Flying in the North!

After only being home for 5 days, I’m back in Winnipeg, but this time I brought Rob along with me.  We’re on annual leave and slowly making our way to Penticton, British Columbia to spend the Christmas holidays with my family.  We almost thought we wouldn’t make it down from Baker Lake due to the strong winds.  For the whole week, the weather forecast was sunny and bright in Baker Lake but yesterday the weather came in and it was overcast and snowing slightly with winds up to 60 km/h and visibility down to 2 km.  The two biggest things that cause planes not to land are visibility and wind!  Rob and I were so nervous yesterday, we checked the weather forecast throughout the day and even went up to the airport after dinner to see if the plane came in; planes that come in at night will usually stay the night in the case of early morning flights the next day. Luckily the plane came in and we did end up leaving this morning at 9:30!!

Unfortunately, our flight route was what we called the ‘milk run’ as it landed in almost every community before arriving in Winnipeg.  That is what you get when you ‘buy’ your plane tickets using Aeroplan points.  We were suppose to stop in Chesterfield Inlet, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, Whale Cove and Churchill before Winnipeg.  However, we did not end up stopping in Arviat due to low ceiling but that still didn’t bring us into Winnipeg any earlier!  Once we arrived in Winnipeg, everyone got their luggage except us (not one of our 3 pieces that we checked in made it).  When I went to the ask the agent about our luggage, we were told that 3 pieces came of the earlier flight.  The earlier flight??!!  Why could we not get on the earlier flight and how did our luggage travel without us?

At least our trip was slow and boring and not as adventurous as my return trip to Baker Lake last Sunday.  I was supposed to fly back to Baker Lake last Saturday, but when I checked-in at the airport, they couldn’t find my reservation’ even after I showed them my reservation code.  After some discussion, they told me to phone the reservations’ office in Rankin Inlet.  The agent on the phone could also not initially find my reservation but after searching he was able to find me and put me back on the list.  All good, you would think, right?  Nope, the lady at the ticket counter could not print my ticket due to an error message that kept popping up.  I got in contact with reservations’ office in Rankin Inlet again and he could not figure out what was wrong, only that my ticket said it was inactive.  How could my ticket be inactive if I used half of the ticket to get down to Winnipeg in the first place?  He could not figure it out, the lady at the counter could not figure it out, only to say sorry but there was not much they could do.  The agent did say that there was a code on my ticket and that he had to wait for his supervisor to return to fix it, except he did not know when his supervisor would return … sorry but you are going to miss your flight!  I eventually asked what it would cost me to get home and a one way ticket would have cost $2300 (I hate living in the north).  I didn’t think my company would have sprung that amount of money.  I than asked them to change my ticket and hoped that they could fix the issue the next day when I arrived again to check-in.  I did ask them about the airline covering a hotel but they basically told me that it was not their problem even though in my opinion it was the airline’s fault that I could not catch my flight and that I missed my flight.  I eventually got in contact with my executive director to let him know what occurred and now I was not able to get home.  He said that I should pay for the ticket (a bit late at that moment as I missed my flight) and that they would deal with it once our finance administrator was back in the office.

I ended up checking in at the Hilton Hotel and had to stay in one of the Executive Suites as that was all they had available.  Really tough, I know!  I wound up going to the Forks Market and spend the day ice skating and enjoying the food, followed by browsing through a bookstore and ending my day with a movie.

At one point during the day, I did get in contact with an agent again and after 15 minutes on the phone she realized that all that she had to do was change my ticket from inactive to active and voila, my ticket was fixed and I caught my flight the next day. – Sophia

Assiniboine River near the Forks Market

Assiniboine River near the Forks Market

Skating around the Forks

Skating around the Forks

Plants covered in snow!

Plants covered in snow!

The Forks Market

The Forks Market

Food

Food

A truck in the market

A truck in the market

Bindy's Caribbean Delights - a favourite place of ours to have roti's

Bindy’s Caribbean Delights – a favourite place of ours to have roti’s

So much fresh food!

So much fresh food!

More delicious food!

More delicious food!

Tall Grass Prairie - a wonderful place to get fresh bread

Tall Grass Prairie – a wonderful place to get fresh bread

Chinese Lantern

Chinese Lantern

Santa is in Town!

Santa is in Town!

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