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Topic: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2006-09-13 06:40:44 and read 24455 times.

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 004
Flight Category: Y-DLR (See Report End)
Date: 02-Sep-06
Dep.Arr.Time: 0800/0957/04:57hrs
Flight: AIR CANADA, AC 131, 2085 miles
Routing: YYZ-YVR
Aircraft: 763
Seat: Economy, 31F

I > Background:

Part of a Labour Day escapade. Routing was ALB-YYZ-YVR:: YYC-YVR-YYC-YYZ-ALB. This focuses on the AC segment from YYZ to YVR. Trip reports besides this on this trip will be ALB-YYZ and YYC-YVR.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Although Air Canada’s clean booking engine online at www.aircanada.com gave me several of the flight combinations I wanted, when I went to book the actual flights, I got an error each time. This ensured a call to the AC phone lines and a subsequent CAD 30.00 (I believe) charge – which was frustrating given that it was not my fault. Moreover, Star Gold status on 4 airlines meant jack in terms of waiving this fee OR getting a nice exit row seat pre-assigned. (Yes, I am *G with AC as well.) So the phone agent ended up giving me window seats as per request for all the flights.

b) At Airport:
I could not use AC’s kiosks and had to check in at the separate EXECUTIVE class check-in. The line was short … however, my seat had been given away and the only option (because of cancelled earlier flight) was an aisle at the middle of the aircraft. Of course, the exit row seats were claimed. Oh well. Security was quick and soon I found myself at the AC Maple Lounge. I must say I was impressed by AC’s Maple Lounge – it FAR exceeds anything south of the border by an U.S. carrier. Since I had time, I took a quick shower, and checked my email at one of the many free internet terminals. There were also options for toast, cereal, fruits, and of course free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Ok, I almost missed my flight due to AC’s lame-ass computers. Prior to leaving a lounge, I always confirm gate assignments and this flight was no different. The agent at the counter confirmed the gate as my boarding pass indicated … and I was off. I should have been warned by the lack of my flight being listed on the departure screens, but upon reaching my gate, there was no flight and no agent to be seen. I asked a guy working the computer who snapped, “Sir, cant you see I am flight crew?.” Not being in the mood to argue, I walked to another agent who kindly told me that the gate had changed. Hmmm … shouldn’t they have updated the boards or made an announcement? Anyways, when I reached the new gate, I informed the boarding agent that he should make an announcement. His response, “Sir, I am busy. If you have a problem, find a customer service agent.” ANYWAYS. Gotta love the attitude. By the way, it was strange that he wanted my boarding pass back to reprint one with the new gate number. Of course, the departure of the flight was delayed as ground crew scrambled to get passengers. Seriously, AC ground crew do not have the ability to use their brains. Boarding was fairly organized … though there were no separate calls for Executive or Elite members … this I found weird on a packed 763 flight.

Upon entering the plane, I was greeted by the head steward, Mr. Meghji (whom I will come back to again.) The plane looked tired, but thankfully the AC crew was in good spirits. Soon thereafter there was drama as they had assigned the exit rows to an infant, a teen, and a couple in their 70s and the cabin crew scrambled to rectify the situation. I mean, why the hell can they not be like a normal Star airline and assign it to their best customers. Obviously, “we have to see you at the airport” did not work here!

Check-In:

(Toronto-Pearson Airport Outside)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/1-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/2-1.jpg

Airport:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/3-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/4-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/5-1.jpg

Scenes from the tarmac:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/6-1.jpg
(Is that really a Volga-Dneiper at YYZ? Is this a regular?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/7-1.jpg

Lounge – Air Canada Maple Leaf/Star Gold:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/8-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/9-1.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/11-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/12-1.jpg

