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Christmas travel comes with risks

It’s always busy and flights can potentially be cancelled
The Nanaimo Airport is among those seeing an increase in traffic at the best of times and then the crowds go through the roof at Christmastime. (File photo by Nanaimo News Bulletin)

People travelling by air around Christmastime need to get two things straight.

One, it’s going to be extremely busy. No matter where you are at smaller or larger airports, everyone is trying to get away to a destination to spend Christmas with family.

Two, there’s always a greater than average chance inclement weather could disrupt travel plans. In December, anything can happen.

Those two simple facts seem lost on most people, like it did this Christmas with a huge weather system affecting flights all over North America.

The Sunwing and baggage situations are quite a different story. We’re talking about the whining that went on pertaining to weather that was truly at its worst during this time. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of travellers, had flights delayed, then cancelled and then had to spend days in airports, in some cases.

And, yet, all the individuals interviewed by TV news networks could mention was what a hardship it all was for them personally. It’s as if no one else experienced the same problems.

Some complained they hadn’t seen a certain loved one for so long and this was devastating and so frustrating. They also didn’t pack any additional water or snack food to tide them over and expected the airline companies to be more diligent in taking care of their needs.

Could you imagine what it would be like to work for an airline company during the holiday season? They were subjected to considerable verbal abuse. Did anyone ever take a moment to think about that?

When an entire schedule is affected, has to be revamped and passengers rebooked without knowing when flights might be able to depart again, it would surely be a nightmare for employees. Most people could not function in that environment.

This was not a problem confined to the Vancouver airport, but many across Canada and the U.S. Flights that did get off the ground one place weren’t necessarily going to receive clearance to land somewhere else.

The bottom line is those who can’t handle potential disruptions should consider travelling another time other than Christmas.

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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