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Organizers of the Abbotsford Airshow have apologized for the long traffic lines that led to confusion and frustration this weekend.
On Friday, August 5, Airshow attendees took to social media to air their complaints about being stuck in their cars, sometimes for hours, as they tried to get into the parking lot before the event ended.
The three-day display of aeronautics was criticized for not being able to move vehicles into the parking lots fast enough, not having enough people to check tickets, and generally long lineups.
A video posted to Reddit shows a glimpse of some of the long lines.
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Spokesperson Jadene Mah told Daily Hive that they had “incredible crowds” turn up to their first show in three years.
“We did experience some large volumes coming onto the airfield in conjunction with lots of volunteers and traffic control folks who are out of practice,” she said.
Mah said that limited airport access and infrastructure combined with rush hour traffic contributed to the delays.
“We sincerely apologize to the many frustrated Airshow fans battling traffic lineups to get into the gate tonight,” organizers said earlier.
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The Airshow will adjust its plans for “speedier entries” on Saturday and Sunday. The show is sold out for the rest of the weekend, but ticket holders have been assured that organizers are taking steps to improve the lineups.
“We know how frustrating traffic can be. Please know how terribly sorry we are for your delays on the way in,” organizers said.
While wait times varied, some reported waits that were hours long, and others said they turned around and never made it in at all.
The gates say they will close at 7:30, we have been in traffic for almost 2 hrs. We might not make it in by closing, are we going to get our money back?!
— Sarah Mitchell (@sassmitchell) August 6, 2022
This isn’t a oh no too many people came issue. This was a we didn’t plan well enough issue. Traffic control from Clearbrook to the gate was much needed and missed. Your flashers at the gate doing nothing really was the cherry on top.
— Scott Spitters (@scott_spitters) August 6, 2022
3 hours and counting! Refund fully expected!
— Candace (@Ditto316) August 6, 2022
And don’t even get me started on the clown show that was exiting the parking lot. Sitting with kids in the car for an hour when it’s already 10:30pm is ridiculous. How were there not clearly defined routes and flaggers directing traffic out there??
— Doggie Gilmour (@JWGordon93) August 6, 2022
“We have been in traffic for almost (two hours). We might not make it in by closing, are we going to get our money back?!” wrote one Twitter user. “There was no one directing traffic in the parking lot and no one knew where to go,” wrote another.
When asked if the Abbotsford Airshow would be providing refunds to people who missed part or all of the show due to being stuck in traffic on Friday, Mah said that the “refund policy is specified at the point of purchase for tickets” and that “organizers will consider all feedback and all feedback in future decision making.”