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Topic: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-10 09:23:50 and read 32767 times.

Map- and Sleepless on Air Canada:
SFO-YUL-FRA on Airbus A319 & Boeing 777-300ER




Intro
The focus is on Air Canada's Airbus A319 and Boeing 777-300ER in the third and final part of my latest trip report series. These types were used on the San Francisco-Montreal and Montreal-Frankfurt sectors of our journey. I have also added some pictures of a short visit to the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
All those who have missed Parts 1 & 2 simply need to click here:
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class



Background
In spring my girlfriend and I decided to spend a two week holiday in the United States in May. Our plan was to visit some good friends in the Los Angeles area and to go on a tour including major sights in California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. After finding an attractive tour we had to add suitable flights. Of course I wanted to get one or two new airlines and interesting planes - which wasn't an easy task considering that I have already flown on numerous transatlantic carriers. So I concentrated on searching Air Canada and Continental Airlines flights and picked the former in the end: We booked NUE-FRA-YYC-LAX and SFO-YUL-FRA-NUE flights, operated by Lufthansa 737-300 & A319 as well as Air Canada A319, E190, 767-300ER and 777-300ER. Originally I had planned to get the LH A340-600 (via Toronto) on the outbound trip, but the fare jumped up and I had to pick an alternative including Air Canada's 767-300ER (via Calgary). We had decided to go back from San Francisco so that we could also include a LAS-SFO flight on Virgin America (to be operated by an A319).




Cable Cars & Fisherman's Wharf
After our arrival from Las Vegas on VX901 we stored our luggage in the hotel, took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to Powell Street station and switched to the Powell-Mason cable car line. The cable car on the picture was operating on the Powell-Hyde line:



Cable car turntable:



Welcome to the famous Fisherman's Wharf:



As you can see on the pictures, the weather was awful - cool and windy. Since we had left our jackets in the hotel (it was much warmer in the airport area!) we decided to buy sweatshirts.



The Bay Bridge in sunlight...



...while the Golden Gate Bridge was hardly visible:



The USS Pampanito, a Balao-class submarine, has been a memorial and a museum ship at Pier 45 since 1975:



Alcatraz Island:



Dozens of California Sea Lions on the docks of Pier 39:





Some hours later we returned to the Powell Street BART station. Early evening mood in the streets of San Francisco:






Saturday, 23 May 2009
San Francisco (SFO) - Montreal (YUL)
Air Canada AC778
08:20-16:40 (08:37-16:54)
Flying time: 04:48 (hrs)

Airbus A319-114
C-GAQZ (MSN 740), delivered in 11/1997
Economy Class, Seat 26B



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Photo © Frank Robitaille
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Photo © Jason Whitebird



Boarding & Cabin Comfort
Early the next morning we checked in quickly and walked to our still deserted gate area. This time we hadn’t faced any problems during check-in and got the pre-reserved seats. So the gate agent at Frankfurt had removed the "exit row preference"-entry from our reservation, as requested (see details about the "seat dilemma" in Part 1). Our flight to Montreal would be operated by C-GAQZ, one of Air Canada's 35 A319s, delivered in November 1997:



Some time later, a pre-boarding announcement disturbed the peace in the meanwhile filled gate area: "This is Air Canada flight 778 to Toronto", the agent said and caused muttering among some passengers. Only a minute later the agent corrected herself: "Sorry, flight 778 to Montreal", she ensured. Boarding was finally started and we went to our seats in row 26.

The relatively new seats were quite comfortable again...



...and the pitch was sufficient, too.



