AC458 July 23rd

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by igloocoder, Jul 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    I was on this YYZ-YOW flight yesterday and it was....interesting.

    First we were delayed before boarding because YOW was under a red alert due to lightening and the pilots didn't want to take off until they were more certain we'd be able to land in YOW instead of circling. Not a big deal. Twenty to thirty minutes later boarding starts and everything seems good. Once boarding is finished the pilot announces to the main cabin that he has to change his alternate landing airport from YQB to YXU due to the direction the storm is moving and because of the distance back to YXU we need to take on 300kg more fuel. So we wait about 10-15 minutes for the truck to show up and top us off. Again, someone who has traveled a bit, it's not a big deal. Sure, the 45-ish minutes that we'll be late arriving will possibly cause some connection problems (it was starting to look tight for mine), but it won't be the end of the world.

    We get up in the air and we land smoothly in YOW. While we're taxiing to the terminal we are stopped right on the intersection with the runway that is under repair. After a few minutes the engines are shut down and the pilot announces that YOW is under a red alert again and we're not going anywhere until that is cleared up. About 15 minutes later the engines are fired up and we continue to taxi right up to turning in towards our gate. Just after the turn in completed I noticed that the strobes were flashing on the terminal and we promptly stopped again. Another red alert. The delays are starting to get old, but at least we're all in YOW and we can confirm that nobody's connections are leaving until the red alert is lifted. So, once again, frustrating but not a huge deal.

    Sitting there during the 2nd red alter on the ground I noticed now muted the passengers were. Hardly a peep was to be heard and there were very few people even getting up to make use of the lavs. A guy walks by my seat (3D) followed by one of the FAs from the economy cabin. My first thought is that he's heading to the lav. Instead he stops to chat up the FAs (specifically the SD). My next thought is that he's concerned about connections and decided to ask for a bit of information. I hear the SD tell him that there was a storm, the ground crew couldn't work and that there was no way to tell how long it would be. Then I heard the passenger say

    I was pretty confident at that point that things were going to be getting interesting in a very big hurry. As you'd expect the tone of the conversation changed immediately. The SD told the passenger he should return to his seat. The passenger re-iterated his idea for getting off the plane. At that point the SD said "Sir, I'm no longer going to ask you to return to you seat, so please do so immediately." The passenger replied with "Well I'm not sleeping on this plane tonight." The SD tersely replied "Sir, I highly doubt that would happen so please take your seat now."

    So the passenger begrudgingly makes his way back towards the economy cabin. At that time the FA who followed the passenger to the front of the cabin told the SD "He's the guy who said....during boarding." I missed the comment, but I suspect he was upset about the delay right from the get-go. The FA continued "I was in the back galley alone and I didn't know if I could handle him myself so I met him in the aisle and directed him up here."

    At that point I realized that all of the FAs were between myself (3D) and the cockpit. I think the SD had the revelation at the same time. The SD told two of the FAs to go to the back galley and block the doors. They left quickly saying "Hurry, we need to get in front of him." A few minutes later and a couple of conversations on the phone, the SD announces that everyone should sit down as the pilot has to move the plane. To his credit, even with the added stress he remembered to do it in both English and French. A quick glance down the aisle behind me showed that the guy had never actually sat. Instead he was standing near what I assumed was his seat. A quick look outside showed the strobes still flashing so it was apparent that this was a tactic that the crew was using to get the gentleman to buckle in. He did, we rolled forward about 3 feet and the plane shut down again.

    Nothing much happened after that. We waited another 15-20 minutes (for a total of about 45) in that last red alert. After the passenger took his seat the tension slowly wound down and by the time we moved to the gate the one FA that was seated in the front jump seat was back reading her novel.

    It was a very interesting experience. The SD had great situation awareness and under pressure the rest of the FAs listened and acted without offering advice or questioning actions. It reminded me of my basic training platoon. We weren't crisp or well oiled, but we knew how things worked and we did our damnedest to emulate a group that was.

    Up to the interaction with this passenger, the SD was jovial and good natured. I was starting to wonder if he was being to light hearted in front of the passengers. During the first ground delay in YOW he was answering the intercom calls from the back galley and saying things like "I'm sorry you have the wrong number" and then hanging up. I realized it was all about a crew having fun with each other and doing what any of us may do with our coworkers from time to time. I just wasn't sure how it was going to be taken by some of the other passengers. When the SD changed tone, I knew right away that this guy was the real deal and that when it was time for business the jokes would stop.


    One of the oddest things at the end of the experience was that there was no security or police waiting in, or at the end of, the air bridge. I didn't stick around (connections were going to be a gong show at this point) to see what happened, but it looked like the offending passenger was going to get of without any repercussions.

    It was a intriguing way to end a 4 day, 16 segment mileage run.
     
    YULtide, Exit Row and LETTERBOY like this.
  2. Exit Row
    Original Member

    Exit Row Silver Member

    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    173
    Status Points:
    360
    Thanks for the story. Your tweets left me wondering. :)
     
  3. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    I think the tweets better convey the ebb and flow of tension as it happens. I just couldn't write it like I tweeted it.
     
    YULtide likes this.
  4. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,745
    Likes Received:
    10,554
    Status Points:
    10,520
    Great story! Thanks for sharing it.
     

Share This Page