Pearson airport delays: Passengers tell their stories

Passengers stuck in weather delays at Toronto's Pearson International Airport tell their stories to CBC News.

Passengers waited hours to deplane, then hours more for their luggage

Frustrated passengers line up during flight delays and cancellations due to extreme cold weather and wind chill at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Tuesday. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press)

There were plenty of stories about major travel hassles related to today's massive weather-related delays at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Here are the stories of two travellers who were interviewed by Matt Galloway on CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

Father of infant waits for stroller, car seat

Colin Haefele, with his three-month-old son in tow, arrived on an Air Canada flight at 1 a.m. ET Tuesday. The flight was already delayed by more than an hour, but Haefele's ordeal was just beginning.

After landing, the pilot announced there would be a "long" delay to get to the gate but couldn't be more specific. That wait ended up stretching to four hours.

"A lot of people slept, but there was not a whole lot you could do," he said. His son "was pretty good most of the time but he had a few fits."

Things were no better at the luggage carousel where people were forced to wait, with no information or updates from airport staff.  

"The only announcement that comes on is one saying you're not allowed to leave the luggage hall until you get your luggage," said Haefele. "I can't find anybody that actually works here."

Haefele was still waiting early Tuesday morning, when he did the Metro Morning interview via cellphone.

And so he stood waiting, carrying his son, unable to leave without his stroller and car seat.  

Passenger left without his luggage

John McLean's Air Canada flight from Sarasota, Fla.,  landed in Toronto at 11:30 p.m. Monday. His plane then sat for four and a half hours on the tarmac, waiting for an available gate.

McLean also described a chaotic situation and long wait at the luggage carousel.

"There were hundreds and hundreds of people waiting," he said. "Then they lifted our flight number off without announcing it. Nobody knew what was happening."

Like many who spoke to CBC this morning, McLean said he understands that weather can cause delays but was frustrated by the lack of information from airport staff on the ground.

McLean ended up leaving the airport without his luggage and plans to return for it later Tuesday. "I believe it's still on the airplane," he said.