Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, International, TRAVEL

The Long Stretch Home

a luggage conveyor inside airport
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

TRAVEL THERE:  BACK TO DFW EVENTUALLY

So after a very long wait in Montreal, we took off for Toronto.  We were almost home.  Just one easy overnight layover and we’d be there.  Only it didn’t turn out exactly like that.

Late Night Luggage Woes

We arrived in Toronto much later than our original 9:32 PM ETA.    I can’t remember ever being so zombie-like from travel.  We disembarked and made our way to baggage claim, but there was no baggage to claim.  The carousel went around and around and occasionally an odd bag would show up, but no one from our flight got any luggage.  Since it was just a commuter flight from Montreal, most of the passengers trotted away with their carry-ons.  We were all so tired it took us awhile to comprehend what was was going on.  We were at the right carousel, because the sign on it listed our flight, but nothing from our flight was showing up.

Bill got in the lost luggage line and as we waited, I made an inventory of the entire baggage claim area, just to be sure we were in the right place and weren’t missing anything.  How does an airplane even fly without having anything in the cargo hold.  There was only one Air Canada employee in sight.  They were behind the lost luggage counter and the counter was besieged by customers, so there was no chance to pop in and ask a question.  I also noticed there seemed to be a lot of luggage just sitting around, some looking as if it had been lined up and organized, but other piles looking as if it had merely been tossed there and forgotten – decades ago.

The line took forever.  The employee said nothing was arriving from Montreal that evening and our luggage would be delivered to our home.  Bill explained that Montreal was not home and we would be traveling to DFW in the morning.  The guy said, “Great, just come back here in the morning.”  Had we had our brains screwed in properly we would have recognized a problem with that, but our brains were as lost as our luggage.

Best Laid Plans Go Awry

So our plan for saving money had been to spend our layover at a bargain suite hotel.  The room for the three of us would still leave us with a significant savings on the airfare, but that savings was getting less valuable as the troubles added up.  If things had gone our way, we’d have caught a little of the hotel’s happy hour and gotten a great breakfast buffet.  As it was, we got perhaps four hours of sleep, but we all needed at least twelve.

Back at the airport, it was one headache after another.  We stood in a lot of lines that morning and none of them helped at all.  We would stand in one line and they would send us to another.  Finally, after hearing our luggage woes, someone sent us back down to baggage claim to get some document we should have received the night before.  Have you ever tried to reach the arrivals baggage claim area from the departure area of the Toronto airport?  Just give it up.  It ain’t happening.  It took most of the airport to get us back there and when we did it was a total fail.  The morning staffer was overwhelmed by the mess he’d been left with by the night crew and our problem was the last one he wanted to handle.  We did however end up with the requisite piece of paper and a lot of free time.

Needless to say, we did not connect with our luggage in Toronto and actually wouldn’t see it for days.  We could have gotten a few more hours of sleep if we’d known that in the wee hours of the morning, not so long ago, but we weren’t given any good breaks along the way.  We actually had to wait quite awhile to even check into our flight.  Since there weren’t any other bags to worry about, we checked our carry-ons so we wouldn’t have to mess with them.  We didn’t care about anything we owned at that point.  We just wanted to be home.

Home

The flight itself was uneventful and our checked carry-ons arrived without any trouble. The Park & Fly Shuttle took us to our car, which was intact, right where we left it.  We dropped Deb off on our way back to Heath.  And then we were home.

Bill got right on the luggage thing once we were home and the next week would have been funny, if it were happening to someone one else.  I’m not even going to bother you with it all, because I don’t even want to think about it.  The only good thing to come out of it for me was that while we were shopping for some replacement items we had to buy, to get the maximum reimbursement, I found a great after-5 dress that Air Canada ended up buying for me.  It’s the least they could do after what they put us through.

After it was all over – the year of planning dominated by a remodel gone wrong, the highly active and not at all relaxing travel, the beautiful vow renewal ceremony, all the amazing times we had, all the incredible things we saw,  the hassle over the photos and the hellacious trip home – for about 10 minutes, I thought, “This is just too much damned trouble.  I never want to travel again.”  Then I came to my senses.  That’s when we got a letter from the Westin offering us a bargain vacation to come check out their property in Scottsdale AZ.

So, come back next week and we’ll head to the Westin’s Kierland Villas!  See you, then!

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