I was on this flight, and it was a gong show. I knew that the storm in London was supposed to hit at about noon according to the BBC and I had been monitoring that and the M25 road conditions, hoping that if we made it in by 10:30 I should have been able to get my rental car and get around the M25 to the A2 by the time the storm started.
The flight started out with a 15 min delay for grooming because it arrived late into YYC, and then the entire plane boarded. I was chatting with the IC who I knew from many previous flights and he mentioned that there was a delay waiting for this 1 lady, and about 30 mins later the captain announced that they were going to offload her and had to look for her bags. I knew this was going to mean disaster then for my hopes to beat the weather to our destination in Kent. About 20 or so mins later I was speaking with the IC again and we were talking about what this was going to cost AC, as many passengers around us had connections to South Africa other points in Europe. They weren't having any luck yet finding her bags and we talked about trying to contact this woman so he phoned someone and asked if she had a contact number in her reservation and she did, so they phoned her and it turned out she was outside smoking. She claimed that she kept looking at the monitors and all she saw was delayed, and it didn't show a new time which was BS as the other 260 odd passengers made it onto the plane ontime. It also turns out that she was seated right across the aisle from us in J, and when she finally did make it on the plane the entire cabin groaned which turned her mood very miserable and she was incredibly rude throughout the flight to the FA's.
So here we are about 60 mins or so before landing and I am watching the maps when all of a sudden I notice our destination has changed to Paris! I asked the IC about this when he was walking by and he confirmed that our flight plans had changed but the Captain didn't want to announce it yet unless something quickly changed. A few mins later the captain announced the diversion and then the fun began. When we landed in Paris the french authorities didn't want to let us off the plane because they said they didn't know what to do with us. During the wait I was on the phone with the Concierge who said she could get us booked on a BA flight later that afternoon but of course that depended on when we got off the plane and whether or not LHR reopened. Of course during this time the snow started to fly in Paris and they were going to close the airport there so they let us off the plane. I had a buddy in the UK trying to book us Eurostar tickets but the website claimed that tickets were sold out that day, but had a few left for a train on Sunday. As soon as we got off the plane the Concierge was there waiting for us and we both agreed things weren't looking good for air travel so somehow she managed to get us 3 tickets for a train that was leaving 90 mins later, which cost me £921. So we headed off to the train station in a taxi and just barely made it to the train after collecting our tickets. We then had the train break down on us just after Calais, and we thought we were doomed! But after about 45 mins the power turned on and we finally made it to Ebbsfleet station shortly after which is a short drive from our destination.
All in all, we were lucky. We arrived at our destination at about 730 pm that night but our flight didn't actually make it to LHR until Monday night. I would imagine many people on that flight didn't make it to their destinations until many days later, if at all. If that fiery little Scottish woman hadn't delayed that flight we would have made it into LHR, of course people with connections would have been screwed but at least those of us with LHR as a final destination would have made it. When I get home tomorrow I will check with both Air Canada and Amex to see if I can get that £921 for the train fare covered.
To top things off, I had bought my daughter tickets for the Kings of Leon concert in London on Dec 21 and the concert was cancelled due to a fire. Brilliant. At least our flight to PHX through IAD on Boxing day had no problems, we were a bit worried as this was the day the storms closed down NYC and Boston.