A group of travellers made the best of a bad situation when they fell victim to one of many flight cancellations this weekend, spending eight hours in a car together on Christmas Day to make it home in time to celebrate with their families.
One of the travellers, Jessica Myers, was in Toronto for the day on Thursday and was set to fly to Sault Ste. Marie from Billy Bishop Airport to be home in time for Christmas. As her flight kept getting delayed, she met two other travellers, Errin Walls and Carter Santa Maria, who were also flying home to Sault Ste. Marie.
When the group, who have mutual friends, realized their flight was eventually cancelled, panic set in.
“It was all fun and games until the flight was actually cancelled. And then I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what I’m going to do,’” Myers said.
That’s when Walls suggested Myers stay with her, though Myers was able to get a hotel room through work. But she realized she’d still be stuck in the city until Tuesday, potentially missing Christmas at home with her family.
“They invited me over and the rest is history,” Myers said.
Walls’s fiancé, David Piazza, who is from Brampton, usually spends Christmas Day with family and then was planning on driving to Sault Ste. Marie to be with Walls on Boxing Day.
“With my fiancée not being able to fly out and then Jess and Carter both being stuck, I was like, well, I’ve got to get them home for Christmas,” Piazza said. He offered to move his plans around to hit the roads earlier then planned so the group could be with their families on Sunday.
Piazza’s family moved their Christmas dinner to Saturday to make sure he didn’t miss it. But he also didn’t want their new friends to spend Christmas Eve alone.
“We said, ‘I got two new friends coming over for Christmas dinner’ and of course, they were more than more than happy to have them stay,” Piazza said.
“No one should be spending the last couple days before Christmas alone.”
Myers said Piazza’s aunt even lent her a winter jacket to take home since she didn’t have one.
The four also went out in the city on Thursday night and spent Friday eating sushi together at Walls and Piazza’s condo.
“It’s just been super fun, actually — probably the best Christmas I’ve had,” Piazza said.
Myers said it would have been a fun story either way, but the fact that the group got along so well is “icing on the cake.”
Myers documented the unique experience on TikTok, garnering more than 28,000 likes on one of her videos.
Talking to the Star during the final leg of their trip home, the group joked that they plan to get together annually from now on.
“It’s nice having this memory together, but it’s also nice to have a couple new friends,” Piazza said.
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