Travellers stranded amid B.C. snowfall rely on kindness of strangers to get home – Canada

With hundreds of cancelled flights at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) after the region was blanketed with snow, some travellers have had to rely on strangers to get home.

A B.C. woman says she managed to make her way from YVR to her home in Kelowna, after connecting with a person who was driving back to the city in the Interior.

One trucker, meanwhile, has offered rides to people travelling from Alberta to B.C. 

Mai Nguyen says she arrived at YVR from Japan on Sunday morning to find her connecting flight home to Kelowna was cancelled and rebooked for Tuesday.

She was offered a refund with no chance to rebook, she says, adding that she tried making arrangements with other airlines and looked at taking a bus, but had no luck.

Desperate to get home to her two-year-old daughter, she posted a message on a Lake Country community Facebook page. She connected with a man who was travelling from Kelowna to Vancouver to drop off a friend who had a connecting flight to YVR cancelled. 

Nguyen says her husband was concerned that she was accepting a ride from a stranger, but she felt it was a risk worth taking to get back to her daughter. 

WATCH | Chaos at YVR on Tuesday after hundreds of flights grounded: 

Chaos at YVR as snow grounds flights

Hundreds of passengers have had travel plans thrown into disarray as heavy snow at the Vancouver International Airport results in delays and cancellations.

Nguyen says the man gave her and two others a ride back to Kelowna. She finally arrived home at 3 a.m. Wednesday. 

Coming home was emotional, she says. She had to travel to Japan for a few days to attend to a personal matter; prior to that, she had never been away from her daughter overnight. The delay in Vancouver made their time apart even longer. 

“The snow was really crazy … I’m very, very happy and lucky that I met a nice person, who drove me home and I can be with my family again,” Nguyen said.

Truck driver Logan Long, meanwhile, has been offering transportation to people looking to get from Alberta to B.C. 

Long says he has made offers on a Facebook page dedicated to ridesharing. 

He says his itinerary includes a stop to pick up a traveller stranded at the Edmonton airport, and another in Calgary to pick up two puppies to be dropped off to their new home.

From there, he’ll pick up two more people with stops in Revelstoke and Kelowna, before heading down to Vancouver. 

Long, 49, says he already has plans to pick up people for the ride back to Alberta. 

“I hope that sometime they’ll remember that somebody stepped up for them and they’ll do the same for somebody else,” he said Wednesday. “What do they call that — pay it forward?”

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