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Topic: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-31 16:08:28 and read 14604 times.

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PART ONE: HEADING FURTHER NORTH

Hi all, parts I and II of my travels in Canada can be found at:

Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's (by palmjet Oct 7 2012 in Trip Reports)
Goose'n'Gander: To Goose Bay With AC Express (by palmjet Oct 13 2012 in Trip Reports)

An early morning start but when it means a multi-stop flight on a relatively rare aircraft, getting up early is not a problem. Not wanting to miss my flight, I am up at least 1.5 hours before the scheduled departure time for Air Labrador’s flight 200, operated by a Twin Otter, to Nain on the Labrador coast.

My hosts at the Hotel North advised the previous evening that they could summon a taxi for me in the morning with little notice required. Not wanting to be stranded at the hotel, I still make sure I am ready and over at Reception to order my taxi by 545am. It is still pitch black outside, but already, there is a fair amount of activity at the hotel, with a number of residents getting ready to set out. It seems there are a number of guys working in the area who are staying here on a temporary basis - some from the Forestry Dept.

I am standing outside in the pre-dawn darkness under the light outside the Hotel North’s reception area, feeling a brisk cool wind blowing and just the sound of the odd car shooting past on the road in front. Anticipation is building - this is the reason why I am here. This is the reason for my trip to Canada. This is what started the planning all those months ago. This is the day I’ve been waiting for.

My planned flights today are taking me up to Nain (YDP), with stops at the small settlements of Rigolet, Postville, Makkovik, Hopedale, Natuashish along the way. Why Nain? Well, it’s at the end of the line so to speak and the most northerly airport along the coast flown by Air Labrador. The outbound flight is with Air Labrador. I am scheduled to have 2 hours or so on the ground in Nain, before coming back to Goose Bay with Air Labrador’s competitor on this route - Innu Mikun Airlines (associated with Provincial Airlines), also stopping at the same ports on the way back. All being well, I would be back in Goose Bay by approximately 5pm. In all, a multi-stop day trip on two new airlines in a remote part of Canada on a rare-ish aircraft type: what more could an A.netter wish for?

These airports are so small that Natuashish isn’t even recognised on Great Circle Mapper but this is approximately what the route looks like.



Close up (minus Natuashish which is located in between Hopedale and Nain)



My combined travels through Newfoundland and Labrador to date



As I mentioned in my earlier report, I was inspired to take this trip having read a trip report posted here by Gary/ghYHZ last year. I really love flying to small communities - seeing how much aviation plays a pivotal role in the livelihoods in smaller places - whether that’s in Australia, Norway or here in Eastern Canada. I have also come to recognise that it’s a totally different flying experience from the norm, something which I really appreciate today when the norm usually consists of a boring A32x/737 flight. I am a big fan of the Twin Otter – effectively another Dash product. While I love the Dash 8, the earlier member of the Dash family is also on my list of favourite types. There aren’t too many chances to fly the Twotter in Europe these days (other than the Flybe flights operated in Western Scotland), so the experience with Air Labrador and Innu Mikun holds so much promise.

Air Labrador - The Spirit of Flight/L’espirit du Vol

Little seems to be written on this forum about this small airline on the outer frontiers of Canada’s eastern territory. Air Labrador operates a user friendly website (www.airlabrador.com) which provides some useful background on the airline. I learn that the airline is based in Goose Bay, and has been around since 1948. It provides essential scheduled, charter and cargo transportation in Labrador and Quebec. It also currently operates one route into Newfoundland - to St Anthony. The airline describes itself as a dynamic company that is “locally owned, distinctly Innuit and distinctly Labradorian”.

Interesting, because Air Labrador’s competitor, Innu Mikun, have a tagline which is “The Choice of the People”. This airline was created by the Innu peoples of Nitassinan Labrador to provide a high standard of air service “that would promote economic and social development in the region”. And, “recognizing that reliable air service is an essential element of a solid economic infrastructure, the Mushuau Innu and Sheshatshiu Innu, with the help of the Innu Economic Development Corporation, joined with Provincial Airlines to establish Innu Mikun Airlines”. The airline began by offering charter services within Labrador in 1998 and has since expanded its services to include scheduled passenger and cargo service - officially launched in June 2000.

Both airlines therefore seem to be trading off their local connections and importance to the community. I was interested to see what differences, in any, a passenger is likely to experience. It was also fascinating to see that there is competition on these routes and enough traffic to generate multiple Twin Otter flights. The extent to which either or both airlines receive any provincial subsidies from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, is unknown.

Now back to that Wednesday in September 2012....

Out of the blackness, a car pulls off the road and into the hotel’s driveway. I see it has a taxi sign on its roof and I guess this must be my ride. I am on the only one standing outside in the dark. With no luggage to speak of - this is only a day trip after all, I jump in for the short less than 10 minute ride to Goose Bay Airport. The driver is friendly but not overly chatty, which is a good thing, as I am feeling a little sleep deprived and craving coffee.

I am deposited outside the Departures door of the terminal and head inside - where it’s incredibly quiet. Outside, it’s still pitch black. The terminal at Goose Bay looks very new and for the markets it serves, seems to be just the right size.



The Arrivals door at the other end of the terminal.



I take a seat for a few minutes before noticing some activity over at the Air Labrador check in counter. There are a small number of check in desks (5-6 in total) but the only activity so far is at Air Labrador.

The calm before the day’s flights begin.



