We managed to go around the world with 20 different flights and not have one incident, except for our first flight with Air Canada. Our suitcases didn’t make our connecting flight with United in Chicago.
Deer Lake Newfoundland
Air Canada took off on Thursday to visit Les Iles de la Madeleine knowing that for the past day and a half, the weather has been too fogged in to be able to land. Air Canada hoped the fog would lift when we got to Les Iles de la Madeleine. Of course, there was insufficient fuel to return, so we flew to Deer Lake Newfoundland.
We sat on the tarmac, as they were, hoping the weather would change, but it didn’t. So they had to refuel, adding fuel to retreat to Montreal. However, that made the plane too heavy, so they had to remove 23 suitcases. We looked out the window, and sure enough, we saw, but ours were part of the 23.
I am sure that Deer Lake Newfoundland is a lovely place, but we only experienced the tarmac.
Goodbye Deer Lake Newfoundland, Hello Montreal Again
After being on the plane with water and pretzels for seven hours, we arrived back in Montreal from Deer Lake Newfoundland, where we were informed that the luggage they had left behind would be for Toronto and then on to Les Iles de la Madeleine.
At this point, we didn’t know what to do. We had no idea if our tour would continue, what arrangements were being made, or whether our luggage would ever make it. We discovered before we left the airport that Air Canada had booked us on a flight back to Les Iles de la Madeleine two days later.
We decided that we would have our luggage returned to us in Montreal. We arrived home more than 12 hours after we had left her that morning. Our experience with United delivering our suitcases in Phoenix was amazing. We arrived late afternoon, and they promised we would have it by 11 AM the next day before we had to check out of our hotel. We were pretty far from Sedona, but still, it was a good hour’s drive and shorter. They promised they would make it—we were allowed to talk to a real person this whole time.
That is not the case with Air Canada. It was a nightmare trying to track it. We were able to confirm that it arrived in Toronto. I was scheduled for a specific flight to Montreal that would arrive at 12:30. By 3 o’clock, we hadn’t heard from anybody, and we found the “world tracking number” and found out that the luggage had landed in Montreal, but that was all.
At noon we decided that we would take the option to fly out the next day for a shorter stay. We were optimistic that there wouldn’t be any problems with our luggage being returned to us in time.
We were sure that someone would contact us once they had identified our bags by 5:30 pm, We could see online that the two suitcases were in transit, but no one had contacted us.
Eventually, we got an email saying our luggage would be delivered sometime that day until 3 AM the next morning. However, residential addresses would only be delivered up to 11 AM and scheduled for the next day if not accomplished.
I tried to leave a message online for the driver assigned to our suitcases, begging him to make sure he could deliver it by 11 PM. Just after seven, I got a phone call confirming our address with the supervisor, who promised that our luggage could be delivered by 11 PM.
We weren’t holding our breath, but the good news was it did arrive at 10 PM.
It was pretty late, so we pulled out a couple of items we no longer needed and went to bed.
Les Iles de la Madeleine
We got up the following day, grabbed an Uber, and headed out in plenty of time for our plane, and everything has been running smoothly.
It was clear from conversations with Les Iles de la Madeleine residents that they are not impressed with Air Canada. They were clear to point out that the airport, as small as it is, has all the equipment needed to land plants in the fall. However, Air Canada, which uses De Havilland Q400, does not equip these planes with the necessary instruments.
Here are a couple of the first photos I took upon arrival.
Les Iles de la Madeleine is a beautiful place to visit, with its red soil and rocks. Reminds me of Prince Edward Island. Its quaint homes are all brightly coloured and picturesque. There are fabulous, long, white beaches, although the undertow for swimming is quite dangerous.
There are birds everywhere, particularly the cormorants. As I mentioned in my previous post, we are here at the end of the season. This meant we missed the puffins, the gannets and fresh lobster.