Like all other Air Canada jets (except for three 767-300ERs) the A319 was equipped with in-seat power ports, USB ports, 8.9-inch touch-screen monitors and the enRoute IFE system:



Cabin view (picture taken later in the flight) - well-filled Economy Class:



Departure
After boarding had been completed the captain announced a flying time of 4 hours and 48 minutes - so it would be my longest flight so far on an A32X series aircraft. Some minutes later he informed us that some bags had to be offloaded again due to a few no-shows. We finally left the gate 17 minutes late. United's N218UA in Star Alliance colors was bound for London-Heathrow:



It took another 22 minutes until C-GAQZ could enter the runway for takeoff. The weather had become worse in the past 12 hours:



In-flight Entertainment
Immediately after take-off I had a look at the IFE system. Well, it worked throughout the whole flight, but many options weren't available, just like on the Embraer 190 before. Among the features which didn't work were the airshow and the maps, as expected. The remark "This feature is currently unavailable" was all you could see after clicking on numerous items. Movies, TV features, music albums and XM satellite radio were available - but I counted only 34 movies, 22 less than on the 763. Ear-phones were sold for $3.
All those who want to read a more detailed review of the enRoute IFE system only need to click here (AC845 section, IFE):
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763


Breakfast
Only non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary on routes between the United States and Canada, so I had a look at the OnBoard Café menu. In addition to several snacks which are sold on all sectors, various sandwiches and breakfast items were available due to the duration of the flight (more than two hours). However, hot items are only available on Airbus and Boeing aircraft, not on the Embraer jets.
It's also interesting to note that you can save 20 percent when you purchase a voucher in advance - and that meals or snacks are complimentary when you purchase a so-called Latitude fare. Here's more about the OnBoard Café:
http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...d/dining/na/onboard/pop_index.html

We decided to try Harvey's Ultra Breakfast Sandwich for $5. When you pay for your purchase of $10 or more with a major credit card, you get 10 percent off. So we paid $9 in the end which is quite reasonable. The hot muffin with eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese tasted very good:



While eating we enjoyed the scenery, as so often:


Btw - there were only two rounds of drinks on that long flight, definitely not sufficient. At least they served ginger ale.  Wink


Approach & Arrival
After a few more uneventful hours we started the approach into Montreal-Trudeau Airport...




...and touched down exactly 4 hours and 48 minutes after take-off, as predicted by the captain. We were among the last passengers to leave the aircraft and I took the chance to get two registrations from the jetway. While I was standing there and using my binoculars the two pilots passed - and stared at me with a strange facial expression. Have they never seen a spotter?  scratchchin 



Transfer at Montreal-Trudeau Airport
Transferring at YUL was not a pleasure. Even though we didn't have to pick up our luggage again for customs, we had to pass immigration. While Canada-bound passengers could line up behind numerous counters, we had to queue in front of a single counter. One single officer had to check landing cards, passports and boarding passes of all passengers who were transferring from an international flight to another international flight - some 30 people were in front of us and the queue behind us was getting longer and longer. I guess we were waiting there for 30 minutes. One problem was that numerous passengers didn't have all required documents ready when it was their turn - is it so difficult to take out the stuff for the check in advance?  Yeah sure




Saturday, 23 May 2009
Montreal (YUL) - Frankfurt (FRA)
Air Canada AC874
19:55-08:55 (20:04-08:54)
Flying time: 06:20 (hrs)

Boeing 777-333ER
C-FITU (s/n 626), delivered in 04/2007
Economy Class, Seat 59A



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Photo © S Fernandez




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Photo © Bastian Ding
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Photo © Anthony Osborne




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Photo © Daniel & Robert Fall
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Photo © BJ



Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
After passing the immigration and security checkpoints we went straight to our gate where a magnificent Boeing 777-300ER was already being prepared for flight AC874 to Frankfurt. C-FITU, delivered in April 2007, is one of 12 77Ws in the fleet:



We still had plenty of time left and took seats close to a window. The gate areas were quite cramped in the busy evening hours, but at least I could enjoy good views through the large windows. In about two hours I got a total of 27 new registrations (mostly Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz).

Boarding was finally started and friendly flight attendants welcomed us on board. The seats were quite comfortable again...



...and legroom was generous - at least in the window and the middle seats.


Due to the narrowing of the cabin the aisle seat in row 56 is installed in inclined position which reduces legroom. The tall lady in the aisle seat next to us didn't like that at all.


