Frustrating tales surface in GTA’s storm aftermath
RICHARD LAUTENS/TORstar news service
Of the thousands of stranded-passenger horror stories at Pearson airport this weekend, Adele Campbell’s ill-fated trip to Halifax stands above the rest.
As snowflakes the size of toonies fell at Pearson throughout Sunday, grounding nearly 400 flights, Campbell boarded her 9:30 p.m. flight to Halifax. It took off an hour late, but the 24-year-old focused on the fact that in just two hours she’d be home. Or so she thought.
"We could actually see the city lights of Halifax. Then they were like: Nope! Psych! We’re taking you back to Toronto," she said via another stranded passenger’s cellphone.
By the time the plane got back to Toronto it was 2 a.m. Campbell picked up her luggage and was told to wait at the reserve desk to book another flight. "That’s all they did for us. No food. No accommodations. Nothing," she said, exhausted after sleeping at the airport overnight.
While in line, Campbell decided to call Air Canada directly for tickets.
"I was on hold for three hours trying to get through. After three hours I just hung up. These other guys I met on the plane had two phones to their ears. None of us got through," she said.
If things in the air — or, not in the air — seemed bad yesterday, life on the ground felt worse. Hordes of Torontonians spent hours in the cold trying to extricate their vehicles from heaps of snow.
Residential streets were still lined yesterday afternoon with snow-capped cars, boxed into parking spots by a wall of snow left by plows and by piles shovelled off sidewalks.