Tag Archives: cancelled flights

Putting the wind up me

Is this an expression that Canadians understand?  Maybe those with British ancestry will understand.  Here’s a definition –

get/put the wind up somebody

(British & Australian informal)

to make someone feel anxious about their situation Say you’ll take him to court if he doesn’t pay up – that should putthe wind up him.
See also: get, up, wind
Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006. Reproduced with permission.
And yes – hurricane season definitely puts the wind up me.  All those flights that have to be changed at the last-minute, cruises that have to be rerouted, beaches that are spoilt and yes inevitably vacations are spoilt too.
We all have this vision when we plan a vacation of perfect weather.  It’s what we dream about as we sit at our desks staring at our email with glassy eyes as we picture ourselves lying under an umbrella on the beach or sitting on the top deck of our river cruise sipping cold wine.

It doesn’t always work like that.  I did the Tulip river cruise out of Amsterdam a couple of years ago during the month of April.  I have never been sold cold in my life!  I ended up wearing thick tights with my yoga pant over the top and two woollen jerseys.  We are used to the cold weather in Alberta but the damp cold of the North Sea is another creature!

My first visit to Tahiti on board the beautiful Paul Gauguin was during a week of torrential rain.  Yes the rain was warm and it was tropical but it was torrential.
The important thing in situations of bad weather is that it might put a bit of a damper on your holiday but you are OK – you are safe.  Stop whining, sit back and have a martini.  Just watching Hurricane Matthew march across the Caribbean into Florida – seeing those streams of cars heading out of town on both sides of the motorway, watching people nail up shutters over their businesses – that’s something to complain about.
Many people worry about taking a cruise over hurricane season but think about it – unlike a hotel at least the cruise ship can move out of the way of the storm.  A cruise ship can also change its itinerary and location – a hotel can’t do that.  In fact a number of cruise ships have made changes to their itineraries in just the last couple of days because of Hurricane Matthew.
Mother Nature is indeed unpredictable and scary.  We know in the travel industry that going to the Caribbean or even Florida between June and November (hurricane season) is risky and that’s why prices for cruises and vacations over that time are correspondingly lower.  When hurricanes strike we know we are going to be on the phone with airlines changing flights where possible.  Thankfully most of the airlines are very accommodating and we have been able to change dates with no additional fare and no change fee.   And kudos to the airline staff who have been assisting with that.  Contrary to what we may hear they are just doing their jobs but sometimes ….

What’s worse than having a root canal?

Maybe having to perform a root canal – apologies to all dentists out there but that can’t be the best task in the world.  Having just gone through the procedure it got me thinking….. not much else you can do when you are lying on your back for two hours with your mouth wedged open.  Every job has it’s good parts and it’s bad parts.   Definitely one of the bad parts for any airline staff – especially the poor desk clerk – is when there is a cancelled flight or a schedule change.  Having to deal with bad tempered and frustrated, tired travellers leaves a lot to be desired.  This would be a lovely time to see that reality show – Secret Boss or whatever it is called.  Where the President of the company works alongside the lowest of the low in disguise and learns what it is really like at the bottom.

So when I am faced with a cancelled flight – and it has happened many times – I really try to be patient with the check in staff who are trying to re-route me.  Even when I have spent the whole night sleeping on the floor of Dallas Fort Worth.  Yes really!  These people are just doing the airline version of a root canal and not enjoying it very much.

I just have one message however for airline staff – when the going gets tough please please don’t come up with that old stand by “Well that was your travel agent’s fault…..”   Because honestly it wasn’t.  I didn’t overbook the flight, cancel the connection, fail to order enough hot meals or drop a spanner in the works so the plane wouldn’t work.

Let’s watch each other’s backs while we do this root canal.