Calgary man drives strangers 8 hours to Kamloops to be home for Christmas | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Calgary man drives strangers 8 hours to Kamloops to be home for Christmas

Trevor Williams met the couple waiting in line for a rental car.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Trevor Williams

When Trevor Williams heard a staff member from a car rental company quote a Lower Mainland couple $7,000 for them to hire a vehicle to drive from Calgary airport to Surrey after their flight was cancelled he knew he had to step in.

Williams was standing in line waiting to pick up his own vehicle from Calgary airport to drive back to the Okanagan to see his parents for Christmas when he overheard the conversation.

The couple quoted $7,000, John and Jackie Weng, had already spent two days in Calgary airport after their flight from Europe to Vancouver got grounded in the snow-struck airport.

It was Dec. 23 and the Wengs were keen to get back to Surrey to spend Christmas with their children and grandchildren.

"I just happened to overhear them... and I just said, I'm heading to Kamloops with a rented car do you want to jump in the car with me," Williams said. "They said yes straight away."

It took eight hours to drive from Calgary to Kamloops, but Williams said the roads were in good shape and while the thermometer hovered between minus 25 and 30 Celsius the sky was blue.

Jackie had never driven the stretch of road before and was mesmerized by the dramatic scenery.

The couple, who are seniors, threw in some gas money and Williams and John shared the driving.

Williams, who grew up in Vernon and now lives in Calgary, said he'd planned to get the bus back to the Okanagan.

However, with so many flights cancelled the bus was full so he rented a car. He guesses he probably got one of the last rental cars available in the city.

When he arrived at Calgary airport to pick up the car he said the airport was packed.

"People sitting on the ground, laying on the ground, waiting at counters, there was a lot of people just hanging around the airport, and it had been like that for several days," he said.

The Weng's only option was to spend Christmas waiting in the airport in the hope they may be able to get a flight to Vancouver or spend $7,000 on a one-way car rental.

"(People) were being exploited for a lot of money if they wanted to leave," Williams said. "It's so exploitive, they know that people are in a jam."

Williams said he was happy to spend eight hours in a car with a couple of strangers.

He did approach the couple quietly to offer them a lift though.

"I didn't know what the car company would think having their customers stolen away from them like that," he said.

Williams said he dropped the couple off at a Kamloops hotel and they planned to get the bus back to Vancouver the next day.

While he hasn't heard from them he's sure they would have got back home late on Christmas Eve.

Williams said was just happy to help reunite the family for Christmas.

The experience also reminded him of being in his 20s when he regularly hitchhiked from the Okanagan to Calgary.

"I've been a recipient and a lot of nice things have happened to me so I'm looking to pay it forward," he said.

READ MORE: Temperature rose 30 degrees over the Christmas weekend in Okanagan, Kamloops

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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