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I am not a big fan of sprinting through the airport – of the Penn / Kim two types of airport people, I am definitely “Kim” and like getting to the airport early. Just the other day, I woke up at 4 a.m. for a 7 a.m. flight and was still concerned I might not have enough time, only to get to the gate and find literally nobody else there 😀

But the other day, I had a mad dash through the airport, and it was all a volcano’s fault

(SEE ALSO: Why I sprinted through the airport for the first time)

(SEE ALSO: HELP! I’m wasting DAYS of my life in airports!)

The Shiveluch volcano eruption

You may have heard that the Shiveluch volcano in far-eastern Russia erupted recently. It released a giant ash cloud that covered at least 41,700 square miles.

a volcano erupting with lava

The ash cloud was mostly in the north and east of Russia and also Alaska and northern Canada. Where this impacted me was that I was scheduled to fly Air Canada from Tokyo to Toronto.

Flight Delays

Our NRT-YYZ flight was scheduled to take off at 4:55 p.m., but when I woke up, I already had an email from Air Canada that it was delayed until 6:30 p.m. due to weather problems (I later found out this was the ash from the volcano). It then got delayed until 6:50 p.m. but didn’t actually take off until 7:10 p.m.

a map of the world

And you can see according to FlightAware that it had to take a much more southerly (longer) route. The picture above is from my NRT-YYZ flight but my inbound aircraft also had the same issue.

A tight connection

So we land at 6:14 p.m. and my connecting flight is scheduled to depart at 6:55 p.m. All of a sudden my 3 hour layover in Toronto has been cut to 40 minutes. And I still had to deplane, get through the airport, clear US security and immigration AND make my way to the far end of the F gates where my flight to Cincinnati was boarding.

I had paid for the wifi on my flight and was continuing to monitor the situation. I had assumed that if my connection had been automatically rebooked, I would get an email from Air Canada, and I didn’t have anything. I assumed no news was good news? The only thing that worried me was that the service coordinator on the flight (Ray, who was super friendly and helpful) said that on his app, it didn’t show that I even had ANY connection. He seemed to think that we would make it.

Did we make it?

As soon as the plane stopped, we were out of our seats and at the airplane door. Thankfully, since we were in business class, we were literally the first people off the airport and we started sprinting. It wasn’t quite a half-mile run from the commuter terminal, but it kind of felt like it.

We got to U.S. security and there was a line of maybe 10 or 15 people but it moved pretty quickly. Thanks to Global Entry (for both of us), we quickly used the kiosk and only had one person in front of us at the immigration line. We kept sprinting (jogging? fast walking?) to our gate and when we got there….

They were still boarding the plane. They hadn’t even started calling out our names yet!

(SEE ALSO: Miller… Party of 2… Please Make Your Way to Gate 9…)

two men standing next to each other

Sweaty and out of breath…. but at the plane

The plane actually didn’t even take off till 13 minutes after it was supposed to (but supposedly still “on time”)

a screenshot of a travel mail

What’s your tightest connection story? Leave it in the comments below


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