Today has been a whirlwind of a day and we’re all too exhausted to breathe straight. We did our due. We abided by all airline rules and was at Terminal 3 fully checked in to catch our 6:45 AM flight. I was already exhausted as anxiety wouldn’t let me sleep the night before and baby was knocked out catching up on sleep from being woken up at 3am! It was perfect! Or so we thought. The plane taxied and hubby and I smiled with each other as our butterflies settled because we were on our way! This trip has been in the works for 6 weeks and we were finally on our way there. The pilot came on and fucked our excitement raw. There was mechanical problems with the plane and we would be going back to the gate to be checked. Naturally, we both thought ok, better to be safe than sorry and so we relaxed during ‘the checkup’. The flight attendants tried their best to cool the guests over, but people were very annoyed. They wanted to be drunk off mojitos on a beach somewhere they couldn’t quite pronounce, getting tanned to high heavens or reeling with diarrhea; whichever came first. Hey, its Cuba, we all heard the stories. The pilot came on again and we held our breathe. The plane could not fly. We were a little disappointed but others were UPSET! Very odd, I thought, as this is a literal matter of life or death. Mojito or Muerto. We allowed the majority of the guests to deplane as we definitely didn’t want to cause further upset. We collected our voucher for breakfast, ate and the wait started. We met another beautiful family and their children played with my son the entire time. We were grateful, as he wasn’t dying from boredom and he would be knocked out on the flight again. Saving ourselves the torture of having to deal with god knows what would have been in store on this flight. 10:45 was our new departure time and it came and left us still sitting there. This was when the horror stories started reeling in. The most memorable was one guest who said their initial and back up plane both had mechanical problems and they didn’t make it to Aruba until 3am the next day, causing them to be charged for late check-in! Ay dios mio! 11:00 came and there we were smiling but weary, 11:15, same. Finally, they announced that priority guests and families with children can board but that didn’t matter, everyone clapped and proceeded to start boarding anyway. The gate agents had no choice but to work with the guests as I believe they’ve gotten many earfuls and had enough themselves. Especially, after having a gate change and seeing people arrive at the new gate in the nick of time exasperated as if it wasn’t announced a million times! When we got on the flight Cuban music was playing. I thought this was damage control at its finest and people were buying it. Well played Air *cough* Fare Transat. Anyhoo, this was about to be it! Flight crew did their checks and mojito land would be ours in a few. The pilot came on and like a bitter ex, people gave a side eye. He announced that there was indeed a leak in the back bathroom and that we wouldn’t be able to leave until it’s fixed AND there were 12-15 flights waiting to depart so we would need an another 15-20 minutes to wait until it was our turn. People damned him to the depths of the most unscrupulous places. Odd again to us, as the pilot is doing his job, the airport and the airline is to be blamed again! Really, how do you load the plane TWICE and quite possibly have to have everyone deplane again? Man, tensions were bad but baby was doing so good, so we were ok. We sat on that flight for an hour only being able to take off into the clouds at 12:30pm! I don’t know a word worse than ‘pissed’ and ‘livid’ doesn’t quite create the same effect. So if you do, that’s what people were. They were all going to write in and ‘give them a piece of their minds’. We were ok as baby wasn’t causing further discomfort for the angry mob. He eventually fell asleep and we were relieved but starving. The ‘In flight’ service began and every striking thing on that plane was for sale. We held our own with snacks we brought and drank water to feed the worms. We just didn’t think they deserved another dime, they were too careless.
We napped twice and still hadn’t arrived, so now our patience started wearing thin. Through the fog of being in and out of sleep I heard when the gentleman beside let out a ‘what the fuck!?’ then apologized. Alarmed, I asked if everything was ok. It wasn’t! There was a FIGHT! Flight attendants vs. guest and 1 flight attendant fainted mid brawl. I needed to pee and they drew the curtains to close off the bathroom in order to deal with the situation. Everyone was in shock. What the hell kind of flight as this? What else was going to happen and if they made an emergency landing because of this debacle, we would really see a war. People were already complaining about what and where they should have been. We just shook our heads. We’ve flown classier and cheapness left us sulking, starving and almost stranded. The politeness Canadians were known for was nowhere to be found on this flight and the rogue guest buried her head in her company’s shoulder for the remainder of the flight. She wasn’t happy with a $15 breakfast voucher for her delay. We figured she was starving the way we were and ‘hanger’ got the best of her. Whatever was her reason, it made the flight ten times worse. Especially after our seat mate shared that he was supposed to be taking part in a wedding today and this was the only flight he could catch. I thought about what would have happened if the flight attendant had worse issues and felt sick to my stomach at the way ‘Rogue’ acted. Perspective on life quells all rage. We finally landed at an airport that looked somewhat of an abandoned site. I mean we saw a woman just strolling along the tarmac, the way she was dressed told us she didn’t work there. Until we got inside and realized that she quite possibly could. IF you aren’t wearing a teeny weeny uniform complete with fishnets then whatever goes! Nevertheless, when we saw the customs line I wanted to scream. This was too much now, I thought, until I saw a sign for families with children and 4 families in line. We could have kissed the agent, we were so happy. Finally, things were looking up! We found our bag carousel and daddy n baby went hunting for a bag trolley while I waited to collect our bags as soon as they slid through. Our beautiful new family friends was behind us in the customs line and met up with us. We chatted it up a bit and they let us know that it could be 2 hrs before we would get our bags. My anger and frustration rose here and I literally poked my eyes. They were closed though as I am chicken shit. She noticed my immediate distress and said hey, if it’s earlier at least your relieved, I’m just giving you a heads up. I thanked her and let her know she was right. I couldn’t helped but go in panic mode though. It just felt like no matter how much planned we were being beat. Out loud I said I need to get my baby something to eat. The dad said they might have something and offered and I thanked him and told him we were ok. I low key wanted to hug them and bawl into their sleeves, but I held it together. From the airport until the very end their entire family helped us in major ways. I didn’t fall as I was trying to maintain my composure and not scream. Daddy went to see about changing money and was told if he left he couldn’t come back, our plan to maximize the time failed. I ‘manned’ the bag situation and asked daddy to change the babe. At least a clean bum would make him happy and I didn’t want to transfer my stress. He said there were no washrooms and I felt like I went partially deaf. That would explain why our family friends had their kids change their clothes right at the bag carousel, I was a bit caught off guard there but I smiled a confused smile. I told him to just do it on the fucking floor and he caught a bench in the corner of his eye and made due there. Just as the universe works, the belt started moving and in 10 minutes! *Shoom* * shoom*…2 of our bags slid down first! A single thug tear fell. I ran at them hands flailing and grabbed them up like they were my children. We waited for the 3rd and it hit me that it being left in Toronto might just be a possibility. I held my breathe and when it crowned and slid down, I felt like I gave birth again. We walked right by the last check out point as really the lady wasn’t doing much and I know how islanders causally worked and wanted no part in it here. She didn’t even stop us and we were outta there!! Viva la fucking Cuba!! Finally:-)