We have eventually arrived in Canada. Unfortunately everything didn’t go smoothly but we have arrived.
We got to Heathrow at around 3:45pm and when we were clearing security we heard that the flight was going to be delayed for an hour. That hour turned into 2 hours and then eventually 3 hours. fortunately we were in the BA lounge and so we were comfortable at least while we waited. They have a new ‘build your own burger’ bar so that was an early dinner for 3 of us (S,K & me).
The gate eventually was allocated and we headed there only to discover they couldn’t board us (onto buses) because there was only one gate agent and they apparently to board you need two. So we stood waiting for at least 20 minutes before the other person arrived. They then finally boarded us onto buses that took us out to the plane. The plane was on a remote stand because the plane that was meant to have taken us to Montreal had a technical fault. The pilot told us that they couldn’t find anyone to tow the plane from the hanger which was the original reason for the delay. Then they couldn’t find bus drivers for the buses. Heathrow (and the UK travel industry it seems) is in a total mess at the moment.
After finally boarding the flight, the pilot told us that there was a further delay because they had to offload bags of passengers that didn’t arrive. Apparently they missed their connecting flights and so wouldn’t be on our flight. How their bags made it but they didn’t is a mystery to me!?! Then we had a further delay in there was no tug to push us back from the stand. In the end we left over 3 hours late but we managed to catch up an hour inflight and so landed 2 hours late.
The service on the flight was very good – the best I have had recently on a BA flight (and I am back to flying regularly for business). The food was also probably best I have had for some time (I had chicken, mushroom and leek pie – so did K – and H had beef cheeks which she said were also good). We all managed to get some sleep on the flight – I slept solidly for 4 hours. We landed at 9:45pm (Montreal time). Immigration is very slick in Canada – there are machines that you go to and enter your passport and details and it prints a receipt for you and then you hand that to an officer and they only pull over those that they are concerned about for further checks. We went straight through and collected our luggage (which came off quickly too) and then out to get the shuttle to the hotel. We stayed last night at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the airport.
We got into bed around 11:30pm and were all asleep by midnight. Unfortunately, at 4am I was wide awake and got up. S woke at 4:30am and K at about 5:15am. H just slept on and eventually woke at 6:15am. She will definitely be over the jetlag first it seems.
Just had breakfast at the hotel and now heading back to the airport to take a flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Until later …
P, H, S & K