Thursday, September 4, 2008

Flight AC3 Grounded

Got up this morning and took the float plane from Nanaimo Harbour to the Fraser River and then caught the free shuttle to the airport. Clear skies, and a pleasant HarbourAir flight, as usual. Alden and Elwyn appreciated the earplugs in the noisy small Turbo Otter plane. At YVR we wizzed through check in and security, given Karen's "Elite" traveller status with Air Canada. We had a free lunch at the Maple Leaf lounge (everything from food to drink to magazines to internet is free here in the lounge) and then we made our way to board flight AC3 for Narita.

Elwyn noticed from the window before we boarded that one of the engines was not running like the other one was. He asked about it with Air Canada staff, but they didn't pay him much attention. We got on the plane and it started to take a long time to get going. We kept hearing discouraging sounds of he engine winding down. Finally the pilot got on the speaker and said the mechanics were not able to fix the old 1999 vintage aircraft -- it was grounded. After another long wait (about 2 hours in all on the plane sitting on the runway) we finally taxied to another gate, got issued $50 worth of free dinner tickets, and were issued back to the Maple Leaf lounge.

We're all very happy that a good selectionof lego was packed for the trip. Already it has saved the day. Hopefully the next aircraft that has been assigned, another old 1990s era Airbus 333, takes off as scheduled tonight at 7:30pm.