Friday, June 24, 2011

Grounded at the airport

Ottawa airport was grounded for a few hours tonight. Apparently ground crews don’t operate during a thunderstorm – such as we’ve been having on and off all day- meaning all departures are delayed and all arrivals have to sit on the tarmac until the storm is over.

When my mum’s flight arrived at 5:10 p.m., passengers were told that there would be a delay of “about 20 minutes”. She wasn’t let off the plane for 3 hours.

Miya and I arrived at the airport around 5:20 and I thought we might be late. But there were a lot of people waiting at the arrivals area, with nobody actually arriving. I spoke with a woman who’d already been waiting over an hour for her friend.

I went to the information desk where the woman took down my mum’s flight number, looked at her computer for awhile, then told me the flight had arrived. This I already knew from reading the display boards. What I wanted to know was when passengers would be let off it.

“Oh, I don’t know that,” she said. That depended on the weather.

Although not very helpful with information, she did give Miya “An Airport to Discover” colouring book and a small box of crayons. That actually was helpful.
Miya and I sat in a restaurant where we could see the planes sitting on the tarmac. The only movement, besides the driving rain, was the occasional drive past of an airport truck. Like watching buns rise.

Luckily my daughter seemed impressed enough with the novelty of the situation – esp. the giant planes outside giant windows. When I told her grandma was stuck on one of those planes she waved at them and hollered, “hi grandma!”

After we’d been waiting over an hour, the power went out in the airport. The back-up generator kicked in right away, but this didn’t seem to be a good sign. Thunder was still rolling outside and the downpour hadn’t slowed. It was also getting on M’s bedtime, so with no information forthcoming about when planes would actually start moving, we headed home empty handed and sent V out later to collect my mum –after she was finally released.

No comments:

Post a Comment