Friday 3rd August 2018
We were up and down for breakfast at 7:00am. Our flight to New York was 12:50 pm from Buffalo, New York, however we had to cross the border into the United States of America. We needed to allow enough time in case there were problems. The breakfast at the Marriott was amazing. We had omelettes cooked to order and they were fabulous. Definitely equal to our wonderful breakfasts on the cruise.
We checked out without incident and the Niagara Airbus representative – Frances met us on time. She was so friendly and lovely. She explained we were crossing the Peace Bridge (the one that you can see from the falls) as the other one had lots of traffic. We crossed from Canada into the USA.
We needed to get stamps into our passport and other bureaucratic stuff done, so had to go into the building. Apparently the ESTA that I had applied for and paid for wasn’t applicable when you crossed the border on the road. So we paid another $6USD each (not a huge expense), got fingerprinted and photographed. We were given a visa waiver and off we went. Thankfully Frances was with us and explained that this was all normal and not to worry.
We were having a lovely conversation as she drove us to Buffalo airport. She dropped us off, we dropped off our bags and found somewhere to sit and have a coffee (American style only unfortunately) and a hot chocolate as we were a few hours early. We made our way to the gate and started catching up on the blog.
Our plane arrived BUT there was a maintenance issue with the plane. A warning light had come up on the plane as they were nearing Buffalo airport and they needed to investigate it for our safety. They were suspecting a 1 – 2 hour delay. That’s cool – we’ll just keep getting our blog up to date. Rethinking our plans for New York – we may just be able to manage dinner tonight. That’s cool. We got in touch with our Air BnB hosts who couldn’t have been more helpful.
So the news worsens as the weather is deteriorating in New York and the airport has a backlog of planes trying to land. The news comes through – that our flight is cancelled due to a maintenance issue!!!!!! We are rebooked on a flight at 10:50 tomorrow morning and are on the standby list for a flight due to leave Buffalo at 3:30pm. It was 3:00 pm by this point. However, that flight had been delayed and had a new departure time of 8:45pm. The weather is getting much worse in New York. We were expecting an update at 5:00 pm. At 4:45pm the crew here informed us that the flight had been cancelled by the FFA. There was nothing we could do. Due to our original flight being cancelled due to maintenance issues we were entitled to a hotel voucher.
I contacted our Air BnB hosts who were so kind and beyond helpful. I can’t wait to actually meet them.
We waited……. and waited….. and waited. Up until this point, I was calm and understood the situation, however the gentleman at the gate was just putting us off and off and off and off. He was serving other people, but we had also waited in the line and had no alternative as we don’t have an American SIM card that would enable us to call another agent in another city. I was starting to get shitty with how long we were waiting to be helped. Delta had provided subs and pizza in the airport as they had flights cancelled to New York and Boston.
He found some rooms for a family in front of us and then kept serving off the line! I asked him what was happening with us as my patience was pretty much gone by this point. He was searching for hotels that had shuttle buses that also had availability. He found us a room at The Sleep Inn here at Buffalo airport. He organised for the shuttle bus to collect us and told us that our luggage would be downstairs and easy to collect!! Well that’s what he told us anyway!
We went downstairs and couldn’t find the bags. We waited for the Delta representative who was SO NOT interested in helping us in any capacity. She said she’d check out the back. We waited…. and waited….. and waited. Then I saw her go back to her office. It was 7pm by this stage and I was starting to lose it big time! I asked her what was happening and she said they weren’t there. I said that we hadn’t left the airport, why weren’t they there. She contacted someone to get them to deal with it.
The shuttle bus drove off – understandably and we still didn’t have our luggage. The luggage was eventually located and she said that they will bring it out. We waited….and waited… and waited. When the people brought out the bags, they couldn’t give them to us, they had to hand them to her, to give to us?????????? You could imagine that I was about to explode!
We got the bus to come back and pick us up. They were lovely people who were so kind. We got to the hotel and realised that they had no room service and nothing in the immediate vicinity to get anything to eat! Just great!
We were exhausted and fell asleep relatively early. Let’s hope all is good tomorrow. At least we are in the state of New York – even if not in the city!