Happy Friday!! It’s the first Friday of a 2015 long weekend, which means summer is finally here. Although judging by the weather we’ve been experiencing, you would never know it. Right now, I am staring out the window at a dismal, overcast day — from my parents, lake house in Michigan.
I’m not here by choice (although technically I would choose to come here any day when given the option) but rather necessity.
My son Jack and I were in Chicago last weekend and went to Midway airport, as usual, to catch our flight back to Toronto. Low and behold, like so many other travel times, the flight was delayed. At first, we were grounded aboard the plane for 40 minutes. Then, they finally took pity on us and let everyone off the plane and told us to sit in the terminal (this is usually when you know the wait is going to be a while).
A long airport delay is always made worse when traveling with kids – especially a 13 month old who’s on the move and not yet settled by TV shows. By this time, he had missed his morning nap and was tired of being restrained. I didn’t bring the stroller with me because my parents have one at their place in Chicago so here I am in an airport with no place to put my son down. He definitely did not want to be carried and he was over sitting on my lap.
It’s in these situations where, as a parent, I really needed to assess the situation. Did it make sense to keep waiting it out with an infant? Would I be smarter to leave and try again tomorrow?
I kept in the good books with the crew and captain who were all surrounding the check-in desk watching weather maps on a computer screen. I strolled around the terminal and would circle back every 25-30 minutes to check on the status. After four hours in the airport and no real end in sight, I had to make a decision — stick around for an undetermined amount of time, or call it a day and re-book. After checking with a friend back in Toronto, who reported that the weather forecast over the next couple of days was much of the same (rain and clouds), I knew leaving today or even the next morning might not happen.
Most reputable airlines will accommodate the needs of parents flying with kids although please don’t quote me on that. I ended up getting a full raincheck to use within a week (granted I fly with them often so I’m sure customer loyalty played into their willingness to rebook me at a time of my leisure).
All Porter Airlines staff were exceptionally understanding and even offered to watch my bag while I paced the airport so I could have my hands free. They made calls to find out what baby items (diapers, food etc) they had available in their emergency kit and the captain was very forthcoming and honest about the delay.
I now await our departure flight home in a couple of days and fingers crossed the weather system has passed. It’s still overcast and nasty out but at least now I know to call first and make sure there’s no sign of delay in the plane’s future.