Canadian Travellers Have Been Stranded Over the Holidays, Photo Courtesy: Air Canada
CANADA – Canadian travellers are struggling. Between cancelled flights and train delays, thousands of travellers across the country have been stranded in airports, bus terminals, and train stations as they try to make their way home for the holidays.
A massive storm, which didn’t hit Toronto as hard as anticipated, left dozens of flights out of Toronto Pearson International Airport cancelled from the 23rd. Other issues plaguing the airport include a broken baggage conveyor belt, which has caused pandemonium at the baggage claim.
Some places throughout southern Ontario are still recovering from the storm, which battered many areas with high winds, as well as tons of ice and snow. Stateside CNBC reports the storm has caused upwards of 12,000 flights to be cancelled.
Meantime, the derailment of a CN Rail train led to the cancellation of all Via Rail trains between Ottawa and Toronto, as well as Toronto to Montreal, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While other trains were cancelled and delayed due to power outages, fallen trees, and other unexpected issues. Service is set to resume on Wednesday.
“All trains on Toronto – Ottawa and Toronto – Montréal routes will run according to the regular schedule starting December 28. Due to continued congestion on these routes, some delays are to be expected en route,” Via Rail Canada said online.
Canadian Travellers Share Their Struggles on Social Media
As we have come to expect, Canadian travellers have taken to social media to air their grievances over travel cancellations and delays over the holiday season.
Those travelling by train are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the rail service’s lack of a backup plan.
“In Canada, you’d think the Toronto-Montreal route (540 km) and Toronto-Ottawa (400 km) would justify frequent, fast and reliable service. Instead, Via Rail has low priority on CN’s busy freight tracks. Improvements are said to be coming,” said one person on Twitter.
While others are calling for infrastructure improvements to the country’s rail system.
“@Transport_gc isn’t it sad that we still use 1900’s trains when the rest of the world has high-speed trains? Toronto to Montreal in 5,6 even 9hrs??? It should be in 1.5 to 2 max. Let’s catch up Canada. Via rail is a dinosaur.”
Over at Pearson Airport, some travellers have been struggling for days without any of their belongings.
“My luggage has been at Pearson for 3 days so far. Put all essentials in your carry-on, bring multiple outfits in your carry-on and wear a ton of layers.”
“Baggage claim is a sh*t show. Doesn’t look like any of the suitcases that belonged to our flight even got loaded on. Air tags showing our stuff still at Pearson. Sigh…”
Some people are grateful to be travelling without luggage.
“I went without a checked bag for the first time ever at Christmas… so grateful,” said one traveller on Twitter.
While others are sharing that this is not the first time in recent memory that Pearson has had issues with the baggage claim.
“It looked the same if not worse in June. YYZ needs to get it together, can’t fully blame weather for this one.”
And some are upset with the condition of the airport, full stop.
“Pearson is absolutely disgusting. Overflowing garbage can everywhere, piss all over the floor in bathrooms, people smoking vapes in bathrooms and cigarettes, dirty chairs, poor hospitality, oh yeah and a beer is 19$! Aka hell.”
Did you experience any travel delays this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!