Gathering my things I head to the desk to one of the two ladies behind the counter. I politely ask whether the flight to Nain is ready to start checking in - no OLCI at Air Labrador but with the Twotter flight being relatively relaxed, I don’t imagine they offer allocated seating and I am assuming we can sit where we like. The nice lady takes my passport and flight confirmation and checks me in with no fuss. She asks if I have any luggage and I show her my camera bag. She asks me to put it on the scales and then commences to tag it to Nain before I stop her in mid stroke - telling her that it’s fragile hand baggage! She clearly thinks I wanted to check in my camera. Oh I don’t think so! She smiles when she realises her mistake and wishes me a good flight as she hands over my boarding pass. I am also relieved I don’t have to be separated from my camera!

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I also pick up a small information booklet on Air Labrador for my collection. I know at one time the airline painted their aircraft in this solid dark blue colour scheme (as modelled by the little Beech on the cover), but the only Air Labrador aircraft I saw were in much plainer mostly white colours. I also did not see any Air Labrador Beech 1900Ds in these colours during my travels in this part of Canada.

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I peruse through some specs of the Air Labrador Twin Otters just to get myself more in the mood (as if I needed to at this point in any case)!

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No gate, and no seat allocation - that’s pretty relaxed. In fact, there is no FIDS in the terminal at all. As I later find out, all flights are called via the PA system. Intra Labrador flights are not subject to a security search and board via Gate 1. Passengers for flights to other parts of Canada are subject to searches and x-ray go through a separate gate next door.

I take up a seat near Gate 1 to try and get a glimpse of my aircraft - the ramp is empty so I assume the aircraft is going to be towed into position at some point. It’s now about 50 minutes before our STD. There’s a little more activity as a few passengers now join me - some of whom appear to be on my flight, and some are booked on Innu Mikun’s outbound flight (which leaves around the same time as my flight). There is a mix of passengers –some local Innuit people going home, some workers heading up north and then there’s me – a tourist.

An empty baggage reclaim belt. I really like the interior of the terminal overall. It feels smart and clean along with being airy and light.

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Outside, the pre-dawn is giving way to murky grey skies, and I see the Innu Mikun Twin Otter C-FWLG, sitting by itself out on the ramp. It had been dragged here in anticipation for its first flight of the day. A bit of colour would be nice!

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WEATHER HOLD

Sadly, this is where it all starts to unravel before my eyes. Almost like a bad dream that never ends. A number of passengers are now seated around me when our friendly Air Labrador check in agent comes over to nobody in particular, and tells us that there is a “weather hold” for Flight 200. I don’t register what this means at first, but she further explains that the winds along the Labrador coast are very strong - too strong for safe flying at some stations and the airline was assessing conditions before deciding whether to operate the flight. We are to be given further information in one hour. Oh no - a creeping delay or Charlie Delta on my dream flight!

With little to do other than wait, I head for the vending machine to buy some snacks - optimistically thinking that I will need some sustenance for the trip. There is no cafe in the terminal open at this time of the morning - in fact the little cafe does not become operational until 10am in the morning!

Another hour passes and we get another message, but this time over the PA “Air Labrador Flight 200 is still subject to a weather hold - further information will be provided in 1 hour”. Oh great, I am destined to watch my dream flight slipping away before me. I go online to see what the weather forecast for Nain looks like and true to their word, there is a severe wind warning in place for the entire coast. Bugger.

I sit around watching the comings and goings of other passengers, who are now arriving in increasing frequency - many for the Air Canada Express flight to Halifax. Other flights are being operated by Air Canada Express to Wabush, along with flights to St John’s on Provincial Airlines. Meanwhile, anybody booked on a Twin Otter - whether Air Labrador or Innu Mikun - is going nowhere. At this time, the Twin Otter that was standing patiently outside rocking in the wind is now dragged away, presumably back to the hangar, until a decision is made about whether to operate the flights.

To relieve the boredom of waiting and the anxiety that now hits me, I take a wander outside as it’s now daylight. Here’s a brighter view of the terminal facilities.

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I head over to the display of military aircraft just in front of the terminal building. The wind is really blowing now and it’s not warm either. As many will know, the airport here is operated as an air force base by the Royal Canadian Air Force and is the site of NATO tactical flight training in Canada. The base was initially a Royal Canadian Air Force station and later a United States Air Force base known as Goose AFB, housing units of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Defense Command. It was later home to permanent detachments of the Royal Air Force, the Luftwaffe, the Aeronautica Militare, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force, in addition to temporary deployments from several other NATO countries and was often used as a refuelling port in the early days of transatlantic flying, very much like Gander to the south.

As such, also like Gander, there is a lot of aviation history here which is always good to see. There are three aircraft on display here: totally free entry and you can just walk around them, and they commemorate various milestones or history for Goose Bay.

From the Avro Vulcan (great to see one up close)

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to the Catalina (note the Air Labrador hangar in the background)

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I meander over to the Air Labrador hangar where I see a trio of Twotters rocking gently in the breeze - there is some activity around one of the aircraft which suggests this would be the aircraft to fly me to Nain today - if the flight ever operates. Here are two of them - the one of the right with its passenger door open.

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This Twotter looks like its going nowhere fast - and is battened down to stop it bouncing around too much in the wind!

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It now starts to rain slightly, making the outside experience quite uncomfortable so I head back into the warmth of the terminal to see if there are any updates.

I watch the Provincial Airlines SF340 getting ready to head to St John’s and then try to find out more about my flight.

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Alas no, still on “weather hold” which means my chances of flying today look ruined. I run through some options, and head over to the check in staff to ask them a few questions. I realise that it’s hopeless and admit defeat. They are realistic with me and explain that it looks unlikely the flight will operate because the weather is not getting any better. Although the flight is not yet technically cancelled, I take a risk and ask to be offloaded as I don’t want to get stuck in Nain for indefinite period of time - I have a flight back to St John’s the next day, and then onward to Halifax, Toronto and Montreal. Ordinarily I would not mind being stuck somewhere remote for a day or two, but not today. It’s also no point in trying again tomorrow, as I am scheduled to fly back to St John’s and then onto Montreal via Toronto - so a day’s delay will cause no end of problems down the track.

