Take the long way home

My apologies to Supertramp.

The last leg of our trip home involved flying from YYZ to YQG.

Normally, it’s a very quick and short flight and roughly flies along the 401.  

The advice on the Pearson Airport website is always good.

Besides, after you’ve walked the length of your terminal looking at the shops and buying a few comforting things, what else is there to do?  Our gate was one of two at the end of the D terminal and there seemed to be a considerable number of people for a midnight flight.  The other gate was prepped for another 6am flight.  Off to the internet and I found out why.  The 8pm flight had been cancelled.  It would appear that Air Canada was doubling up on our flight.  That was true.  I started to poke around and found that a big storm had indeed hit the Windsor area and was headed east.

I hoped that we wouldn’t be delayed.

There were an unusually high number of people heading to the desk checking in on something but I felt comforted knowing that I had my boarding pass well in hand.  That did turn out to be the case.  The gate attendants were printing boarding passes as quickly as they could.  Hopefully, it’s not going to be standing room only!  Eventually, we all got on board and I heard the flight attendant indicate that there was only one empty seat.  That’s efficient.

We got our seats; we were right next to the wing and I did my usual neck exercises trying to look around and see what else was happening outside.  I think it’s a testament to the organisation at an airport that so much was happening with so many people.  And it all gets done.

Finally, we’re all on board and take off.  The pilot comes on the intercom to do the standard welcome and then gives a special welcome to those who were delayed.  For the rest of us, he explained why.  They had flown all the way to Windsor but the power was out so that they couldn’t land and had to return to Toronto.  I made myself a note to check that out later.  

Thanks to Flightaware, I was able to.

You had to feel sorry for those people affected.  So near and yet so far!

Then came the news for the rest of us.  The storm was still working its way up the 401 but the captain thought that he could bypass it by flying over Lake Huron and approaching Windsor that way.  Having grown up near Lake Huron, I knew that was a bit out of the way!  Again, another note to check it out later.

Of course, the entire time of the flight, I’m looking out the window trying to see landmarks and failing desperately.  But, as long as we have a competent pilot in control, I’m not worried.

You’ll see that, from the diagram, he did manage to deke around the storm.  

Not only that, but it was a night smooth flight, a quick taxi in Windsor, and we’re at the terminal for the longest wait of any flight — waiting for your luggage.  Given the hoops that it must have gone through since I last touched it, I’m always so impressed that it’s there, undamaged, and ready to go.

As I sit back and marvel at all that happened, I can help but be impressed with all the technology that made it happen.  Poke around the Flightaware site and you’ll see what I mean.  If you’re in the mathematics or computer science classroom, there’s enough authentic data there to generate many interesting problems and graphs.

 

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