Tom and I left Edmonton at 10 AM yesterday morning, as scheduled. We got to the airport relatively early, watched the sports news while we waited, and everything was going good. When we gave the people at the gate our boarding passes, we were told that our flight was “green stickered” for Inuvik, which meant that we were landing subject to weather. The last time my Mom flew, she had the same thing happen. In fifteen years of flying to and from Inuvik, I don’t ever recall a plane not being able to land.
We arrived in Yellowknife on time, the only stop between Edmonton and Inuvik, and we had to get off the plane. Tom seemed to think that was weird, saying usually we’re allowed to stay on the plane while they add some cargo and take some off, and get any new passengers. So we got off the plane, and it wasn’t very long before we were informed that our flight had been canceled due to poor weather in Inuvik. They told us the runway was in poor condition, and it was extremely foggy. Then we found out we’d be able to fly out of Yellowknife at 9:45 PM, almost 8 hours after we should have landed in Inuvik.
So Tom and I spent from noon yesterday until around 10:15 PM when the flight finally left in the Yellowknife airport, some pictures of which are here. You might think that’s not so bad, but with no Internet, only a few power outlets, no coffee shops or restaurants except for one that is mostly a bar, and absolutely no TV’s, people, or anything really, it was kind of dumb. Tom played FIFA 06 on his laptop while I tracked down open network ports and tried to get online. Throughout our time in the airport, we started to find out more and more about our canceled flight, from other people who came and went, and from my parents on the phone.
We were on First Air, and the other airline that flys to Inuvik is Canadian North. We found out that Canadian North landed in Inuvik at 2:30 PM, and hour later than scheduled, but only 15 minutes after our flight was supposed to land. So clearly, weather in Inuvik was not an issue. After we got to Inuvik at midnight, it became clear that First Air knew all along we wouldn’t be landing in the afternoon, and the weather excuse was exactly that, an excuse. Needless to say, I was not amused.
Anyway, I am in Inuvik now, finally. I don’t remember it being so dry here, but I keep shocking myself everywhere! There is so much snow it’s insane. Not as cold as it could be, but still cold. I haven’t really been anywhere in town yet, but already I have seen so much different. Lots of new hotels for the pipeline project. In fact, there are about 350 hotels room in a town of only 3000 people – insanity. More later!