The Great Halifax Airport Debacle

The fog situation in Halifax is so bad it’s making the national news. The airport authority decided to compound the inconveniences caused by a rash of recent and ongoing construction with repairs and testing of its state-of-the-art fog navigation system. Mother Nature, however, decided to wreak havoc and sent a whole lotta fog, and then some, to the region, beginning the day before Alison’s wedding.
I flew into Halifax a week before the wedding, ostensibly to “help out” but really to be there for the bachelorette. Weather-wise, Halifax was hot and steamy when I arrived, and my flight was uneventful.
Dr. T., who had to work, booked his flight for the Friday before the wedding, aka Canada Day.
What was supposed to happen
1. Friday, 09:15: Dr. T. leaves Montreal, and arrives in Halifax at 11:45
2. Friday afternoon: lounge around and relax
3. Saturday morning: more relaxing, showering, shaving, etc.
4. Saturday afternoon: Alison and I do the bridal hair thing while Dr. T. and John and John’s posse decorate the hall
5. Saturday, 6:30: the wedding, followed by the reception (see photos, in case you missed them before)
6. Sunday, noon: Dr. T. flies home
7. Sunday, 19:05: Maggie flies home
Also, at some point on Sunday, my Mum, the designated babysitter, brings Colin and Robert home.
What really happened

1. Friday morning, my Mum called to tell Dr. T. she’d take the boys for breakfast, so he didn’t have to feed them while trying to get ready – he decides that he can thus forego breakfast, and eat at the airport after he’s checked in.
2. Dr. T. arrives at the airport with plenty of time and heads to the express check-in machine, inserts his aeroplan card, and starts checking in.
3. He decides that his bag, which he was planning to carry-on, is probably too big, so he should check it instead. The express check-in machine, however, won’t back up a step to let him do this. Instead, it tells him he’s checked in – but does NOT give him a boarding pass.
4. Dr. T. lines up with the rest of the plebes, gets to the check-in counter, and convinces the attendant that although he’s checked in, he doesn’t have a boarding pass – time is running out, so the attendant tells him his bag will never make it onto the plane unless it gets sent out through the special services conveyor. If this were a movie script, this would be the utterly predictable bit.
5. Boarding pass in hand, Dr. T. finally makes it aboard the plane – but without the planned breakfast stop.
6. The plane takes off, one minute late. Since the flight is only an hour and a half, there’s no in-flight service. None. No breakfast. No snacks. No coffee!!
7. The plane begins its descent into Halifax, and immediately below, Alison and I are waiting.
8. The arrivals board in the terminal, which is ominously showing several delayed and cancelled flights, suddenly informs us that Dr. T.’s flight will now land at 13:20.
9. The woman at the “Information” kiosk in the terminal helpfully “informs” me that it looks like the flight’s delayed.
10. Alison goes off to find a payphone to call John and let him know we’re going to be late. While she’s gone, my cel phone rings – it’s Dr. T., immediately overhead, who tells me that the pilot has just told them that they cannot actually land in Halifax, so they’re going to Fredericton. Dr. T. promises to call me as soon as he knows what’s going on. Alison and I, having tired of the airport, go home.
11. Dr. T. calls mid-afternoon to ask for Alison’s address – I get excited, thinking he’s at the airport in a cab. Nope…
12. Meanwhile, the pilot has decided to wait another hour or so on the tarmac in Fredericton, in case the Halifax weather clears up. If it doesn’t, the plane’s going back to Montreal. Dr. T. and two fellow passengers, despite the dire warning from the flight attendant, demand to be let off the plane.
13. The baggage handlers open up the plane, only to discover that Dr. T.’s bag is, of course, not there. He needed Alison’s address so his bag could be sent ASAP – after all, his suit, not to mention his underwear, his toothbrush, his deodorant, were all IN THE BAG.
14. Although the flight attendant had predicted no rental cars, one of Dr. T.’s co-deplaners had called Budget from the plane, and arranged an SUV – which was all there was left – to drive to Halifax. The last minute rental, along with the drop-off fee and the gas, cost about $300, split three ways.
15. Dr. T. arrives in Halifax in time for the rehearsal dinner at 8 p.m. His bag does not.
16. Saturday morning, Dr. T. and I rush downtown and hit Le Chateau for appropriate wedding attire. After an hour straight out of What Not to Wear including a Clinton look-alike salesperson, we drop his new pants off at the tailor, and head back to Alison’s – Saturday afternoon proceeds according to plan, as does the wedding and the aftermath reception.
17. Sunday, Dr. T. gets a lift to the airport with Alison’s dad. He still doesn’t have his bag, but he agrees to take one of my suitcases home. Although the weather is beautiful, his flight is delayed more than two and a half hours because of the backlog of flights.
18. Dr. T. finally arrives in Montreal late Sunday afternoon, as does the aforementioned suitcase. The baggage handlers send the bags out an hour and a half after the plane lands. I swear to God.
19. Dr. T.’s original bag gets trucked to Halifax and back, finally getting home at midnight on Wednesday.
20. Meanwhile, my flight home was delayed by just over an hour, I flew business class, with a hot meal and a comfy chair, and my bags arrived without incident.
I did have to drive out to the cottage to get the boys on Monday, however, since Dad had discovered an alarming bulge on one of Mum’s tires. We escorted her home, and the tire has been successfully replaced – although Mum did say that Dad discovered almost exactly the same kind of bulge on some complete stranger’s tire the next day… we think it’s him.

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