Monday, November 21, 2011

Honeymoon SNAFU FUBAR Travel From Hell

In April, I purchased two tickets for a round trip from YYZ (Toronto, ON) to Male, Maldives (MLE) for our honeymoon in October.

The first leg of the flight was scheduled on Lufthansa (LH5337) which was a codeshare actually operated by Air Canada (AC858).

The round trip flight booked was:

  • YYZ to London LHR on Tuesday (LH5337 / AC858) Departing 11:20pm, arriving Wednesday morning.
  • LHR to Colombo, Sri Lanka CMB on Wednesday (UL512) Departing 6:15pm & Arriving 9:30am Thursday.
  • CMB to Male, Maldives Thursday (UL509) Departing 11:20am & Arriving 12:15pm Thursday.
  • Seaplane transfer by Maldivian Air Taxi on Thursday afternoon (departing no later than 4:30pm due to daylight/safety reasons).

I called Air Canada in mid-July to confirm that there were no issues with our booking, and everything was confirmed.

On the day of departure, The New Husband checked the online status of AC858, which showed it was delayed. No biggie.

We went about our errands, picked up some wedding gift stuff from the Bay, and made dinner. We knew my parents were coming to take us to the airport for around 8:30pm.

Around 5:00pm, as we started to scarf down dinner, The New Husband re-checked the flight.

He got this strange look on his face, and said the following words:

"I think we might be f_cked."

Please note, he hardly EVER swears, and he knows I go from "my normal" to
in about 5 seconds, so I knew this was, to quote a sheep, "baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"d.

The flight disappeared, and he asked me to get on the horn with Lufthansa, while he called Air Canada on his cell.

We needed to find out what the f_ck had happened, because the airport stops flying out at a certain time, and if we lost a day and had to catch the same flight the next night, not only would it screw up all our connecting flights, BUT, there was an impending Air Canada flight attendant strike set to begin 40 minutes after the departure time the next night.

If that flight was even 40 minutes late, we could potentially be ROYALLY F_CKED and lose our entire honeymoon.

Lufthansa said they had no idea why the flight was cancelled, and to call Air Canada. Thanks, Lufthansa. Not sure how to say "screw you" in German, but wish I could.

Air Canada had a MAJORhuge call wait time (due to their impending flight attendant strike). The Air Canada employee couldn't figure out why AC858 had seemingly disappeared. (Hmm, I wondered, had they accidentally crossed into the Bermuda triangle?... Oh who am I kidding... I was so upset at that point I was in no position to be joking and/or have a sense of humour and/or maintain control of my bowels and/or... you get the idea. I was barely holding back tears as I started to thrash about the closet in desperate search of a bathing suit.)

The Air Canada employee eventually discovered that AC858 had been removed from the schedule some time ago for that day. However, we were never informed of this and never booked on another Air Canada flight to London.

Ours was to be the last flight of the day, so we couldn't get a later flight, as taking a flight the next day would mean missing our UL512 connection. The only option was to get on AC848,
which left at 8:40pm.

At this point, after the clusterf_ck of all things Lufthansa and Air Canada, and waiting on hold,
it was about 6:00pm.

Now... factor in:
- Packing
- Driving to the airport (no time for my parents to get to our house in time, obviously)
- Finding parking
- Getting through Pearson airport security (which had intentionally "slowed down", I believe, to show support to the impending Air Canada flight attendant strike.)

- Stephanie's tears
- Stephanie's irritable bowels
- Oh, shit... um... packing a suitcase in 15 minutes or less. (Good luck with that)

We had not packed yet, and had a 40 minute drive to the airport ahead of us, basically giving 15 minutes to pack for our honeymoon in order to get to the airport in time.

And so our honeymoon began... and this was only the beginning.


57.5 hours worse.

To Be Continued...

*SNAFU = situation normal all fucked up.
*FUBAR = fucked up beyond all recognition.

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  1. I assume the murdering began once you got to the airport? Seriously, wow. I would probably be crying and have huge snot streams down my face at this point. And I would totally have forgotten my passport.

    And Luftansa does suck. The seats are so close together, that I could not move them. At all. For an 8 hour flight. That was 8 years ago, and I refuse to fly with them.

  2. @Leauxra - I was crying at the airport. And on the way to the airport. All sexy n stuff.

    I had no food on the 9 hour flight. It was awesome.

  3. Oh wow you have my complete sympathy. I despise Air Canada. It's shameful that our government even allows them to use our country's name or the maple leaf in their logo!

  4. I feel so sorry for you. What a nightmare! And this is only the beginning?

  5. I'm horrified already! I can't imagine what the "worse" involves!

  6. Makes me never want to fly again! I can't believe you're not blogging from prison because you had taken an Uzi to these airlines.

  7. @myjoyproject - The British Air Canada reps were quite polite and helpful once we arrived in London... but on the Canadian end? PATHETIC.

    @Belle - Honestly, this is only the beginning. This was the easy part.

    @Alli - Let's just say there is lots of sweating, little sleep, and not in the typical honeymoon kind of way.

    @J.Day - Trust me, I now fully and completely understand the meaning of air rage. SO.FRUSTRATING.

  8. oh you poor girl...that sounds positively sure i would have my name and photograph plastered all OVER the news at six if that happened to me as i am not known for my patience..
    in 1991 i caught an air china plane back to oz and...but thats another story...hope it has a happy ending :)

  9. @Dan - Trust me, this was just the beginning. It got worse... over a long time. I was just happy to get on the damn flight. You know, crying all the while...

  10. EEP! i hope somewhere in this story is an apology & book of free flight vouchers - altho maybe those wouldn't be quite as appealing...

  11. This is not good. I have had my own dramas with airlines but I have a feeling you could trump me.

    I am really hoping that at the end of this you are sitting on a beach with a fabulous coocktail in hand

  12. *Grabbing popcorn and my favorite seat on the couch*

  13. OMG! I am so sorry... Your honeymoon is supposed to be sexy time and love. Not yelling at incompetent airline folk. :-(

    Belated congratulations on your wedding, though. <3

  14. OMG you poor thing. I would be ballistic at this point and it gets worse?

    You really know how to hook a new reader. *waits impatiently for the follow up post*

  15. @carmar76 - I would love it if that were the case... but Air Canada and Sri Lankan airways couldn't have cared less. I will post their replies once I finish the story.

    @Mynx - It's awful, isn't it? We got there eventually, but not without a ton of stress, sweat, tears, money, time and pain!!

    @Michael - The entire time, I just kept thinking "at least it will make for a boatload of blog material..."

    @lisa from insignificant at best - Why thank you and welcome!! Love to see new folks around here. Installment #2 posted today! There are a few more yet!

  16. @Kat Storm - Sorry I missed you there... I found you in my spam folder for some odd reason.

    Yeah... there was a definite lack of romance and sexy for the first 3 days, for damn sure. But thanks for the congrats!!


I get far too excited when new comments come in here...