Our flight from Toronto to Paris was delayed by two hours while the company air-lifted in a fresh pilot from Montreal. Personally, I like the idea of flying with a well rested pilot at the helm. But, such a commotion there was as people lined up at the counter to air their complaints – voices raised, arms flailing, scowls from ear to ear.
Given that Air Transat deals mostly with vacation travelers, I’m guessing there were very few people on business trips that evening. However, some folks were catching trains or tours out of Paris, and, for a number of them, the window of opportunity to make their connections was squeezing tight. Things were about to get messy for them.
We actually felt pretty relaxed about the whole thing. We had no pending connections in Paris. And, we were on vacation. Whether we were on this side or the other side of the Atlantic, we were still on vacation. In fact, the later our departure out of Toronto, the closer we’d be to bedtime on MST, and the more likely we’d be to catch some sleep on the overnight journey.
I was actually most impressed by an older couple seated behind us on the plane. I’d noted their good humor and pleasant expressions in the departure lounge. As I eavesdropped briefly on their conversation after lift-off, it was clear why they looked so relaxed and gave off such positive vibes.
Their exchange went something like this: “Remember a couple of years ago when we’d arranged to meet up with Jim? Our flight was delayed and the restaurant where we were to meet had gone out of business. In the end, we connected with each other within a couple of hours of what we’d planned, and it was easier than we’d anticipated. In fact, we’re pretty darned good in situations like these. Looks like we’re definitely going to miss our train out of Paris, but we’ll make other arrangements and everything will turn out just fine. Let’s relax and enjoy the flight.”
I figured there were a whole lot of fellow passengers on that flight who could learn a thing or two from these two well-seasoned life travelers. And, I’m absolutely certain those two are doing just fine – no matter where they are and what challenges they’re facing!