Stranded travellers in Saskatoon stay constructive in face of delays, cancelations

With air travel across the country affected by winter storms and severe temperatures, passengers at Saskatoon’s John G Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE) were understandably frustrated.

Holiday travel has been impacted for much of the week leading up to Christmas, from YVR in Vancouver to YUL in Montreal.

While delays and cancellations are a part of air travel, some passengers were experiencing the dysfunction for the first time.

“I have not experienced this before, this is quite surprising,” said Yurda Ferhatoglu, who is traveling to Vancouver. “But it seems like here in Saskatoon, the airport is quite clear and calm. It’s better than I expected.”

With weather conditions improving slightly in southern BC, traffic is slowly moving again out west.

One passenger has been waiting to fly since Tuesday.

“We got word that they’re in the air, so the plane is at least on its way here,” said Steve Richmond. “Now it remains to be seen if it makes its way back, but apparently the weather is a little better today, so fingers crossed.”

One family bound for Germany, who were stranded in Saskatoon, had slim hopes of making a wedding on Christmas day. Luckily their trip was for two weeks, so they were optimistic about the situation.

Despite the confusion and frustration, travelers are finding the silver lining in their travel woes.

“For me, just to see my family there, and my daughter,” said Ferhatoglu. “That’s all I’m excited about. I don’t care, it’s just a delay. One day or whatever, a couple of hours is okay.”

“It was a hidden bonus,” said Richmond, who spent the delay with family in Gravelbourg. “Getting to spend a bit more time with family. That made it all worth it in the end. It was some stress, but it turned out to be a little bit of a positive.”

Brimming with Christmas spirit, Richmond is confident he’ll get to his destination.

“We ran into a jolly fellow in the parking lot with a beard and a red suit,” he said with a smile.

“He said if this plane doesn’t get out, he’s got room on his sleigh. I don’t know what that means, but we’ll get where we need to go eventually.”

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