As the title may suggest, I am not a fan of Air Canada. Initially, I was quite excited for my first visit to Canada- the home of my favorite band, one of my best friends, and poutine (my other best friend). Even though it was just a layover in Toronto, it would have been good enough for me to mark it on my list of places I’ve been. Well……. as things would have it we got more than just a layover.
Due to a scheduling mixup, the wonderful Air Canada forgot to schedule a crew for our flight to Toronto. No big deal, right? Wrong. The plane that was supposed to leave Toronto at 2:55pm to come get us at Cincinnati didn’t leave until near 9 pm, didn’t get to us until well after 10, and we didn’t get to Toronto until well after midnight…. causing us to miss our connection to Istanbul. We then had a lovely 1 hour wait to get our hotel assignment, a 2 hour phone call to reschedule our flights, and a 1.5 hour wait in line to attempt to retrieve our bags. When we finally got to the hotel it was 4am. We had no bags. No rebooked flights. And morale was low. The only upside was that we had managed to get tentative seats on flights the following day, however, they could only be conformed in person at the airport the next day.
The next morning we get to the airport around 11am to confirm our flights (which would be at 10pm) and were hoping to go check out downtown Toronto, which allegedly has an amazing food scene. However, Air Canada had other plans for us…… Dec 18, 2017, is the day we mastered the art of “ferbeling,” which as Catherine was so kind to inform us, is the process of walking back and forth through a queue in order to get to the front. We also saw the world record holder for most ear hear (ask me later). We also had our hopes and dreams set and broken about 5 different times.
To make a long story short, out tentative seats we never actually reserved. Our next best option would have put us in Nepal 3 days behind schedule (which would have made the trek almost impossible). Fortunately, we met an amazing ticketing agent who was able to get us there on the 20th, only 1 day behind schedule. As she was about to finalize our tickets disaster struck on two fronts – a computer glitch by Turkish airlines made it impossible to release our seats for rebooking, and it became known that Travelocity didn’t fully book our tickets to fly home. Ok, fine, we can fix it with a couple of phone calls….. nope. After a few frantic calls to a Turkish airlines, the problem could only be fixed by a gate agent in person……. however, there wouldn’t be a gate agent in the airport until 6pm.
Perhaps Kyle said it best, “it was like we spent the day waiting in line at the amusement park……except without the roller coasters.” After what seemed like one failure after the other, all of our stars magically aligned. Around 8pm we were put on a 940pm flight to Delhi. We were obviously overjoyed at the news and that we would finally get going towards our destination. The only question at this point was our baggage, which the ticketing agents assured us would make the flight. All was set and we were off to Delhi! We ended up spending the night in the airport in Delhi before hopping on to the flight to Kathmandu. During our adventures in the Delhi airport, we were unable to find our bags and weren’t able to get a straight answer on how to find them.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we landed in Kathmandu on the 20th, only 1 day behind schedule. Unfortunately, our baggage was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, we were in good spirits and as we walked out of the airport we began our hunt for Narayan (Catherine’s contact person for arranging a guide) and officially began our adventure in Nepal.