Departure
The flight seemed to be fully booked in Y Class so it took a while until all the luggage was stored somewhere and everybody was seated. I could add some more registrations:



We left the gate slightly late and started taxiing while the sun was slowly disappearing:







Some minutes later the giant twinjet entered the runway and lifted off after a powerful and noisy take-off roll:







In-flight Entertainment & Mood Lighting
Of course I was curious about the IFE on this flight - meanwhile I almost felt like playing the lottery.  Wink
"Look for more exciting programs and features in the near future", it said on the welcome screen. Well, I'd be already satisfied if the existing features worked properly...



Main menu:



First of all I clicked at the map button - and all I got instead of my favorite IFE feature was this:


It was very disappointing that the maps weren't available on Air Canada's flagship - I had really enjoyed that feature on the 763. At least the other options available on the 763 were also available on the 77W.
All those who want to read a more detailed review of the enRoute IFE system only need to click here (AC845 section, IFE):
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763

The lack of the map feature was painful, but I soon noticed that at least the mood lighting system's color tones weren’t changing all the time (which was happening on the 763):



Dinner
Roughly 40 minutes after take-off the flight attendants started serving dinner. This time different meals had been loaded and there was a choice between beef and chicken. I hadn't expected anything special after the disappointing lunch on the FRA-YYC flight and ordered the beef option - which wasn't bad at all:


The beef tasted quite good and the vegetables and the mashed potatoes weren't bad either. Again we weren't able to identify the salad ingredients, but it was ok, just like the chocolate cream. The portions could have been a bit larger, though. My girlfriend tried the chicken again and also confirmed that it tasted better this time.


The Lighting Problem
After dinner trays had been collected I had a look at the IFE system again for a while, but finally decided to try to get some sleep. I was hoping that the bright overhead light would be switched off soon...



...but nothing happened. I tried to ignore the light, but of course that didn't work. Amenity kits with eyeshades hadn't been distributed either, so there weren't many options. After some 30 more minutes of waiting I decided to ask and pressed the call button. And again nothing happened. Several flight attendants passed, but they weren't interested at all in the call button light over my head. Several other requests in the rear section were ignored, too - and about 25 minutes later all the call button lights were simply switched off!  mad 
Then I verbally stopped the next flight attendant passing and asked her when the bright light would be switched off. "It will be switched off after the duty free sale", she said. If you believe it or not, only a few moments later the light turned even brighter:



I was hoping that the sale would be over soon, but it took at least 30 minutes. One or two passengers on the right cabin side had apparently loved the idea of midnight in-flight shopping, considering how long the cart had remained parked next to them...  Yeah sure
Meanwhile I was desperately trying to somehow cover my eyes:



Finally, yes finally, the bright light was switched off and I could find some sleep. However, I woke up again after only an hour. Considering that breakfast would be served soon I gave up and took some pictures instead:



Beautiful sunrise:





Breakfast
Breakfast service started more than 1,5 hours prior to landing which is a bit early considering that is was only a light meal. The snack box was wrapped in a nice tablecloth:



Both the yogurt and the muffin tasted quite good - but there could have been one more item:



Approach & Arrival
One hour after breakfast we started the final approach to runway 25L:



Eurowings BAe 146 on the way to runway 18:



Vietnam Airlines 777-200ER:



C-FITU arrived at the gate almost exactly on time. Sistership C-FIVR from Toronto was parked next to us:


1,5 hours later we boarded Lufthansa's A319-114 D-AILY which operated the final leg of our journey, flight LH922 to Nuremberg.



Conclusion
Once again, flying Air Canada was an average experience. I was satisfied with the seating comfort and the cabin conditions, but the ongoing IFE problems are simply annoying. The catering on the long-haul flight was better this time, but the quantity was disappointing again. And Air Canada should bring back complimentary food – at least a snack – on longer flights in North America. Cabin crews and the ground staff members were friendly and helpful in general - but it's a major annoyance that the flight attendants did not respond to the calls. I also have to wonder why the duty free sale wasn’t started shortly after dinner. So the bright white light could have been switched off much earlier.
Yes, I would fly Air Canada again, but I'd prefer one of the numerous better alternatives.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other recent reports:
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2009-11-10 09:54:32]

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: Akhmad
Posted 2009-11-10 11:09:09 and read 32767 times.

