Volcanic disruptions: the best of the worst YYZ horror stories

Volcanic disruptions: the best of the worst YYZ horror stories

Pearson International: please wait here (Image: Neil Ta, from the Toronto Life Flickr pool) 

Understandably, not everyone is taking his or her extended trip in Toronto as well as Ian McEwan. Flights to Europe are now resuming, but there are still backlogged passengers camped out in a Pearson shantytown constructed of those purposefully unsleepable chairs and $5 bottles of water. We looked around the mediascape and found these tales of horror from passengers’ attempts to get in or out of YYZ.

• Canoe.ca reports that diplomats representing France and Belgium arrived at the airport to calm down 70 irate passengers, some of whom were threatening to block counters to prevent other passengers from flying.

• One passenger who has been stuck at Pearson since Thursday said that her airline, Jet Air, wouldn’t pay for a hotel room and refused to provide food on Monday. As an alternative, Jet Air said that it would fly passengers to Athens—and leave them there.

• A French family said they “had to cry to have a room for one night” but have been paying for a hotel out of pocket since Friday. The French consulate in Toronto has since stepped in to help by providing emergency accommodations and snacks for its citizens.

• One of the weirder Canadian reactions to the crisis is this Kijiji posting, allegedly from a “nice Canadian couple” offering accommodation to stranded passengers. They are willing to “exchange fun favours instead of money.”

• Twitter also provides mini-tales of woe, including a man stuck on the tarmac without cocktails, a woman with a cancelled flight looking for a dinner date, a well-meaning local feeling the need to go to Pearson to show stranded folks some “Canadian hospitality” and this poor Brit who has been camped out at YYZ for three days.

• Overseas, stranded Canadians are equally annoyed. The Globe reports that while the British navy dispatched warships around Europe to pick up its citizens (with later plans to pick up nationals in Africa and Asia), Canadians in London are running out of money from paying for restaurants and hotels—most of which are jacking up their prices to take advantage of the situation. Architecture magazine Azure’s senior associate editor Elizabeth Pagliacolo is currently stuck in Milan and tells CTV that she’s frustrated with the lack of information available to passengers about the situation.

The Sun adds that one Canadian couple stuck in Rome was scammed 420 Euros each (about $560) after paying for a bus to London that never arrived.

Sure makes taking the TTC seem like a lot less of a nightmare, doesn’t it?

• ‘Explosive situation’ at Pearson Airport [Canoe]
Ottawa’s coolness angers stranded Canadians [Globe and Mail]
Calgary couple scammed while stranded in Europe [Toronto Sun]