My Flight Delay Blues and Trip to Vancouver

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This weekend I’ll be hanging out in Vancouver for the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference. This is my first time to YVR and I have high hopes for a really great weekend. I’ve never met someone who didn’t like Vancouver and I have all Friday to explore the city.

That is, if I’m not a walking zombie. I’m currently writing this post from the JFK Terminal 7 British Airways Terraces lounge at 1:41am. As many of you experienced, there were wild thunderstorms across the east coast last night, so not surprisingly my 10:40pm JFK-YVR Cathay Pacific flight was delayed. What bothered me though, is that Cathay didn’t update their flight status until I arrived at the airport at 9pm. I was trying to wait as long as possible, but when they refused to change the time I figured the aircraft might be on the ground and they may have clearance to take off once the storms pass – what do I know? I didn’t want to miss the flight, so I got in a cab and got to JFK, just as I saw the board switch from “On time” to midnight. Whatever, I had a lot to catch up on, so hanging out in the lounge for an extra hour wasn’t the worst thing.

However, when I got to check-in the friendly agent laughed and said it would be well after 1:20am – which was when the non-stop JFK-YVR flight would be taking off. Apparently the inbound aircraft had been diverted to Toronto an hour or so earlier and they knew it would be really late. She apologized that I wasn’t notified and gave me a $25 meal voucher. I was a little perturbed, because I really wish Cathay would have systems in place to let customers know when flights will be delayed. I even signed up for their flight notification emails and never got any. Right now our estimated take off time is 3:40am :-(

I live in Brooklyn, so I would have much rather preferred spending the majority of the delay in the comfort of my own home – especially since I’m really feeling the effects of jetlag after my short trip to Tokyo (which was amazing, by the way). Anyway, I planned to have more Tokyo posts up today, but the internet connection at Terraces is dreadfully slow, so the posts will have to wait until this weekend and next week.

If you are curious, I used British Airways miles to book my business class Cathay award. It was only 50,000 miles and $85 in fees, which equated into 36,000 American Express Membership Rewards points because they had a 40% bonus running earlier this year when I booked this ticket. Those 36,000 points were less than the 50k sign-up I had gotten for my Platinum Card and considering regular coach seats JFK to Vancouver are often $800+ and business class was $5,000+, I think this was a good use of Amex points. In fact there’s a 50% British Airways transfer bonus, which I think is a phenomenal deal.

Back on topic, I plan to do a sea-plane tour, but that’s about all I have on tap. Where should I eat? What else should I do? I’m staying at the Hyatt using a confirmed suite upgrade and it appears to be centrally located.

As always, I appreciate your great advice and insight!

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