Hi PlaneHunter,

A great final of your TR series! I really enjoyed it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The hot muffin with eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese tasted very good

It looks yummy indeed.  yummy 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One problem was that numerous passengers didn't have all required documents ready when it was their turn - is it so difficult to take out the stuff for the check in advance?

It is always the same old song. Some people just never learn.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but there could have been one more item

Agreed. The breakfast was just too small. It would leave me hungry.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2009-11-10 12:14:44 and read 32767 times.

Hi, PH,

surely an interesting finals of you´re latest series covered by informative pics.
Having done AC shorthaul during the summer months, it was really nice to follow you´re longhaul story.
And also you´re point of view about YUL, good to follow.

Well, lighting and cabin temperature, thats always something to complain.
Also during my latest longhauls on QR not everything was ok for me.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-10 12:24:14 and read 32767 times.



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
A great final of your TR series! I really enjoyed it!

Hi Suryo, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
The breakfast was just too small. It would leave me hungry.

Unfortunately, many transatlantic carriers serve only a small breakfast in these days.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
surely an interesting finals of you´re latest series covered by informative pics.

Hi Markus, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
Well, lighting and cabin temperature, thats always something to complain.
Also during my latest longhauls on QR not everything was ok for me.

Yes, a low cabin temperature can be even more annoying than bright light. I'm anxious to read about your QR trip.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: NZ107
Posted 2009-11-10 13:19:05 and read 32767 times.

Hi PH,

Yet another great report to cap off an interesting series.

Pics of San Francisco are nice, reminding me to get back there when I can!

One of the times when I was on the cable car, we dangled off the side of it and it was an awesome experience.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So the gate agent at Frankfurt had removed the "exit row preference"-entry from our reservation

Glad that eventuated..!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, it worked throughout the whole flight, but many options weren't available, just like on the Embraer 190 before. Among the features which didn't work were the airshow and the maps, as expected

What a pain.. It seems like airlines have trouble with the airshow and it's really annoying. Luckily I haven't had a long haul flight which the Airshow hasn't worked yet.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It's also interesting to note that you can save 20 percent when you purchase a voucher in advance - and that meals or snacks are complimentary when you purchase a so-called Latitude fare. Here's more about the OnBoard Café:

Good to know for long flights like yours! How much more is the Latitude fare?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Transferring at YUL was not a pleasure. Even though we didn't have to pick up our luggage again for customs, we had to pass immigration. While Canada-bound passengers could line up behind numerous counters, we had to queue in front of a single counter. One single officer had to check landing cards, passports and boarding passes of all passengers who were transferring from an international flight to another international flight - some 30 people were in front of us and the queue behind us was getting longer and longer. I guess we were waiting there for 30 minutes. One problem was that numerous passengers didn't have all required documents ready when it was their turn - is it so difficult to take out the stuff for the check in advance?

Are all Canadian ports like this? It sounds like I'll be deterred from transiting internationally through Canada.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"Look for more exciting programs and features in the near future"

Haha.. When they get around to fixing it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
First of all I clicked at the map button - and all I got instead of my favorite IFE feature was this:

Shock horror! Just as bad seeing you couldn't get to sleep!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...but nothing happened. I tried to ignore the light, but of course that didn't work. Amenity kits with eyeshades hadn't been distributed either, so there weren't many options. After some 30 more minutes of waiting I decided to ask and pressed the call button. And again nothing happened. Several flight attendants passed, but they weren't interested at all in the call button light over my head. Several other requests in the rear section were ignored, too - and about 25 minutes later all the call button lights were simply switched off!

Don't you carry around a pair of eyeshades just in case they don't get handed out or anything? They don't weigh very much and I'd assume you'd have hundreds of them at home if you keep all your memorabilia  Wink
But that's appalling keeping the light on like that in the middle of the night. Obviously the one possible duty free sale is worth more to them than the likelihood of losing other passengers. It was a really harsh white light too which must have been annoying.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Meanwhile I was desperately trying to somehow cover my eyes:

Great shot!