The ladies behind the counter check my boarding pass again and are about to rip it up when I thankfully stop them and ask them to keep it as a souvenir - the closest I will get to flying Air Labrador - at least for now. I also explain to them that I had flown here just to fly with them and get on the Twotter and there were genuinely disappointed for me. They also offered me an immediate refund to my credit card (which I can confirm happened the very same day). The apologised profusely and wished me well. I could not ask for more - down to earth customer service but it still did little to take away the shock that I would be Twotter-less on this trip to Canada.

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-31 16:09:38 and read 14636 times.

PART TWO - TAKE TWO: MAKING ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS

I head outside to flag down one of the few taxis that is likely to come by. Thankfully I do not have to wait long and one turns up. Another traveller has in the meantime turned up and is standing nearby and she looks like she’s waiting for a taxi too. Now being completely “acclimatised” to the friendliness in this part of the world, I ask her whether she’s waiting for a taxi too and if yes, whether she wants to come in my taxi - who knows when the next one might turn up. She is local. I tell her I am going to the Hotel North which is pretty much on the way to where she needs to go. Once we are enroute, she tells me that she was once stranded in Nain for 2 weeks because the weather was so bad so I begin to feel relieved that perhaps I had a lucky escape today. On the other hand, she also tells me that the approach into Nain is spectacular on a clear day – which really does nothing to help my depressed state of mind!

We bid our farewells and I head back to my room to start planning.

My first task is to call Innu Mikun to cancel my return flight - not knowing what to expect or whether I would be entitled to a refund, I am delighted to be told that a full refund will be provided in the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet seen this applied to my credit card, almost 5 weeks later. I then look at contingency planning. I had wanted to do a couple of multistop flights when I was in Canada and ended up choosing the Twotter. However, I had a back up, involving my favourite Dash 8 and multiple stops, and swung into action. A short time later, I was all booked and feeling much happier - although I could still hear the word “bugger” resonate in my head multiple times in the following hours. The Dash 8 flight will be the subject of an upcoming report.

I now had a day in Goose Bay which I had not planned for, so I decide to take a long walk and get some exercise. I head out and turn right, before crossing over a main road and following the walking path.

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I keep going until I pass along the perimeter of the northerly runway.

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The day turns out to be cool and breezy but thankfully the rain has held off for the time I am outside. The landscape around here is beautiful, so it inspires me to keep going. You really need a car to get around though if you want to cover serious distances.

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I catch another Provincial Saab on very short finals on the way back to the hotel, after a nice 2 hour walk.

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No kidding!

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I end up spending the rest of the afternoon reading, watching a couple of movies, and catching up on my journal. My room has a kitchenette and a small dining table so you can prepare your own food if you want.


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I opt however to head to the Mariners Restaurant at the end of my corridor and settle in for a few beers and a snack. It’s busy but not overly crowded. You can be guaranteed of friendly service - the staff here at the restaurant were lovely.

Looking a little “Wild West”, I bid goodnight to Goose Bay - not the day I had expected.

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Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-31 16:11:02 and read 14636 times.

PART THREE: LABRADOR BACK TO ST JOHN’S

I am up early again the next day - not quite as early as yesterday and at least this morning I have time to have a proper breakfast at the hotel before setting off.

Rather cruelly, Mother Nature has decided to make today a picture perfect blue sky day, in direct contrast to yesterday. However, the wind is still blowing, although it’s not as brisk as yesterday.

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I see these signs as I wait for my taxi (feels a bit like groundhog day) - Yikes!



Taxi arrives, less than 10 minutes later, I am back at Goose Bay Airport. Not a cloud in the sky, and the airport terminal is looking great in the autumn sun.

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There is a bit of activity at the Air Canada Express counters and I am able to check in my bag for my flight to St John’s. To get to St John’s I opted for the “long way” as the friendly check in agent described it, when she saw my PNR.

I would first fly back to Gander, then on to Halifax, both with Air Canada Express, before connecting with Air Canada mainline to St John’s. Aircraft types for today’s “trio” of flights would be B1900D (again!), CRJ200 and EM190.

A trio of boarding passes



Why all the stops? There were more direct options but I really wanted to sample the Air Canada EM190, as the E-jet is one of my favourite jet types. Also the price was the same if I had simply flown the “sane” route: Goose Bay - Gander - St John’s. But I’d already done that the other way and I had never been to Halifax before. The only downside was that this routing required a CRJ200 sector, which I was really trying to avoid. I detest these aircraft with every bone in my neck. They are so uncomfortable for anyone who is taller than 3ft. However the extra stop and the EM190 offset this so I went with it.

Here’s how it looks on the map - going backwards to go forwards!



Being at the airport early again gave me another chance to see the military aircraft in better light, and so managed to capture these shots in glorious sunlight.

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Although still feeling jaded after yesterday’s experience, I felt some strange comfort in hearing the PA when I re-entered the terminal: “Air Labrador Flight 200 is still subject to a weather hold -more information will be provided in 1 hour”.

Well well, it seems that the weather is still playing havoc with Air Labrador’s schedules today, and the winds are still strong along the coast, even though we in Goose Bay were basking in sunshine. It meant that even if I had been able to stay in Goose Bay another day, and tried to do the flight again today, I would have failed again - now that would have been painful.

They did seem to be operating at least one Twotter flight this morning - it was not going to Nain though. This is as close to an Air Labrador Twotter as I got - on this trip anyway.

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I watch it take off - after barely using any runway, it lumbers into the sky, climbing slowly before disappearing out of sight into the big blue sky.

I head through security which is fast and painless and wait for my flight to Gander to be called.

