Our daughter left to collect some family members at the Charlottetown airport, about a fifty minute drive from home. My husband and I stayed with the baby. The flight was scheduled for 11:55 p.m.
It was snowing that night, drifting in open areas too. In places, the road and the shoulder were indistinguishable, just a blanket of white and slippy in places, as islanders say. It was an hour and twenty minutes drive that night.
She arrived in time, but the flight was delayed, then delayed again. The plane circled the airport a number of times and eventually diverted elsewhere, rescheduled to land in Charlottetown at 3:40 a.m.
What was she to do? Charlottetown is a small airport, with minimum facilities and seating areas for people. It was not an option to return home; she was not prepared to stay in a hotel and too cold to stay in the car.
Some women who were waiting as well, overhead her conversation with the Air Canada agent. They asked the agent for a blanket and pillow for her but none of the airline bedding was available.
Our daughter was on the phone with us when two of those women approached her with two pillows and a blanket from their cars. One woman offered for our daughter to go to her home nearby to have a rest until arrival time. She chose to stay and rest in relative comfort on a bench in the airport.
Later, after the plane arrived and she was paying for parking at the automatic kiosk, a security guard approached her and waived the parking fee.
Everyone arrived home safely! Though the weather was miserable and the circumstances were not ideal, the kindness of strangers made a bad situation bearable. It renewed our family’s faith in humanity. Somehow, we will pay it forward.