View from our 8th floor hotel room at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Vinh, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Finally, back in Ottawa!

We originally planned on three legs to this trip back to Ottawa. Leg 1 from Dulmen to Dusseldorf, leg 2 from Dusseldorf to Paris, and leg 3 from Paris to Ottawa.

But leg 4 turned up when we volunteered to be bumped from our original Paris to Ottawa flight.

We were put on a flight from Paris to Montreal. That part went fine, but when we went to connect to Ottawa, our flight had been cancelled by Air Canada.

We ended up in a Montreal hotel on Thursday night, and leg 4 was to make our way from Montreal to Ottawa.

For those of you unfamiliar with the geography, It is about a two hour drive from Montreal to Ottawa. 

So, Friday morning we made our way down for the buffet style hotel breakfast. Not bad, but not great. At least we got to start the day with full stomachs.

Then the front desk called a taxi for us. We had been given a voucher for the $58 CAD cost of the taxi to get back to the airport.

Air Canada had rescheduled us to fly at 12 noon. Montreal to Toronto, then a connecting flight from Toronto to Ottawa. It's a ridiculous way to do it, but if there was no other choice, then that's what we would have to do.

I checked car rentals online and we could get a one way with drop off at Ottawa airport for $177 CAD. That's what we decided to do, provided the refund we would get from cancelling the Air Canada flight would be enough to cover the cost of the car rental.

So we went and waited in line at Air Canada customer service. There were only two desks open that were currently serving other people, but nobody waiting in line in front of us. We were 45 minutes standing there! Eventually, one of the women came over and asked what we needed. I explained the problem, and she said there was no way to tell how much we were going to get as a refund, and that the only way to process it was to phone in. They had a row of Air Canada direct phone lines for that purpose. 

Okay, we went and picked up one of the phones. Surprisingly, I was connected with someone really quickly. A nice lady who understood the problem, and took care of cancelling the flight. Unfortunately, she also couldn't tell how much of a refund we might get. Apparently these cases go to a special department that figures out the prorated cost of the flight versus what we had paid originally even though this flight wasn't included in our original purchase because it was part of the rescheduling when we volunteered to be bumped.

She said we would receive an email within 7 days.

I'm guessing it's going to be somewhere between $100 and $400. 

Anyhow, we then headed down to the car rental area. Big problem. All cars sold out! Yes, booking online still showed availability, but you would have then found out when you went to pick up your car that there weren't any cars.

Now what?

Ruth's brother Colin was originally going to pick us up at Ottawa airport. I sent him a note asking if he was interested in driving to Montreal to pick us up and we would pay him the $177 that we had been prepared to pay to rent a car.

He agreed.

Waiting outside with all of our worldly belongings.

Colin picked us up about 12:45pm. 

Made it back to Ottawa not much before we would have made it back had we done the two flights.

We're actually in Manotick, a village suburb about half an hour from the city center of Ottawa. We're house sitting and looking after two cats for the entire month of September. We're lucky enough to have the use of a car as well.

We went and did some basic grocery shopping at a nearby store in the village. Yes, grocery prices have definitely increased here in Canada over the past year. Medium ground beef is now the same price per pound as what we used to pay for rib eye steak not that many years ago. It will be interesting to see how much our grocery bill will be for the month of September.

Funny coincidence, our friend Kimberly is house sitting right across the road. She invited us over for a drink and some snacks yesterday evening so it was fun to get caught up with her.

Today, we are off to see my mother, my older sister, and my nephew for lunch.

Big price drop on the popular Coleman Folding Camp Table.

And in Canada...


  1. I'm in the market for some carry on luggage for an upcoming European trip. How has your Chester Minima held up?

    1. Our Chester bags have been fantastic, we haven't got one complaint about them but unfortunately when we got them the company was a new start up company that started before Covid and because of Covid, they just didn't survive. Such a shame! :-(

  2. Yep decisions we make can put us in a difficult situation. I don't know why I decided to book a flight to land in Oakland instead of San Francisco airport but we took off phoenix late and landed late. The subway had stopped running due to storm and late hours. I had to take a taxi across (this before uber) that cost me $60!! My fault for booking a later flight then I usually do and landing in Oakland instead of SFA. It was scary late at night!

    1. Even though things didn't go quite according to plan by accepting the alternative flight change and having issues in Montreal trying to get back to Ottawa in a timely fashion, we don't regret the decision. We think we were well compensated and we will definitely be contacting Air Canada customer service/complaints to see if they will compensate us for their problem. It was just frustrating that they didn't have the flexibility that Air France had.

  3. Oakland is scary in broad daylight. We are former residents of Oakland.

  4. Good luck with trying to get anything from Air Canada. It may take uo to 2years if you are lucky to get anything. For our national airline it is disgusting

  5. Bummer, it appeared you were ahead of the game. I'm interested to see how much Air Canada refunds you guys for the cancelled flight.

    1. We are still ahead of the game money wise but trying to make our way from Montreal to Ottawa proved to be a lot more difficult than it should have been. We are also interested in how much they will refund us for canceling the rescheduled flight. When we find out we will be sure to let everyone know.


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