The start of a bumpy ride to Nicaragua

imagea blond woman clutching the seat of an airplane

Not actually me! Photo Credit: Getty Images via

Our journey from Toronto to Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua is not an easy one. It consists of a flight to the US (generally Houston, Atlanta or Miami), a second flight to the capital of Nicaragua, Managua, a third flight to (Big) Corn Island, and then finally a boat ride to Little Corn. But we have heard its worth the trek, so off we went!

Well, it was bumpy from the very beginning!  On arrival to our Toronto gate for the flight to Houston, we were promptly told that there were maintenance issues with our plane and we would not make our 1.5 hour connection window.  Eeeek!  Luckily United to the rescue quickly rebooked the 10 passengers in limbo to an Air Canada flight leaving 45 minutes later.

New connection time = 45 minutes!  All good, still doable, no worries.

However, several passengers had to have their baggage switched to the new plane, which caused another delay of 15 minutes.  This is why carry-on’s are king people…never check a bag with tight connecting flights if you can avoid it!

New connection time = 30 minutes!  Ok we can do it.

Enter our next villian…terrible weather in Houston.  You know it’s going to be a rough ride when your captain tells you to expect major turbulence and a bumpy landing BEFORE you even take off!!!  Time to start the Hail Mary’s and negotiating with God.  On the plus side, our little mechanical misadventure meant that we got a free drink, which we clearly needed, on the Air Canada flight. Not that anyone advertises this, so ask if you are ever in this situation!  Well the captain was not exaggerating, but the Hail Mary’s seem to have paid off because we arrived in Houston in one piece, but an additional 10 minutes late from circling the airport and an extra 5 minutes taxiing down what must be the longest runway on earth.

New connection time = 15 minutes!  Time to panic!!!

There is only one thing to do in these situations my friends, RUN like you never ran before.  And if you are as unlucky as me, of course you will land in terminal A when your connecting flight is at the exact opposite end of the airport in terminal E.  So after conquering multiple escalators, movators, wrong turns and even an inter-terminal train, our group of 10 sweaty and breathless travellers of various ages, ethnicities and fitness levels, made our flight to Managua with not a second to spare. We were the last 10 on the plane and got our share of odd looks but we made it baby, hallelujah!

Thankfully the flight to Managua was entirely uneventful, just what we needed. We have an overnight here before we take to the skies again tomorrow!

Crazy connections and missed flights can wreak havoc on any well laid plans!  Do you have any horror stories or tips for keeping cool in all the madness?


7 thoughts on “The start of a bumpy ride to Nicaragua

  1. Lol! That photo reminds me of the time my kids and I flew back to Virginia from Illinois. We just barely got of the ground and turbulence started. When I say barely got off the ground, the landing gear was just being put away. Lol It didn’t let up for almost the entire 1 hr 45 min flight. I’m so glad you made it safely though!!


  2. Pingback: Big Corn Island, Nicaragua | MyTorontoLife

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