In the meantime, this cute little Dash arrives quite unannounced and it did not park at the terminal. I wondered whether it was on a charter of some kind.

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My Beech arrives on time and I watch it land and taxi to its stand. There is quite a bit of activity on the ground at this point as in addition to the now “usual” Provincial Saab, an Air Canada Jazz CRJ200 has arrived, and it will go to Halifax from here.

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C-GLXV has come from Wabush, and is picking up only a couple of passengers here in Goose Bay, including me, before heading down and across to Gander. The boarding call is made and I am first out on to the ramp and head toward the ugly little Beech for my last B1900D experience in Canada, not without stopping to take a quick snap of my neighbours enroute.

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Here she is up close - getting ready to operate AC7640 to Gander.

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Captain already onboard - note the EVAS titles next to the cockpit windows.

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Today I am in the second last row again - 8B and there are already a handful of passengers who have originated in Wabush. Total passenger load is 9 passengers to Gander.

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We are not full - the seats around me remain empty by the time the door is hauled up and closed. Safety demo is just like two days ago - from the first officer. He tells us flying conditions to Gander are generally good, although it will be bumpy on departure as its still a little windy here.

I get settled and peer out of my window - and have a nice side on view of my most detested plane in the skies.

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Looking forward from Row 8

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LEAVING LABRADOR

We’re ready to go and the props are fired up


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We take off toward the south this morning and given the wind, we seem to climb very rapidly - this little Beech has some spirit for sure!

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Watching our shadow get smaller



Perfect day for flying!



The wide landscapes of Labrador now come into view. There’s no better place to see this than from the seat of an aircraft.

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with the odd road or sign of settlement passing by as we get higher


Lots of waterways and rivers down there


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We continue to climb and head toward Gander, where so far, flying has been smooth. We did experience a few bumps after takeoff, but these were perfectly handled by the folks up front and the flight was passing by very smoothly.

Looking across through the other window.



Leaving the Labrador coastline below

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That is, until we pass into Newfoundland, and suddenly, the weather changes - and there is lots of cloud about.


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Things start to become, shall way, say “bouncy”. From my perspective, this only adds to the fun of flying but the lady in 1A clearly did not agree with my sentiment. After a sustained period of bumps, I hear her retching into the barf bag and thank my lucky stars that she is in row 1 and I am in row 8 ! Yikes! Thankfully no smell permeates down to the rear of the aircraft so I get to continue to enjoy the flight sans vomit smell.

The weather is Gander is much less charitable than it was two days ago - with lots of low grey clouds and rain. We still get some good views though on descent - which commences after just over 1 hour 25 mins after departure. Another long Beech flight!


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I can see the airport which is just above the wing


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The approach is from the north today, and we land on the same runway that Arrow Air DC8 took off from in 1985 (and subsequently crashed). I manage a quick “gulp” remembering this as we bounce all the way down to the runway.



Wheels down - Gander Lake in the background



On the ground

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IT’S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE GANDER

Back where I was two days ago after saying farewell to the crew - I had a quick chat on exiting the plane and again thanked them for a good flight.

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Yes, we have arrived on time

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Welcome (back) to Gander

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Let’s see what the FIDS says about my onward flight to Halifax - and it’s on time.

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I follow pretty much the same routine as I did two days ago and find myself back at the gate area waiting for the CRJ to take me to Halifax. I get another view of my Beech, which is still sitting on the ramp - looking quite forlorn and lonely actually. It however eventually sees some action and takes off before my CRJ arrives.

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The gate area fills up and I know that AC8863 is going to be busy. The online check in/manage my booking function showed me earlier that the flight was destined be almost full. Looks like a pretty good load for Thursday afternoon in September. I see ramp agents getting busy which is a sign that our aircraft is on approach - I spot it on final approach and watch it disappear behind the terminal building. A short time later, the CRJ shows up at the gate. By now, it looks like we’re going to be a little late leaving as the aircraft is just over 5 minutes late arriving.

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I look at the aircraft’s registration (C-GZJA) and realise it’s the same CRJ that was parked next to us at Goose Bay earlier in the day. It seems like the CRJ flew to Halifax, then to Gander to pick me up, and then back to Halifax again.

The boarding call is made for those needing further assistance and those with children, along with all the important people who are loved by Air Canada. I eventually make my way out to the ramp and stop for a quick snap.

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No problems taking pictures here again. Thank you Gander - it is another sweet transit.

As predicted the flight is jammed full. I end up with an elderly seatmate who smells like he has bathed in mothballs. He doesn’t say a word and spends most of the flight sleeping.

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The single cabin crew member makes a welcome announcement or two and tells us that this Montreal based crew are happy to have us onboard this Air Canada flight to Halifax. He then does the same spiel in French. He’s far less intimidating than the “gangster” F/A I had on my flight to St John’s from London, but he’s not far behind! What is with Air Canada and their young male flight attendants my old fuddy duddy mindset says?

There is no welcome from the cockpit crew or any flight information. I do recall however the flight attendant reading out some flight specs before we get going but it’s done in such a garbled fashion that I get next to no information.

There is a very young child onboard (not surprisingly because that’s the norm for me when I fly these days - pick a flight and you can guarantee I get to sit next to the screaming child). This particular child had a nasty cough and spent much of the flight making all kinds of dreadful noises. Thankfully, the seating gods were on my side (for once) and I was a good 5-6 rows behind so I was able to enjoy the flight without any distractions - well, I say “enjoy” in the loosest sense of the word - this IS a CRJ200 after all.

Cabin view

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True to form, I had to perform some kind of contortion with my neck to be able to see out of the low-set window, which thankfully was at least semi-clean.

A flight time to Halifax was announced as 1 hour 20 minutes and following the lengthy multilingual safety demonstration - performed manually by the flight attendant (with a recording), we were lined up and ready to go - using the same runway that we arrived on a couple of hours earlier.