Food looks ok, but yes bigger proportions would make it a bit better. No spread for the muffin either..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Once again, flying Air Canada was an average experience. I was satisfied with the seating comfort and the cabin conditions, but the ongoing IFE problems are simply annoying. The catering on the long-haul flight was better this time, but the quantity was disappointing again. And Air Canada should bring back complimentary food – at least a snack – on longer flights in North America. Cabin crews and the ground staff members were friendly and helpful in general - but it's a major annoyance that the flight attendants did not respond to the calls. I also have to wonder why the duty free sale wasn’t started shortly after dinner. So the bright white light could have been switched off much earlier.

Agreed.

Thanks for sharing! Getting ready for your next series whenever that may be.

Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2009-11-10 22:53:30 and read 32319 times.

Hallo, PH!

A nice ending to your west US trip. The 77W is definitely an impressive plane - I should get myself a ride on one of those sooner than later.

These east coast to Europe flights are a bit short for sleeping as they are, and that nonsense with the cabin lighting and duty free sales is just plain (plane?) stupid. Although I guess if you are tired enough having the lights on won't matter that much. They should really do the duty free sales in the galleys, announcing that if anybody wants them they could just come there to browse the wares and make the transaction..

I flew AC back in 2005 and there were no PTVs back then. I think the seats were different as well, though can't be sure.

That Fisherman's Wharf area is a bit too touristic for my taste. I totally understand what you mean about the different weather - our office used to be just south of the SFO airport and weather there was usually very different to the actual city.

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: The777Man
Posted 2009-11-11 01:00:42 and read 32147 times.

Excellent report with great pics of San Francisco ! I took the same cable car to Fisherman's wharf with my son in August last year. It was really cold then too and I had to buy a sweatshirt for him as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the ongoing IFE problems are simply annoying.

Yes, that's very bad; they have had the system around for a few years now and still have the same issues; I didn't have a map on my AC flight either YYZ-LHR in May07.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And Air Canada should bring back complimentary food – at least a snack – on longer flights in North America

It would be nice but it seems to be standard for most North American carriers to not serve anything complimentary even on transcon flights or longer like ORD-HNL.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but it's a major annoyance that the flight attendants did not respond to the calls. I also have to wonder why the duty free sale wasn’t started shortly after dinner. So the bright white light could have been switched off much earlier.

That's very annoying to keep that light on. Even when selling duty free, they should be able to do it with just the moodlighting. Unacceptable to have the flight attendant call button left unanswered for such a long time.

Looking froward very much to the next report whenever that may be....

The777Man

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-11 04:01:39 and read 31952 times.



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Yet another great report to cap off an interesting series.

Hi Nicholas, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
What a pain.. It seems like airlines have trouble with the airshow and it's really annoying. Luckily I haven't had a long haul flight which the Airshow hasn't worked yet.

Just had bad luck again on a Continental 777...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
How much more is the Latitude fare?

I don't know. I'm wondering how you get that fare when you pick a combination of long-haul and North American flights - didn't notice anything during the booking process on AC's website.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Are all Canadian ports like this?

I hope not!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
When they get around to fixing it?

Very good question...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Don't you carry around a pair of eyeshades just in case they don't get handed out or anything? They don't weigh very much and I'd assume you'd have hundreds of them at home if you keep all your memorabilia

Yes, I may add a pair of eyeshades to my travel equipment.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
A nice ending to your west US trip.

Hi FlyingFinn76, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
The 77W is definitely an impressive plane - I should get myself a ride on one of those sooner than later.

Yes, always a pleasure to fly on the giant twinjet.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
. They should really do the duty free sales in the galleys, announcing that if anybody wants them they could just come there to browse the wares and make the transaction..

Good idea!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 5):
I totally understand what you mean about the different weather - our office used to be just south of the SFO airport and weather there was usually very different to the actual city.

