Iceland volcano: Stranded in Europe
- April 19, 2010 11:44 AM |
- By Your Voice
Submitted by Helen Skawinski
I live in Calgary and went on a two-week holiday to visit my daughter in Paris, as well as to stop off in Germany to see the place my mother and father first met.
On the last day of my holiday I couldn't sleep, so I got up at 3:00 a.m. to check in online. That's when I saw the news feed on CBC. I was stunned. I had been planning to get up at 7 a.m., finish getting ready, print off my boarding pass, and go to the airport. But I quickly realized that my flight, and most flights out of Paris, had been cancelled.
I tried contacting United, but couldn't call the 1-800 number, because it is in North America ( I was flying with United Airlines, via Chicago, to Paris and Calgary.) I did find a France number, but we decided I would just go to the airport Saturday morning and take my chances.
Later that afternoon, though, my daughter called the airline in France. Luckily she speaks French and gave the United Airlines agent in Paris my booking number. He said he could get me out, but not until Sunday.
I will be flying Air France to Montreal, and Air Canada to Calgary. He had me booked but still needed confirmation from Air France and Air Canada, so asked my daughter to call back around 8 p.m. They usually close at 6 p.m., but were staying open till 9 p.m. because of all the cancellations.
Luckily, I never even had to go the airport at all (especially when I heard them advising people to stay away from the airport), which was a blessing. I have found this quite painless. I've been happy to spend an extra two days in Paris with my daughter.
I'm very grateful I've been able to be at my daughter's apartment, and that she has a computer so I can check online for updates all the time. I am also very grateful this did not happen while I was in Germany, as it would have been quite a different story, since I don't know anyone there, and had nowhere to stay.
So, all in all, it turned out not bad for me. But I still have to wait till I get on that plane and land in Calgary on Sunday. Then I will be happy it all is over. I do congratulate the airlines for working together in resolving this incident in the best way they can.
Update: As it turns out, all flights were cancelled out of Paris again today, so I've been rebooked back with United, but not until Friday April 23, one week after I was supposed to leave. Oh well, I just have to rethink how I am spending my time, do some work on the computer, see a different part of Paris every day, and get a good visit in with my daughter.
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