I guess I have some time to write this as I sit here on hold with Via Rail figuring out the very thing I’m talking about in this post.
As this snow storm of seeming doom rumbles towards us, the news can’t stop telling us to “alter our travel plans. They make it sound so easy. “There’s a big storm coming in. Alter your travel plans.” Anyone who says that so glibly a. has their family all within spitting distance, b. doesn’t have to rely on public transit of any kind, or both. I know they have to warn people about the coming storm. I just wish they’d realize how hard altering travel plans actually is.
This is the situation I’m in right now. I want to get home to my family because my dad is going in for major surgery in early January. My family lives 300 miles from me. Part of the trip will consist of Uber rides and driving with my brother because Go Bus sucks now. The other half is a Via Rail train trip that I just barely booked before all seats were full. In fact, none of the seats with changeable reservations were available anymore.
After a certain point in the holidays, it will be impossible for me to get home to see my dad because it’s likely they’ll want him to limit his exposure to other people before surgery. The surgery will require a week in the hospital and weeks of recovery.
If my family can even move the time of getting together, my train trip will be unusable because it’s likely I will have just gotten to my family when it’s time to get on the train and head back. I probably can’t change it. I’m on hold to find out, and have been for some time now. I’m probably going to hear that the answer is no, and that will be that.
So, Mr. Cheerful Weather Man. I know that my plans are going to have to change. But can you please realize that it’s not so easy as just rearranging some times? It’s likely that for some, your suggestion of altering plans translates to ruining family gatherings. It is what it is, but I have to say that every time you say “You might have to alter your plans…” I want to slap that smile right off your face.
As a pleasant update, Via says that since I bought the ticket with points, they’d be able to change it more easily. I don’t know what that means for people who actually paid for their trip, but at least there’s some hope for me personally.