Yes, I will keep these weather differences in mind for my next visit.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Excellent report with great pics of San Francisco !

Hi Lars, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Yes, that's very bad; they have had the system around for a few years now and still have the same issues; I didn't have a map on my AC flight either YYZ-LHR in May07.

No progress in two years - very disappointing

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
It would be nice but it seems to be standard for most North American carriers to not serve anything complimentary even on transcon flights or longer like ORD-HNL.

At least Continental still serves decent meals on longer flights.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Unacceptable to have the flight attendant call button left unanswered for such a long time.

 checkmark 

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 4):
Getting ready for your next series whenever that may be.



Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Looking froward very much to the next report whenever that may be....

I'll post reports about a trip to Norway soon.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2009-11-11 09:30:39 and read 31512 times.

Hi PH,

It was great to read about the final part of your journey as well, together with lots of fantastic pictures. The main meal on the long-haul flight looks quite good indeed. Breakfast was small, but maybe sufficient for most passengers at such an early time of the day (regarding the time zone of the origin airport).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - there were only two rounds of drinks on that long flight, definitely not sufficient. At least they served ginger ale.

Not too impressive indeed - at least a third round of drinks should have been possible.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was very disappointing that the maps weren't available on Air Canada's flagship - I had really enjoyed that feature on the 763.

I would also have been disappointed of the missing maps - my favorite feature as well. But I'm still impressed by the PTV on short-haul aircraft which is quite good on longer continental flights like yours.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Several flight attendants passed, but they weren't interested at all in the call button light over my head. Several other requests in the rear section were ignored, too - and about 25 minutes later all the call button lights were simply switched off!

Not very impressive.

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: LYChemsa
Posted 2009-11-11 10:05:10 and read 31435 times.

I just took the same YUL to Frankfurt flight. Your desert looks good. Ours was horrible, we got a cheap chocolate brownie which was awful.

Breakfast no yoghurt but a giant banana muffin, very good.

The mood lighting was on for the whole flight, starting from boarding which I did not like. I like bright lights till after dinner.

Coffee was excellent. I noticed the cups are so tiny I kept on asking for 2 drinks.

The customs in YUL is a real pain in the neck. i missed my connection and spent 1 night in YUL.

Overall I liked AC and the crew were nice. Full mileage credit on discounted tickets, tickets valid 3 months and they allow 2 suitcases unlike Delta and BA and AF now are charging a lot for the 2nd suitcase.

Seating is weird. Some seats have 31 inch legroom and others 32 inches. Expedia have a great seat map. On the 767 some 31, 32 and 33 inches. Strange.

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-11 11:43:46 and read 31304 times.



Quoting Contact Air (Reply 8):

It was great to read about the final part of your journey as well, together with lots of fantastic pictures.

Thanks a lot, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 8):
Not too impressive indeed - at least a third round of drinks should have been possible.

Yes, that would have been appropriate.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 8):
But I'm still impressed by the PTV on short-haul aircraft which is quite good on longer continental flights like yours.

Indeed, it was a good decision by AC to install the advanced IFE on narrowbodies, too.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 9):
I just took the same YUL to Frankfurt flight.

Hi LYChemsa, when did you take that flight?

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 9):
The customs in YUL is a real pain in the neck. i missed my connection and spent 1 night in YUL.


That's bad to hear. But I guess that can happen easily if you have a tight connection. Did they send you to a good hotel?

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 9):
Seating is weird. Some seats have 31 inch legroom and others 32 inches. Expedia have a great seat map. On the 767 some 31, 32 and 33 inches. Strange.

Yes, that's strange. AC also has three different 763 configurations.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2009-11-11 12:12:25 and read 31269 times.

Hi PH,

Great final installment, a great read with nice pictures, thanks, enjoyed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Dozens of California Sea Lions on the docks of Pier 39:

- I have heard about this, not seen it before so was pretty impressed, another reason to visit SFO!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While I was standing there and using my binoculars the two pilots passed - and stared at me with a strange facial expression. Have they never seen a spotter?