Boarding:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/13-1.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
As mentioned, push back was delayed due to many passengers caught unaware by the change of gate. After 30 minutes, we were on our way. Of course, a padded schedule always ensures we arrive on time these days. After safety demonstrations, we taxied for take-off. Upon reaching cruising altitude, crew came by with complimentary AC head-phones to take home. I dozed off soon thereafter and woke up somewhere near Calgary (with an 1:30hrs flying time left.) While I had gone to dreamland, I was told that a complimentary beverage service and a “buy-food-onboard” cart had passed by. Given I was thirsty, I went to the back of the plane, where to my astonishment, Mr. Meghji said, “Mr. Manzilla, can I get something for you?”! The only airline where cabin crew remembers your name in Y cabin is on Jet Airways, India. Pleasantly stunned, I returned to my seat and soon came another surprise. I was hungry and when the second buy-food-cart came, the stewardess smiled and said, “Mr. Manzilla … I checked our flight manifest and it seems the kind of ticket you have entitles you to CAD 7.00 of free food.” This was my lucky day! Anyways, does anyone know why this happened? Ok, the rest of the flight was fairly uneventful and I made chit-chat with the passengers next to me on how racist France was. Random indeed.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
While I like Air Canada’s new livery on its 763, the aircraft was clearly showing its age. The seats, lavs, general cabin was not clean and looked extremely tired. Worse, the seats are not comfortable, and legroom is VERY tight. Recline is at par with industry average.

Aircraft:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/14-1.jpg

Views from Aircraft:

NONE

Seat Leg-Room:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/15-1.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/16-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/17-1.jpg

Cabin:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/18-1.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/19-1.jpg

c) Meal:
Food consisted of food-for-purchase. I was surprised that a 4:30hrs flight did not even give you a bag of pretzel or chips or something! The buy menu was rather generic and many of the items on sale were actually not available. I “bought” a chicken sandwich which was dry and not very appetizing. However, hunger my friend has made me eat stranger things …


http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/21-1.jpghttp://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/22.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:
763s of AC has no PTVs. The movie shown on the main screen was PURELY horrible … Nac(h)o Libre. Just pure crap. The AC magazine (enRoute) had some interesting articles and the usual back section filled with AC news.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/23.jpg

e) Crew:
AC’s crew was its saving grace. It was very apparent that Mr. Meghji truly liked his job and I sincerely appreciated his efforts to make the best out of the minimal goodies at his disposal. He reinforced my belief that even if there is NO service items (food, IFE, etc.), a positive engaging attitude can make a whole lot of difference. Moreover, his leadership was obvious as the crew liked working with him. Besides, he lead by example and was always responding to crew calls, doing water runs, etc.

IV> Post-Flight:

Vancouver continues to be convenient. Baggage was slow to arrive, despite the PRIORITY tag.

Vancouver Airport:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/24.jpg

V> Impressions + Scores:

Air Canada is an extremely stingy airline. While I can overlook eliminating free blankets, pillows, etc., would it hurt to serve a small bag of complimentary snack on a trans-con flight? While its cabin crew on this flight led by Mr. Meghji was truly outstanding, ground crew and phone support left much to be desired. They need an attitude adjustment and hopefully continued competition from WS may do just that. The wild-card surprise was the really good (for North American standards) AC lounge both at YYZ and YVR. I would definitely fly AC again … however, given other options, I would not find it challenging to chose another carrier in a heart-beat.

Reservation: 4.0
Check-In: 4.5
Lounge: 8.0
Boarding: 2.0
Seat: 5.0
IFE: 6.0
Crew Service: 9.0
Food: 6.0 (based on my “purchased” food)
Beverages: 5.0 (standard default score, when served only beverage)
Amenity Kits + Others Freebies: 5.0 (standard default score)
Disembarkation: 7.5
On-Time Record: 9.0
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5.92

(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

1/ Avianca: BOG-LIM: 07/06/06: 7.09pts: Y-IMR
2/ Air Tran: EWR-MDW: 08/02/06: 6.73pts: Y-DMR
3/ West Jet: YYC-YVR: 09/05/06: 7.14pts: Y-DLR

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul :: I have designed these codes so people don’t believe my scores are comparing apples and oranges)

VII> Other Non-Trip Pictures:
(Different Shades of Air Canada’s Maple Leaf @ YVR)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/25.jpg
(BA 744 on YVR-LHR routing as seen from YVR AC lounge)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/26.jpg
(Signage @ YVR Maple Leaf Lounge)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/27.jpg

[Edited 2006-09-13 06:49:36]

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: 767747
Posted 2006-09-13 21:27:41 and read 24105 times.

Very nice report! Good pictures. It sounds like you had a pretty nice flight with Air Canada. I have yet to fly with them.

