Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Sooooo, the plot of 'PTA' can and does occur in real life! I have been in Canada all week in what has been described as freak weather conditions and the coldest at this time of year for 15 years. On Saturday with windchill it was 18 below, and so I wasn't too optimistic for my journey back yesterday.

I had an internal flight to Toronto and then to Frankfurt and finally Birmingham to arrive this morning at 8am. Sure enough, the internal flight was cancelled, but if I left early, I would have made my transatlantic flight at 5.35pm.

This other couple staying in my hotel were driving back home to Toronto (about 3 hrs), and so offered me a lift. As we left at 10.30, 'no problem' I thought.

About an hour later, the car broke down, terminally. Oil was pouring out of the engine block, and the engine was dry. It was when I was lying on my back under a jacked up car, on a flyover of the 401 highway, with my feet in a snowdrift at 10 below in a snowstorm that I realised things had gone a bit wrong. After vising 4 garages, none of which were open/able to fix the car, we abandoned it in Napanee (on third of the way to toronto), took a taxi to Belleville (which also has a railway station), and then rented a car there at the last place we tried - all the other car rental places were closed or had no cars.

So I arrived at Toronto at 5.35pm, just as my flight left. I managed to get on the 8.00 to Heathrow, then I took a bus up to Birmingham International to get my car, eventually getting home 4 hours after I should have done, which, given the circumstances isn't so bad.

So here are all the planes, trains and automobiles, not forgetting the useless jobsworth tossers employed by Canadian big business and transport authorities in customer facing roles; and their crappy call centres:angry::

Air Canada 7369 Kingston - Toronto, cancelled.
2 trains (contemplated, not actual)
1 broken car
1 taxi
Air Canada 848 Toronto to Heathrow
4 auto repair shops (including canadian tire and walmart)
1 policewoman (in a car)
4 car rental places
2 new oil filters
1 air canada call centre and its rubbish ACD which kept me on hold for half an hour
1 booking agent's 'emergency' line which didn't call back or give a toss
my other half and his laptop/phone in the UK *obviously more helpful than anyone else put together*
countless jobsworths who work for air canada, lufthansa or canadian tire
1 national express bus
My car
Brendan and Eva (mortified car owners)



You should make a film about that Kirstie :biggrin: , but to be serious feel sorry for what you went through.
Ha ha thanks. By and large I have a laid back attitude to this sort of thing but Brendan (the driver) was having kittens because he's quite fond of his car and felt absolutely terrible that he'd landed me in the poop. I didn't see it that way though...I was just overwhelmed by the unhelpful attitude of pretty much everyone we tried to get to help us. With the weather situation on top of it it just became farcical, and hence funny!

rich p

ridiculous old lush
I trust you sang the Flintstones theme and Brendan fondled your breasts in the mistaken impression that he was plumping the cushions:biggrin::biggrin:

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Fnaar said:
Car rental desk scene from PTA (contains the F word, loadsa times)

Fnaar, when it was on prime time TV did he want a 'fnugging' car or a 'freaking' car?:biggrin:


Senior Member
Birmingham, UK
Good grief! Still four hours late ain't bad considering all the hoops you had to jump through. You don't have the best of luck when it comes to cars in other countries do you? IIRC you have some prior form here!
LOL@the car rental scene. We might have been feeling that way but certainly didn't express it...

Cathryn said:
How was Canada though Kirstie??

Thanks for asking Cathryn - it was a work trip and as usual I worked very hard. Gave some talks, had some meetings, but the big day was last Friday where the research team I work on were up before a committee at SSHRC (research council) in a bid for a lot of money. We were trying to pursuade them to give us 2.5 million for a big research programme and we find out in two weeks. They know they want to....

Ooh and I saw a great band called Apostle of Hustle and did loads of christmas shopping too :biggrin:
barq said:
Good grief! Still four hours late ain't bad considering all the hoops you had to jump through. You don't have the best of luck when it comes to cars in other countries do you? IIRC you have some prior form here!

Yebbut I manage to get through these 'incidents' mostly unscathed, and through the application of nous rather than relying on stupid companies that don't care. This is innately satisfying!
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