- It's a worry!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
In about two hours I got a total of 27 new registrations (mostly Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz).

- Nice. I've yet to visit Canada, hoping to get a few days in next year, some serious spotting to be done there!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I clicked at the map button - and all I got instead of my favorite IFE feature was this:

- The map is really the only thing I use on airline IFE, it's amazing AC have still not got this sorted, it's been ages!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I decided to ask and pressed the call button. And again nothing happened. Several flight attendants passed, but they weren't interested at all in the call button light over my head. Several other requests in the rear section were ignored, too - and about 25 minutes later all the call button lights were simply switched off!

- Hmm, great service, not.

All in all, look like AC have the hardware and ability to be a great airline, seems they still have plenty to do to improve their image. Your and other previous TR's does not inspire me to want to fly them in Y or J.

Thanks PH.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: KrisYYZ
Posted 2009-11-11 18:16:04 and read 31001 times.

Hi PlaneHunter,

Fantastic TR as usuall.

I glad that your seat problems didn't reoccur on your returning leg!!

I completely agree with your analysis of AC on the transatlantic legs. I flew on AC's B77W in september 09 and the map was working, sort of... Even though the map itself worked, numerous features of the map didn't. AC should have had the problems figured out prior to delivery of their flagship aircraft's. I personally would hate being on a 7+ flight and not knowing where I am and how much of the flight is still left to go. AC has come a long way, but they still have some work to do!


It was nice to see what AC's service is like on N.American routes. No free food on a 4+ hour flight is pushing it.

KrisYYZ

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-11 23:14:41 and read 30752 times.



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
Great final installment, a great read with nice pictures, thanks, enjoyed.

Thanks a lot, Mark!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
- I have heard about this, not seen it before so was pretty impressed, another reason to visit SFO!

I'm sure you'd like it - but these animals can be very loud!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
- Nice. I've yet to visit Canada, hoping to get a few days in next year, some serious spotting to be done there!

I also need to make a spotting trip to Canada - haven't been to YYZ and YVR yet. Just noticed in another report here that there's an airport hotel very close to the terminals at YVR.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
All in all, look like AC have the hardware and ability to be a great airline, seems they still have plenty to do to improve their image. Your and other previous TR's does not inspire me to want to fly them in Y or J.

There's a lot to improve - but the question is when that will happen considering the carrier's financial situation.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 12):
Fantastic TR as usuall.

Hi Kris, thanks a lot!

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 12):
I completely agree with your analysis of AC on the transatlantic legs. I flew on AC's B77W in september 09 and the map was working, sort of... Even though the map itself worked, numerous features of the map didn't. AC should have had the problems figured out prior to delivery of their flagship aircraft's.

Bad to hear. I'm wondering how long the system was tested before it was installed fleetwide.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 12):
It was nice to see what AC's service is like on N.American routes. No free food on a 4+ hour flight is pushing it.

Yes, there should be free food at least on flights longer than four hours.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: LYchemsa
Posted 2009-11-12 09:18:16 and read 30384 times.

To respond to your questions.

I took the AC flight mid October. It was pitch dark when we left compared to some light when you left as I presume it was summer.

I missed my connection to Geneva. We were 3 hours late and even with a 30 minute connection they made me go to YUL from New York. Minimum connecting time is 40 min. I only had 15 minutes from arrival time. They took us to customs in a trolley car. Missed the flight by 10 minutes. Passport lines took about 30 minutes.

I was lucky as they put me up at the Hilton Gardens, a really nice hotel with a nice warm in door pool. It was like a vacation. I became good pals with a father and son from Hamburg and we had a good time.

I had a 15 dollar voucher for dinner, 7 dollars breakfast and 10 lunch.

Some others were put up at an old Travelodge. The Marriott at the airport is the nicest hotel but AC do not have a deal with them.

As they only go to GVA 4 x week I had to go to Frankfurt.

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-14 05:13:37 and read 29739 times.



Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 14):
I was lucky as they put me up at the Hilton Gardens, a really nice hotel with a nice warm in door pool. It was like a vacation. I became good pals with a father and son from Hamburg and we had a good time.

