“Since we were six years old, we have been told that we would go on a big trip,” Tessier said. “Then, everything sort of fell apart a bit.”
The teenagers, ages 13 to 17, and three facilitators were due to arrive in Whitehorse on Saturday evening. But they were stuck at the Vancouver airport from 11 a.m. Saturday until Sunday afternoon.
In recent weeks, countless travellers have seen their flight plans upended as the airline industry grapples with a post-pandemic surge in demand and staffing shortages.
Last Wednesday, Air Canada announced the cancellation of thousands of flights this summer
The scouts say the airline told them no hotel in Vancouver would be able to accommodate their large group, but that if they ever found one themselves, they could ask the company for a refund.
Since finding a hotel for the whole group at that hour of the night was unlikely, the scouts camped at a terminal.
“We slept, for better or for worse, under the big lights and the calls of the different flights,” said Charles Babin, a facilitator accompanying the group. “It wasn’t the best night in the world, and without all our luggage, some had their sleeping bags and others just had floor mats.”
When they woke up on Sunday, they knew they would have to wait until Wednesday before they could fly to Whitehorse.
On Sunday afternoon, Air Canada was able to transfer the group to a hotel in Vancouver.
The group’s stay in the Yukon was supposed to last nine days, ending on July 10, but flight delays shortened their trip by half. To avoid wasting time, the scouts are considering renting cars to visit B.C.
Despite the abrupt change of plans, Babin said the scouts’ resourcefulness has served them well.
“I think the group spirit is still good. We know each other well. We’re here for the adventure,” he said. “We try to keep them motivated and show them that you learn by doing things that don’t happen as you’d like them to.”
Credit belongs to : ca.news.yahoo.com