A powerful take off follows and we launch into the grey skies of Gander with a few minor wobbles on climb out.

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Passing over Gander Lake, just after departure

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And soon are above the clouds where there view remained like this until descent into Halifax. The bit of information I did get from the flight attendant was that we would be cruising at 34,000ft.

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Service on this short-ish sector consisted of a complimentary drink and some pretzels. Pretty standard stuff. The flight proceeds smoothly and is uneventful.

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Legroom was OK but not as generous as the Beech!

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I spent most of the flight snoozing or reading, and before long, I feel the aircraft starting its descent. There are no views to be had - which is annoying as this is my first time in Nova Scotia, so I just stare at the low window and wait til we pop out from the clouds. Unfortunately the weather in Halifax is pretty dismal for our arrival.

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But we make a smooth approach to the north westerly runway at Stanfield International Airport.

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Followed by some spray as we rapidly decelerate.

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A short taxi and we’re at our parking stand. By now, the rain is covering the windows. Not a nice welcome to Nova Scotia from my perspective. We don’t have a jetbridge and there is a short walk to the sheltered terminal building entrance. The flight attendant says a half hearted goodbye - and there is still no word from the cockpit. Quite amazing that there was no word at all from them for the entire flight. Quite disappointing. Saying goodbye (and good riddance to the pesky CRJ)!

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I get time for a better angle once under shelter. A ground agent is watching me but just smiles and lets me take my picture without any hassles. Even if the weather is lousy, first impressions on the ground at Halifax are good!

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HALIFAX TRANSIT

I make my way into the main terminal area which is light and airy, and head off to find the lavatorial facilities -not wanting to disturb my neighbour on the flight.

I stop for a quick picture of this Air Canada EM190 arriving but this is not my aircraft for my onward flight to St John’s.

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I move down a couple of gates to gate 18 and spot this WestJet 737-700 getting turned around with full reflection from the watery tarmac - that will be me tomorrow enroute to Montreal. It feels a little weird knowing I’ll be back here in just over 12 hours time.

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Then there is this Air Canada 767-300 which is delayed, and is seen here finally leaving for Toronto Pearson. This one’s dedicated to Marc and FlyingFinn - who both flew on AC 767-300s earlier this year!

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After stopping off to use the facilities and heading to one of the restaurants for an early dinner and pint of beer (with great service from the restaurant staff), I take up a position in the gate area to watch the world go by.

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This vantage point provides me with a good view of the aircraft for my next flight arriving. Here is C-FNAI, which will operate AC104 to St John’s.

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I also get a glimpse of an upcoming trip to YTZ when this gorgeous long Dash 8 arrives. Porter Porter Porter!

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Before moving down to my departure date, I watch this CRJ board for Ottawa and the repeated final calls being made for the flight. They must have made about 10 final boarding calls - in both English and French!

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BACK TO ST JOHN’S

I plonk myself down at my gate, and get comfy before the boarding call is made for AC104 to St John’s. In the meantime, someone from the airport is going around asking survey questions about their experiences at Halifax Airport and whether people have been in transit through Halifax - all the usual airport survey questions. The lady asks me all these questions and also where I am from. I tell her “London” but I think when she ticked her form, she thought I was from London Ontario and not London England! Having said that, I’d like to think my accent gave it away in any case but who knows.

Our flight is due to leave on time and boarding calls are subsequently made. After all the important people have boarded, I head down the jetway toward my first AC EM190 flight. I am feeling a little tired by this time and it’s been a long day. I am welcomed onboard by the senior flight attendant who also looks like she has had a long day - as her hair looks quite dishevelled. Her two other younger colleagues look much smarter and one in particular, has way too much enthusiasm for the time of day - however, it is appreciated and it’s nice to see cabin crew who appear to be enjoying their jobs. This young lady was superb - switched languages in a pinch, helped passengers with queries and carry on luggage and was friendly and courteous every step of the journey.

Here’s the view opposite to where I was sitting in row 25.



By the time the door is closed, the whole cabin looks full. I have a seatmate who looks like a business type - we exchange a short greeting when he sits down but keep to ourselves for the rest of the flight. Again, no word from the cockpit which I find surprising. I spot a Condor D-registered 767 next to us - I had no idea they flew to Halifax. The rain has not stopped though so no clear pictures of our German neighbour sadly.

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We leave on time and depart from the opposite runway to the one I arrived on.

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Goodbye to a soggy Halifax. See you tomorrow morning.

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The low cloud base means it’s only a short time before we’re above the clouds - and by now, the light is fading.

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Some stats for the flight - the Air Canada EM190s each have individual IFE on each seat back - just like on their larger siblings. Flight time to St John’s is just over 1 hour 10 minutes.

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Once we get to our cruising height, we get some nice views of the clouds and the fading sunlight. It’s been a successful day flying wise - all of my flights have more or less been on time and I haven’t missed any of my connections: a much better record than yesterday!

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Legroom on the EM190 is OK: feels only slightly less than on the AC A319.

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Cabin service consists of a drink but no snack. I opt for a Gingle Ale this time. I pass the time reading as it’s now too dark outside to see anything. The cabin crew remain busy throughout serving drinks and it takes them a while to get to my row.

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There’s no messing around and we are soon descending into St John’s. We land from the East this time, and by the time we arrive at our Gate, there is not much else on the ground. Before leaving the plane, I grab one last interior picture as fellow passengers are leaving.

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When it’s time to leave the aircraft, the one particularly enthusiastic crew member is at the door so I single her out to say thank you for a nice flight and wish her all the best. I think she was happy to engage with someone - most of the passengers seemed regular tired travel weary types. The senior crew member was there too to say farewell.

