Leaving LA

We slept well and woke up at around 6:30. Sue found bagels in the B&B fridge so that’s what we had for breakfast. After showers we watched a bit of TV before saying goodbye to our hosts and I got us an Uber taxi to the airport. Not a lot of traffic at 10am on a Sunday morning.

We checked in almost right away — I paid WestJet to take my oversize golf bag. Great! Now all we have to do is wait.

Ah, but we weren’t home yet. We were looking to see what the gate number for the LA to Calgary leg of our flight would be when we noticed that the departure time was delayed. Oh well, we have some extra time in Calgary. No worries yet.

But the delay continued to increase! It wasn’t long and we were convinced that we would miss our connecting flight in Calgary. We checked with the WestJet folks — they explained that the delay was due to “de-icing” delays in Calgary, that ALL flights in and out of Calgary were delayed, that ‘our’ plane was now on its way here, and there was still a chance we WOULD make the connection. Hmmm…

We called Alex, who was going to be picking us up in Winnipeg, to let her know that there might be delays. Then we went for lunch. Yikes, lunch is expensive in the LAX airport!

And then we waited some more. We considered cancelling our Calgary to Winnipeg flight since we were fairly certain to miss it anyway (we still have to clear customs in Calgary!), and book two seats on the next (and last) flight out which would get us into Winnipeg after midnight. Not great, but at least we’d get home today. But the WestJet ladies said with a bit of luck we might still be able to make the first connection, and if we missed that we could still try to book the late flight. So that’s what we decided to do.

At 2:15 the WestJet plane from Calgary arrived in LA. We boarded and departed LA at 2:52pm. When we arrived in Calgary they announced that connecting passengers should meet the WestJet agent and get their ‘new’ boarding passes. We hurried off the plane and got boarding passes for the LAST plane to Winnipeg. Are you SURE we can’t make the connection. No, she says. Sue and I RUN to the other end of the Calgary airport, heading for the gate from where our plane is scheduled to leave in about 10 minutes. We run. And run. And get to a closed gate, no agents at the desks, a WestJet plane at the end of the boarding bridge, about to back away. ALMOST! but not enough. And anyway, our luggage wouldn’t have made it. So we’re here for a couple of hours until (hopefully) our next plane takes off.

As we walked back to our ‘new’ boarding gate we ran into someone who turned out to be a ‘manager’ for WestJet. We pleaded our case. She was very good, and asked if a $30 food voucher would help us to pass the next 2 hours.

We found a restaurant, each ordered a big beer, and started texting with Alex. Our new scheduled time of arrival in Winnipeg was 12:15, meaning she’d only get home at 1:30 or so.

It turned out that our friends Werner and Karen were on their way home from a week in Bermuda, and were delayed in Toronto, and expecting to arrive in Winnipeg about 10 minutes after our plane was supposed to land. I texted Werner and he replied. Yes, they had a car at the airport, and yes, they would be willing to give us a ride home. GREAT!

Now we could enjoy our pub meal and know that our kids didn’t have to come in late at night for us, and we would be home and in our bed for tonight.

Midnight at the Winnipeg Airport

Werner & Karen

Our plane arrived at the Winnipeg airport at 12:15. Our luggage was there a few minutes after we de-planed. I was worried about my big golf bag but managed to arrange with the luggage service that I could leave my bag and pick it up tomorrow.

And then Werner and Karen’s plane arrived. They had two little carry-on bags. Werner assured us that he could take ALL our luggage in his car, and that’s what we did.

We got home at around 2 in the morning. After 100 days away, and after a few disappointments on this, our final day, we were home and happy to be home.