Looking forward to more reports!

767747

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Kiramakora
Posted 2006-09-14 16:23:08 and read 23809 times.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Seat Leg-Room:

How tall are you? The legroom seems extremely restricted.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2006-09-14 16:45:52 and read 23797 times.

Nice report with some decent pictures.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I asked a guy working the computer who snapped, “Sir, cant you see I am flight crew?.” Not being in the mood to argue, I walked to another agent who kindly told me that the gate had changed. Hmmm … shouldn’t they have updated the boards or made an announcement? Anyways, when I reached the new gate, I informed the boarding agent that he should make an announcement. His response, “Sir, I am busy. If you have a problem, find a customer service agent.” ANYWAYS. Gotta love the attitude. By the way, it was strange that he wanted my boarding pass back to reprint one with the new gate number. Of course, the departure of the flight was delayed as ground crew scrambled to get passengers. Seriously, AC ground crew do not have the ability to use their brains. Boarding was fairly organized … though there were no separate calls for Executive or Elite members … this I found weird on a packed 763 flight.

-Friendley people then.....

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Given I was thirsty, I went to the back of the plane, where to my astonishment, Mr. Meghji said, “Mr. Manzilla, can I get something for you?”!

- Quite impresive for 'Y'.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was hungry and when the second buy-food-cart came, the stewardess smiled and said, “Mr. Manzilla … I checked our flight manifest and it seems the kind of ticket you have entitles you to CAD 7.00 of free food.”

- Interesting, do they check this on all flights?

Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 2):
How tall are you? The legroom seems extremely restricted

- Yes it does look pretty tight, I also dislike the colour of the seat fabric.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: SafeFlyer
Posted 2006-09-15 01:18:30 and read 23648 times.

In response to your query, AC entitles all passengers who've booked Latitude or Latitude Plus fares to a complimentary meal+snack item on the BOB list. That is why they offered it to you.

Otherwise, I am surprised by the lack of gate change annoucement... simply because the last two times I've been to Toronto, it happened on either my flight or another one next to mine and they did the gate change annoucement SEVERAL times. And seriously, the last thing you want to do is go tell the agents how to do their jobs. Perhaps yes they were rude but I am not surprised at the answer you got. I've never experienced any such thing by AC agents. I know some great people who work in this industry and you would have gotten the same kind of response at most carriers.

Lastly, 763 extremely tired? Looking at your picture, it really doesn't look that bad. I've flown on ex CP metal (actually the oldest of them all, built in 88) and yes the seats and IFE were antiquated but I wouldn't say it's in bad condition at all. Bad condition would be equipment not working, dirty lavs, stained carpet, etc. But that's just my opinion. They'll be all equipped with AVOD and new seats soon. AC's 763s are supposed to have standard 32" of pitch. Not the case here? Or are you very tall?


Cheers!

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2006-09-15 08:23:53 and read 23557 times.

Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 2):
How tall are you? The legroom seems extremely restricted.



Quoting SafeFlyer (Reply 4):
AC's 763s are supposed to have standard 32" of pitch. Not the case here? Or are you very tall?

= I am 5 9 and as the pictures say, it felt cramped.

Hey all ... I was wondering ... does it make sense to add another category oof scoring called "CABIN AMBIENCE" ... or something like that? It would cover cabin style, cleanliness, etc.

Thanks,
A.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: CNZ3
Posted 2006-09-15 22:20:03 and read 23469 times.

You must be all legs to feel cramped in that cabin. I''m 6'4" and I fit fine. I'm pretty sure we have differing opinions of cramped though. I'm just used to the seats at the ACC  crowded .

Personally I do agree with you on the aircraft condition. In my many AC 763 travels (I'm pretty sure I've been on every type they have), the config you got (the 4 doors) are worse than the ones with two overwing exits. I know that they are getting new seats and I can't wait, but the best trip I had on a 763 was C-GHOZ. It had the new fabric on the seats (see below).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Eric Fortin - AirTeamImages
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kazim Alikhan - t.dot photography



Yes I know that's the J cabin. But the seat fabric is the same and you an see my seat in the photo at the front of the Y cabin.

On the Star Gold issue, I'm Elite and can tell you from experience AC doesn't give exit rows to their best customers because we're always at the front of the plane. I have yet to get a seat beyond 8 rows from the front of the Y cabin; I'm normally in the first 5. Star Gold might be different.

