Guests who attended a local lobster festival in Canada’s Northern Alberta community of Cotillion were forced to eat hot dogs because of a common shipping nuisance: a misplaced package.
Air Canada was supposed to deliver 100 live lobsters to the Grande Prairie Airport in Alberta on Aug. 13. When the organizers arrived to pick up the shipment, they were surprised to hear that the package wasn’t there.
Jackie Panasiuk, who helped her sister organize the festival, told CBC News that they had people come from all over Alberta to attend the event, and they were expecting 145 pounds worth of lobsters. Sadly, the VIP guests were a no show.
Apparently, there was severe weather that caused their shipping package to be grounded in Toronto, thus resulting in a missed connecting flight for the clawed crustaceans.
When the delayed shipment finally arrived at Edmonton Airport, Panasiuk spent hours on the phone with airline agents trying get the lobsters to their original destination at Grande Prairie, about 4.5 hours away. She was ultimately forced to wait for the shipment after declining the option of paying $750 out-of-pocket to taxi the lobsters to Cotillion. We feel the frustration.
Panasiuk was hoping the lobsters would be transferred to a different flight or some other travel alternative to avoid this mishap, but an Air Canada representative said it wasn’t possible. Isabelle Arthur made a statement to CBC Edmonton stating that the airline can’t transfer shipments to another airline unless it has been pre-approved, which is a process that takes longer than a day.
The lobsters may have dodged their fate a few extra hours, but they finally arrived – most of them rotten – 18 hours later than expected and a day after the festival. “We cooked and froze them and distributed them to community members because nobody has enough freezer space for that many lobsters,” Panasiuk told CBC news.
After the incident gained much attention, Air Canada finally tried to butter up the situation by offering reimbursement for the shipping cost and cost of the seafood order, which the organizers accepted, of course.
Unfortunately, the lobster-less festival wasn’t all it was cracked out to be, and Panasiuk said they don’t plan on organizing future lobster-slash-hot-dog festivals for Alberta guests.