One last glimpse of our aircraft at the gate - where it will overnight, presumably returning to Halifax in the morning.

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That’s it for Air Canada and Air Canada Express for now. I’ll see Air Canada again for the flight back to London from Montreal in just over a week’s time. I head off to find my bag and airport hotel for the night.

I have an early start tomorrow, with WestJet carrying me to Montreal via Halifax and Toronto scheduled to be a B737-700 and B737-600 combo.

WRAP UP

Well, some days you do, some days you don’t. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. Having spent months organising this trip, primarily around the A319 flight and the Twin Otter, I left Labrador empty handed. I think I was in shock for at least 24 hours after it dawned on me that I would not be flying with Air Labrador or Innu Mikun Airlines.

Sadly, as we all know, we can’t control the weather and the airlines in Labrador were right not to operate these services if the winds made flying unsafe. Safety should still be the highest priority in these cases. However, what little interaction I had with Air Labrador was positive and they refunded my ticket immediately. Pretty good customer service and in some way, not getting on the flights made me resolve that I will come back and try again. It’s a great excuse to go back to Labrador and this part of Canada - not that I really need one.

Putting the Twotter disaster in Goose Bay aside, at least all of my Air Canada flights operated without a hitch. It was great to be able to add the AC EM190 to my list of EM190 operators I have flown with. It was also a bonus to add yet another new Beech 1900D to my log and the views enroute to Gander were fantastic. Service onboard the CRJ and EM190 was OK - professional and well delivered. There was only one standout crew member however and she was fantastic. If only Air Canada could clone her - and bottle her energy!

Thanks for reading - please feel free to leave a comment.

OTHER TRIP REPORTS

Ya D'ar Brezhoneg, Yes To Brittany: To UIP With BA (by palmjet Jul 14 2012 in Trip Reports)

Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J (by palmjet Jun 16 2012 in Trip Reports)

A Shiny City Debut: Alitalia's New E-Jet To Milan (by palmjet Jun 12 2012 in Trip Reports)

Going Retro, Chasing The Sun: BA B763 To Cyprus (by palmjet May 21 2012 in Trip Reports)

1 Long Day, 3 Short Virgins: Virgin's New ATR72 (by palmjet Feb 9 2012 in Trip Reports)

The Reindeer Route To Australia In J (by palmjet Dec 15 2011 in Trip Reports)

Flying An Old Lady: Aer Arann To London City (by Palmjet Jul 2 2011 in Trip Reports)

Arctic "Dash" With Wideroe: 2 Days, 7 Stops (pics (by Palmjet Jun 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

"888": 8hrs, 8 Segments On An Aussie Dash 8 (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

Keep Climbing & Don't Stop - 48hr DL Marathon (by Palmjet Dec 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Snow-2-Sun: BA J To Tampa And Beyond (pics) (by Palmjet Dec 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

Iceland Yes, Volcano No, FI451 LHR-KEF (pics) (by Palmjet Oct 9 2010 in Trip Reports)

Ballina Boomerang: Coastal Flying With REX (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 10 2011 in Trip Reports)

Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

The Return: KL E190 TLS-AMS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 28 2010 in Trip Reports)

Baby 737 To Dresden And Back - W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 4 2010 in Trip Reports)

Short Haul Austrian 738(w) VIE-LHR W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 3 2010 in Trip Reports)

Cayo Coco - Havana, Aero Caribbean W/pics (by Palmjet Jul 16 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: 767747
Posted 2012-10-31 18:53:06 and read 14368 times.

Great report, Palmjet!

What a lot of interesting flying you're doing, in really cool places!

Thanks for sharing - great photos. I'd love to visit that part of Canada sometime!

Best,

Matthew (767747)

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-01 01:27:48 and read 14100 times.

Hi Matthew

Quote:
Great report, Palmjet!

What a lot of interesting flying you're doing, in really cool places!

Thanks for sharing - great photos. I'd love to visit that part of Canada sometime!

Thanks for your comments. This part of Canada is only a hop or skip away for you guys in Minnesota - I can highly recommend it! The landscape and people are amazing. Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-11-01 01:50:28 and read 14080 times.

Hello PJ

Great report, too bad things did not work out due to the Air Labrador flight! I know how it feels too see a rare AC dissapearing. I have had the same thing happen with my DC9 in december, and of all aircraft! It's a CRJ200 as well!
AC looks to have great service as usual, Gandar, Halifax and St Johns look nice for spotting as well.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 2):
Then there is this Air Canada 767-300 which is delayed, and is seen here finally leaving for Toronto Pearson. This one’s dedicated to Marc and FlyingFinn - who both flew on AC 767-300s earlier this year!

Any idea on the reg?

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-01 05:22:34 and read 13898 times.

Hi Marc

Quote:
Great report, too bad things did not work out due to the Air Labrador flight! I know how it feels too see a rare AC dissapearing. I have had the same thing happen with my DC9 in december, and of all aircraft! It's a CRJ200 as well!
AC looks to have great service as usual, Gandar, Halifax and St Johns look nice for spotting as well.

Thanks! Yes, it was not a good day at all. Sorry to hear about your DC9 being swapped - it's very frustrating when your travel plans revolve around a particular flight or aircraft type. I hope you get another DC9 chance.

Quote:
Any idea on the reg?

It was too difficult to see it through the grey and rain - but I'll take another look at another picture I took of the aircraft tonight to see if I can make it out.

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2012-11-01 08:37:27 and read 13723 times.

Hey palmjet!

