Terminally delayed

Airport sign

You’re at Toronto Pearson, ranked worst internationally for having the most flight delays of any airport. Or maybe you’re at Montréal Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a close second. You might even be at Vancouver International Airport, 10th worst in the world, where 37% of flights were delayed over the summer of 2022.1 But relax, you’re on vacation. Who said travel was all about exotic destinations, new cuisine, breathtaking landscapes?

Welcome to the airport, inflation’s natural habitat. And guess what, your flight’s just been delayed!

Hour 1 (18:25)

But that’s okay. You’re on vacation, you’re wearing comfy pants. Sit back, enjoy the ambiance of a population in transition. Then, when that gets old, there are plenty of James Patterson novels at the Hudson News. You simply can’t run out of culture at the airport. While you’re shopping, try the peanuts, a local delicacy.

Hour 2 (19:25)

Where’s your passport? Did you leave it in the cab? No, it’s still right there in your pocket.

Hour 3 (20:25)

Wait in line 45 minutes for a $30 sandwich you don’t even want. Why not? You’re on vacation, not sweating the small stuff. The woman behind you can’t believe how long it’s taking. Don't they know she has a flight to catch? The man in front is flabbergasted. He, too, is here to catch a flight.

Hour 4 (21:25)

You’ve been delayed again, so you might as well finish your horrible sandwich. The bread is stale, but the longer you chew, slowly watching the immobile jets on the runway, the more you feel yourself settling into your surroundings. The airport has enveloped you. Soon, you can see it all so clearly, you’ll have been here long enough that bread that’s not stale will begin to taste raw. That’s when you’ll know you’ve made it.

Hour 5 (22:25)

A flight unboards just as yours is cancelled. It’s from somewhere fun by the looks of it, the passengers are glowing and some of them wear flowers around their necks. A little girl bangs on a tin drum. You despise them viscerally. 

Hour 6 (23:25)

You can’t find your passport and must have left it at the Irish pub. No, not that Irish pub, the one in concourse B. Pass three Tim Horton's and a Coach store to get there before realizing that it’s still right there in your pocket.

Hour 7 (00:25)

You’re rerouted with a different layover—a new airport of which you’ll have to learn its customs. But for now, settle in. Lean back into your stiff, low chair and remember what you can from science class about how planes fly anyway, physics etc., Bernoulli’s whatever. Take a nap.

Hour 8 (01:25)

What better time to mentally go through your luggage and realize everything you’ve forgotten, the right bathing suit, the good sunscreen. In theory, it’s fine: you’ll buy something when you get there, but you don’t know if that will ever happen. It’s dawning on you that the airport is the only place you were ever meant to be.

Hour 9 (02:25)

You’re boarding soon, allegedly, but hope is an outsider’s game, and you belong to the airport now. Sure, you came here to get somewhere, but don’t mistake that fact for the idea that you aren’t somewhere already. 

We can help.

Life happens, at the airport and elsewhere. When and if your plane leaves the tarmac, you’ll be glad you got there (or didn’t) with travel insurance sponsored by Lawyers Financial. And as a member of Canada’s legal community, you save 10% on Manulife’s already affordable travel insurance rates.

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Source: Travel Off Path, “Canada finishes summer with the two worst airports in the world for flight delays,” September 11, 2022

Travel insurance plans are sponsored by CBIA/Lawyers Financial and underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and First North American Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife. © 2022 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. All rights reserved. PO Box 670, Stn Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2J 4B8.