me and I really wanted to go to sleep. I was now starting to have my doubts we were going anywhere that night. It didn’t help then when we were queuing to board (this was now at 9:30pm and I was starting to doubt the 9:50pm departure time), the two guys behind me were giving a running commentary on how stressed the gate departure staff were looking. Each time the leader got a call they would make up the conversation between the two of them like “I’m not telling these people that we are further delayed” or “You come down here yourself and tell them the flight is cancelled” or “What did you say – there’s a technical problem we can’t fix”.

We did eventually board at 9:45pm though and we took off at 10:30pm with the expected arrival time into London of 9:30am (3 hours late). No explanation ever given, no apology either at the gate or on the plane. Seemed like a standard thing that happens and when I tracked the on time performance of the flight I found out it is actually a regular thing. 20% of the time that particular flight is late by more than 2 hours. Air Canada were just ‘proudly’ voted number 1 airline in North America. You can just imagine how bad the rest of them are!

By the time I arrived, S & K had arrived in London, gone to the flat for a shower and already headed out with the rest of them to Natural Science Museum. I drove past the museum at 10:30am when they were touring around it. As I had slightly less than 4 hours sleep on the flight, I had had a quick nap when I arrived and Helen went off to sit in St James Park and read. As you can tell from that the weather was quite nice (which in London means not raining). In the evening we decided to have a picnic in St James Park as well and joined the numerous other people sitting on the grass doing likewise. It was nice to have the whole bunch of us together and on holiday.

I am busy typing this quietly in the lounge because M & S are sleeping in here (lack of beds for all of us) and I have been awake since 5am (not sure my body knows what timezone I am in at the moment).

Until tomorrow …

P, H (because she was only one at flat when I arrived), C (because she’s my favorite daughter), S, M, O & K

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