I had a 15 dollar voucher for dinner, 7 dollars breakfast and 10 lunch.

That sounds quite good.

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 14):
Some others were put up at an old Travelodge.

Would be interesting to know what the hotel decisions were based on (fares?).

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 14):
As they only go to GVA 4 x week I had to go to Frankfurt.

What equipment was scheduled for the GVA flight? I guess a 763?


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's
Username: EwRkId
Posted 2009-11-14 07:53:46 and read 29609 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As you can see on the pictures, the weather was awful - cool and windy. Since we had left our jackets in the hotel (it was much warmer in the airport area!) we decided to buy sweatshirts.

Typical SFO weather, I went there 2 years ago in August it was 49 degrees!!!!

It looks like AC is trying to have a good onboard product; new seats, moodlighting, AVOD on all of their planes, it's a shame that a select few of the flight attendants have to dampen that image..

What is up with YUL? Was it really that crowded?? I heard that they were supposed to add to the international jetty..

[Edited 2009-11-14 08:44:42]

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-20 12:16:08 and read 28901 times.



Quoting EwRkId (Reply 16):
Typical SFO weather, I went there 2 years ago in August it was 49 degrees!!!!

Wow, how worse can it get?

Quoting EwRkId (Reply 16):
What is up with YUL? Was it really that crowded?? I heard that they were supposed to add to the international jetty..

It was quite crowded in the early evening when all passengers were connecting from and to longhaul flights. Hopefully they will expand the terminal.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: OA260
Posted 2009-11-20 12:51:55 and read 28861 times.

Hi AC look good. Nice pics and would like to try them sometime. They have some very competitive fares sometimes.

The Egg Muffin sure does look yummy.

Thanks again

OA260

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-11-28 06:12:58 and read 27722 times.



Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Hi AC look good. Nice pics and would like to try them sometime. They have some very competitive fares sometimes.

Hi Phil, thanks for your feedback. It's true, you can get really good fares sometimes, especially to US destinations.


PH

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2009-11-28 19:41:21 and read 27351 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
As you can see on the pictures, the weather was awful - cool and windy. Since we had left our jackets in the hotel (it was much warmer in the airport area!) we decided to buy sweatshirts

As Mark Twain once asserted
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: CPDC10-30
Posted 2009-12-03 13:56:53 and read 26590 times.

Thanks for writing a very thorough trip report.

I have to agree with your complaint of not being able to sleep on AC. I've suffered this problem many times. They take forever to do the first meal service, and then by the time the duty free sales are over it is less than 1hr 45 mins till the breakfast service when flying from YYZ or YUL. The cabin crew just are not considerate to this.

It is so frustrating to arrive to a new day in Europe exhausted having slept for an hour at best (and usually not at all!).

I find this ridiculous when for example Air Asia X depends on in flight sales much more, yet they are respectful and keep them quiet (and brief!). I think I slept for 6 hours solid STN-KUL. QF and NZ though hold the golden standard of allowing pax to sleep. Announcements are kept to a minimum and the duty free sales are very quiet.

Topic: RE: SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2009-12-12 07:02:58 and read 25899 times.



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
As Mark Twain once asserted
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"

Nice quote!

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 21):
Thanks for writing a very thorough trip report.

Good to know you liked it!

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 21):
I have to agree with your complaint of not being able to sleep on AC. I've suffered this problem many times. They take forever to do the first meal service, and then by the time the duty free sales are over it is less than 1hr 45 mins till the breakfast service when flying from YYZ or YUL. The cabin crew just are not considerate to this.

Very bad to hear that it happens regularly!

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 21):
I find this ridiculous when for example Air Asia X depends on in flight sales much more, yet they are respectful and keep them quiet (and brief!). I think I slept for 6 hours solid STN-KUL. QF and NZ though hold the golden standard of allowing pax to sleep. Announcements are kept to a minimum and the duty free sales are very quiet.

I wouldn't have expected that AirAsiaX beats Air Canada in that respect.


PH


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