Man unable to fly home because of outdated ID

Make sure your ID is up to date when you go to the airport — a man from Colinet recently learned that the hard way.
An outdated driver's license cost a Newfoundland man a lot of time and energy when he got trapped in Ottawa on his way home. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Make sure your ID is up to date when you go to the airport — a man from Colinet recently learned that the hard way.

Ed Didham was flying home from visiting his son in Iqaluit when he was stopped at the gate in Ottawa.

He had accidentally taken an outdated driver's licence with him on the trip, and although he had no trouble getting up north, he ran into serious problems on the way home.

"Here I am travelling with my wife, who did they think we are?" said Didham.

"And no way would they let us aboard, no way."

Although he had an MCP card and credit card, the agents in Ottawa told him there was nothing they could do. They suggested Didham go to the motor vehicle registry in downtown Ottawa.

Didham and his wife, who are both due for a hip replacement, went into the city. However, the motor registry were similarly unhelpful.

- Ed Didham

From there, the couple tried location after location, becoming more and more frustrated — and cash strapped — as they went.

"We were so beat out. Both of us were having hip replacements. We were having pain with our hips and legs," Didham said.

"We started running out of money for taxis."

Rescued by 'guardian angel'

But when the couple took their final taxi, they met Ottawa cab driver Bahador Ayoubzadeh, who Didham calls their "guardian angel."

"The taxi driver said, 'I'm going to see what I can do for you people because you look like you're in trouble and I want to help out,'" he said.

A taxi driver came to Didham's rescue, helping him and his wife get the paperwork they needed to get back home. (Getty Images/Flickr RF)

Ayoubzadeh, who was from Iran, drove the couple around Ottawa free of charge and insisted that they come to his house for a traditional Persian meal.

"[I told them] 'Don't worry about money. I'm not working for money,'" said Ayoubzadeh. "I am trying to help."

Ayoubzadeh's wife, Hourah Keyan, said that as soon as the couple walked through the door, Didham's wife broke down in tears.

"It touched my heart," said Keyan. "I hugged her. I said, 'Don't worry, it's going to be OK.'" 

From there, the Ayoubzadeh brought them to his brother's office to help them get their papers.

"They were fantastic, unbelievable," said Didham.

"Here I am, a Canadian citizen, I can't get on a flight home. And an Iranian here who's supposed to be from the 'bad country' looking after us there like we were kings."

'We didn't know what to say'

The driver and his family looked after Didham and his wife completely, helping them contact Newfoundland and get their paperwork in order so that Didham could finally fly home.

"Everything they could possibly do for us, they done it," he said.

"We didn't know what to say to thank them. We were so surprised. For people like that to do that for us."

Didham said he and his wife will be keeping in touch and sending Ayoubzadeh and Keyan thank-you gifts from Newfoundland. He said he hopes that someday he can repay the favour.

"There's good people everywhere. That's one thing the world's got going for them. I'll never forget them, ever," he said.