It's definately not normal for AC to slack off with regards to the announcements or the gate assignment. During my terminal walkarounds I've never seen them act rudely to angry pax though (not saying you were angry). Don't let it put you off flying AC again.

Steve

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2006-09-16 02:53:25 and read 23406 times.

Quoting CNZ3 (Reply 6):
You must be all legs to feel cramped in that cabin. I''m 6'4" and I fit fine.

= I wish I had your attitude and height  Wink. I dont know how you can be comfortable being 6-4 on those seats. I was visualizing you sitting on those seats ... as my pics say, it looks cramped to me.

Quoting CNZ3 (Reply 6):
On the Star Gold issue, I'm Elite and can tell you from experience AC doesn't give exit rows to their best customers because we're always at the front of the plane. I have yet to get a seat beyond 8 rows from the front of the Y cabin; I'm normally in the first 5. Star Gold might be different.

= One of my *Gs is with AC. Ya, I can get a seat at front ... but why not give me the ability to have exit rows? Its the least AC can do and its revenue neutral.

Quoting CNZ3 (Reply 6):
It's definately not normal for AC to slack off with regards to the announcements or the gate assignment. During my terminal walkarounds I've never seen them act rudely to angry pax though (not saying you were angry). Don't let it put you off flying AC again.

= Maybe I just got the bad ones. And, I havent been angry since an incident in France with AF @ CDG. Dont worry, I will be flying AC soon again.

Cheers,
A.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: ACB777
Posted 2006-09-16 09:48:51 and read 23339 times.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon entering the plane, I was greeted by the head steward, Mr. Meghji (whom I will come back to again.)



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Mr. Meghji said, “Mr. Manzilla, can I get something for you?”!

I remember Mr. Munir Meghji from an AC flight I took two years ago. When I boarded the plane, he greeted me and said "Hi Mr. ....." . As a matter of fact, he is an acquaintance of my father. You can read about him here

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2006-09-19 04:57:17 and read 23054 times.

Quoting ACB777 (Reply 8):
I remember Mr. Munir Meghji from an AC flight I took two years ago. When I boarded the plane, he greeted me and said "Hi Mr. ....." . As a matter of fact, he is an acquaintance of my father. You can read about him here

= Did not know the guy was this famous! Well, AC is getting another letter on his behalf  Smile.

-A.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Aussie18
Posted 2006-09-19 07:00:02 and read 23023 times.

Top report and nice pictures.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: 777fan
Posted 2006-09-19 07:34:30 and read 23013 times.

Great report. Do you happen to know if that AC 763 resembles those flown internationally? Mrs. 777fan and I are supposed to fly SYD-HNL on AC in November and won't be too happy if that's what kind of seat pitch we're going to face on an 8-hour flight.


777fan

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Abrelosojos
Posted 2006-09-19 13:35:49 and read 22954 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 11):
Great report. Do you happen to know if that AC 763 resembles those flown internationally? Mrs. 777fan and I are supposed to fly SYD-HNL on AC in November and won't be too happy if that's what kind of seat pitch we're going to face on an 8-hour flight.


777fan

= I think the seat pitch would be the same  Sad ... check out http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/current.html ... it definitely was not the standard 32" ... felt significantly less.

-A.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: Swissy
Posted 2006-09-19 15:49:27 and read 22920 times.

Thanks for the top report!! and yes it is cramped, as I took the 67 YYZ-ZRH several times and now I fly YHM-YUL-ZRH, longer trip but a lot more comfortable for me as I am 6'2...............

Cheers,

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: BowflexBrennan
Posted 2007-02-16 01:35:54 and read 21360 times.

Excellent report, I really enjoyed it. I'll be flying YYZ-YVR in about 3 weeks on Air Canada as well.

Topic: RE: AC 131: 02/SEP/06: YYZ-YVR: Y Cabin (pics)
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-05-28 15:23:23 and read 6460 times.

I see you get the same treatment I have received from AC when I travel with them, I do like the Maple Leaf Lounge, better than the UA lounges in the US. Your getting the run-a-round with your seats, at least you weren't in the middle seat on their domestic 763's.


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