Oh, my! This is more proof of how atrociously poor my memory is. For some reason I thought that you did fly the Twin Otter while in Canada. As I was reading your report (and noticing that you were making it sound like your flight was about to be cancelled) I was thinking to myself "Come on, palmjet, save us the drama, I know the flight took off just fine"... lol

Really sorry to hear about the cancelled flight. That sucks big time, even more so given that this was your main reason for flying to Canada. Well, at least this now gives you another reason to go back one day?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
She asks if I have any luggage and I show her my camera bag. She asks me to put it on the scales and then commences to tag it to Nain before I stop her in mid stroke - telling her that it’s fragile hand baggage! She clearly thinks I wanted to check in my camera. Oh I don’t think so! She smiles when she realises her mistake and wishes me a good flight as she hands over my boarding pass. I am also relieved I don’t have to be separated from my camera!

Haha, what was she thinking? Who in their right mind checks in a camera?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
An empty baggage reclaim belt. I really like the interior of the terminal overall. It feels smart and clean along with being airy and light.

I must say that the airport looks really nice. I love cute little airport like this.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
I could not ask for more - down to earth customer service but it still did little to take away the shock that I would be Twotter-less on this trip to Canada.

Glad to hear that. The last thing you needed would be some poor customer service and a fight to get your money back...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
After a sustained period of bumps, I hear her retching into the barf bag and thank my lucky stars that she is in row 1 and I am in row 8 ! Yikes! Thankfully no smell permeates down to the rear of the aircraft so I get to continue to enjoy the flight sans vomit smell.

Ouch, good thing that she was the only one that vomited at the end. I've heard of a few "chain reaction barfing" horror stories.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
There is a very young child onboard (not surprisingly because that’s the norm for me when I fly these days - pick a flight and you can guarantee I get to sit next to the screaming child).

See, I have the same problem. When in an aircraft it is guaranteed that there would be a kid within a two-seat radius of me. I have tried to use my limited knowledge of faux Greek/Latin to come up with a name for this phenomenon: Paedoproximia Repetitiva Aerii

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Service on this short-ish sector consisted of a complimentary drink and some pretzels. Pretty standard stuff. The flight proceeds smoothly and is uneventful.

That's cool. This is more than what "the evil one" serves on an ORD-SFO segment...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In the meantime, someone from the airport is going around asking survey questions about their experiences at Halifax Airport and whether people have been in transit through Halifax - all the usual airport survey questions. The lady asks me all these questions and also where I am from. I tell her “London” but I think when she ticked her form, she thought I was from London Ontario and not London England! Having said that, I’d like to think my accent gave it away in any case but who knows.

Haha, the funny thing is that even if you had said "Sydney", she may have thought you meant the town a few miles up the coast from Halifax. Did she give you anything in return for your participation in the survey?


Thanks again for a very entertaining read!    Hopefully you didn't suffer any more cancellations while in Canada.


Stojan

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-02 01:38:42 and read 13281 times.

Hi WBR

Quote:
Oh, my! This is more proof of how atrociously poor my memory is. For some reason I thought that you did fly the Twin Otter while in Canada. As I was reading your report (and noticing that you were making it sound like your flight was about to be cancelled) I was thinking to myself "Come on, palmjet, save us the drama, I know the flight took off just fine"... lol

Well I was all set to go and could not believe how it all unfolded. I never expected that to happen. It certainly gives me a reason for going back again. Perhaps you can head to Goose Bay at the same time?

Quote:
Haha, what was she thinking? Who in their right mind checks in a camera?

Well to be fair to her, she did not know it was a camera at first - she just asked me whether I had any luggage at all and given how critical and weight and balance is on this little birds - I just showed her my camera bag. Speaking of checking in camera bags - it actually happened on another flight in Canada on this trip - hopefully a report coming soon!

Quote:
Ouch, good thing that she was the only one that vomited at the end. I've heard of a few "chain reaction barfing" horror stories.

Ugh, that would have been fun (not) but yes, the rest of the passengers seemed to be seasonal B1900D travellers so the rest of the cabin was all fine.

Quote:
See, I have the same problem. When in an aircraft it is guaranteed that there would be a kid within a two-seat radius of me. I have tried to use my limited knowledge of faux Greek/Latin to come up with a name for this phenomenon: Paedoproximia Repetitiva Aerii

    I like it. Perhaps I am inflicted with a similar condition then? I wonder how you catch it? I wish I could find out how to get rid of it.

Quote:
That's cool. This is more than what "the evil one" serves on an ORD-SFO segment...

Oh and I know who you mean by the "evil one" !!!

Quote:
Haha, the funny thing is that even if you had said "Sydney", she may have thought you meant the town a few miles up the coast from Halifax. Did she give you anything in return for your participation in the survey?

Yeah! Too many Sydneys and Londons - makes it all very confusing. Then there was New Glasgow in Nova Scotia too....!

Quote:
Thanks again for a very entertaining read! Hopefully you didn't suffer any more cancellations while in Canada.

Thankfully no more cancellations ! Thanks for all your comments. Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2012-11-02 13:18:01 and read 12960 times.

Hi PJ,

Great continuation of your trip there. Shame about the Twotter though. I've learned myself what it feels like to have purposely booked a trip on a particular type of aircraft, only for things to go wrong.

Looking forward to the next parts.

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-11-03 05:55:05 and read 12665 times.

Excellent report again, thanks for posting!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In all, a multi-stop day trip on two new airlines in a remote part of Canada on a rare-ish aircraft type: what more could an A.netter wish for?

That sounded like a great trip indeed, shame you missed it! I hope your alternative plans did work out!

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-11-03 12:32:10 and read 12554 times.

Hello Palmjet,

One, no, two memorable stories came immediately across my mind while reading this exciting and heartwarming report of yours! The 888 and the Artic!  

