It was raining hard at Hong Kong. The descent was bumpy enough that I heard people crying out in fear, and although the usual miracle of commercial flight meant we landed safely, the heavy weather was causing lots of delays. In particular, the Air Canada jet that’s taking me to Canada arrived late, and that caused a series of delays that meant our flight departed two hours behind schedule.
Unfortunately, on my itinerary I had a fairly leisurely 2 hours and 50 minutes between scheduled touchdown and the final flight taking off, and as unlike BA pilots, when there’s a delay the Air Canada policy doesn’t seem to be to put their foot down and try to make up the time. If anything (if the in flight map is to be trusted) the plane is slowing down ; arrival was initially estimated at 7:35pm local time, and then it crept up to 7:45 and right now it’s 7:56. That means I’ve got at best 50 minutes to:
Wait for the plane to taxi to the gate
Let all the people in the 18 rows ahead of me disembark
Get through Immigration
Collect my bag
Drop my bag off
Go through security
Get to my new gate and catch the last flight from Toronto to Halifax
Of course, the gate will probably close ahead of the flight schedule, so they’ve got everyone buckled in and ready to push back from the gate, so that 50 minutes is going to shrink to 35, and if you tuck on another 10-15 minutes between the wheels hitting the tarmac and me getting off the plane, getting to Halifax tonight isn’t looking likely. The best I can hope for is there’s something wrong that causes flights out of Toronto to be delayed, but we can probably guarantee the airport will have a burst of Canadian efficiency just to mess with me.
I have travel insurance, so that should cover me for a hotel tonight, but I was hoping my daughters would wake up to find their father with them, rather than him appear at some point when Air Canada can find me a seat on a plane tomorrow. All I can do for now is try not to torture myself with fantasies about how if I run really fast, I could make it on time…