Thank you so much for sharing these Canadian travel memories with the special highlights of hospitable, laid back and genuinely caring attitude which surrounded you, like the ladies of Air Labrador:

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
he ladies behind the counter check my boarding pass again and are about to rip it up when I thankfully stop them and ask them to keep it as a souvenir - the closest I will get to flying Air Labrador - at least for now. I also explain to them that I had flown here just to fly with them and get on the Twotter and there were genuinely disappointed for me. They also offered me an immediate refund to my credit card (which I can confirm happened the very same day). The apologised profusely and wished me well.

Customer service at its best!   


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Intra Labrador flights are not subject to a security search and board via Gate 1.

No security? Pinch me!  Wow!


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
There is a mix of passengers –some local Innuit people going home, some workers heading up north and then there’s me – a tourist.

It’s soo you!  


Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
Now being completely “acclimatised” to the friendliness in this part of the world, I ask her whether she’s waiting for a taxi too and if yes, whether she wants to come in my taxi - who knows when the next one might turn up

So many countries, so many (exemplary) customs.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
My room has a kitchenette and a small dining table so you can prepare your own food if you want.

Lovely accommodation! Did you find it through TripAdvisor?

Quoting palmjet (Reply 2):
that Arrow Air DC8 took off from in 1985 (and subsequently crashed)

Ouch! A detail you don’t wish to be reminded of.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 2):
No problems taking pictures here again.

Wonderful!   


Thanks again and have a nice weekend!

Best wishes,
Suryo  

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: reifel
Posted 2012-11-04 06:04:31 and read 12385 times.

Hi and thanks for sharing. Such a pity about the Twin Otter... Good that you made the best out of it. Hope they will be another occasion to get these flights in the future.

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: vsmike
Posted 2012-11-04 09:04:09 and read 12322 times.

Great TR, as always. Thankfully all of your photos are in focus... something that makes other TRs on this site... well, a bit odd & undesirable to read.

I find it strange that Canada has:
- military jets -- why?
- an aviation history -- how?
- the word "international" in some of its airports -- unnecessary.

Can I request, if at all possible, that you provide photos of the young & exuberant Canadienne flight attendant? I do like a little French in my kiss, and a little youth in my flight attendant. Just sayin'...

Bon vol,
VS"int'l"M

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-11-04 16:37:29 and read 12254 times.

Wow. I am beginning to get jealous of your Canadian excursions! Think might head back next year and do NL! Thanks for sharing the report, and look forward to the next one.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-11-05 04:12:14 and read 12186 times.

Hello pj,

Thanks for this most excellent piece once again. Your pics are a joy to watch and your narrative was well put together. But oh boy what a bummer in missing out on your main goal, the Twotter. Good to see you were proactive and booked some replacement flights immediately. I hope they didn't ruin your cc (again)  

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In all, a multi-stop day trip on two new airlines in a remote part of Canada on a rare-ish aircraft type: what more could an A.netter wish for?

Nothing I guess?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It had been dragged here in anticipation for its first flight of the day.

If only you knew...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I watch the Provincial Airlines SF340

That Saab looks huge in comparison to the Twin Otter.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
They also offered me an immediate refund to my credit card (which I can confirm happened the very same day).

That's excellent customer service or perhaps they felt really sorry for you 

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
and have a nice side on view of my most detested plane in the skies.

Come on, it can't be that bad? And I thought that 'Jazz' thing was something of the past but clearly not?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
This particular child had a nasty cough and spent much of the flight making all kinds of dreadful noises.

Thank God for the recycled air inside the plane. You didn't get sick?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I opt for a Gingle Ale this time.

Shouldn't that be a Ginger Ale or a Single Ale  

Sultanils

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-06 04:15:03 and read 12186 times.

Hi J

Quote:
Great continuation of your trip there. Shame about the Twotter though. I've learned myself what it feels like to have purposely booked a trip on a particular type of aircraft, only for things to go wrong.

Looking forward to the next parts.

Thanks for your comments. Yes! You seem to have had some bad luck these recent weeks with your planned flights - although you seem to have been looked after OK by the airlines involved. I am getting round to posting some comments.

Hi roberts87 - thanks for your comments. Yes, it was a shame. I think I may still be in shock. Still, it gives me a chance to go back and try again sometime.

Hi Suryo

Quote:
One, no, two memorable stories came immediately across my mind while reading this exciting and heartwarming report of yours! The 888 and the Artic!

Thanks! You know how I like to fly in places off the beaten track!

Quote:
Thank you so much for sharing these Canadian travel memories with the special highlights of hospitable, laid back and genuinely caring attitude which surrounded you, like the ladies of Air Labrador:

Pleasure. I really enjoyed my time in this part of Canada.

Quote:
No security? Pinch me! Wow!

None! It was incredibly relaxed. How flying used to be I imagine.

Quote:
Lovely accommodation! Did you find it through TripAdvisor?

No, it was mentioned in my Guidebook - and they don't have an online booking service so I had to email the hotel directly and request a room!

Quote:
Ouch! A detail you don’t wish to be reminded of.

I know! Thanks again for your comments.

Hello reifel

Quote:
Hi and thanks for sharing. Such a pity about the Twin Otter... Good that you made the best out of it. Hope they will be another occasion to get these flights in the future.

Thanks for your comments. Ouch - yes I know. A good reason to go back. I am sure they will be flying those Twotters for a while yet.

vsmike - fancy seeing you here again? I thought you had been banned?

Quote:
I find it strange that Canada has:
- military jets -- why?
- an aviation history -- how?
- the word "international" in some of its airports -- unnecessary.

It's for people who have an interest in aviation. I believe the Canadians have taken a leaf out of the US book by trying to call airports international - in the strong hope that they might get some kind of international service..

No pics of said flight attendant - sorry!

Hi Alex

Quote:
Wow. I am beginning to get jealous of your Canadian excursions! Think might head back next year and do NL! Thanks for sharing the report, and look forward to the next one.

Likewise - I need to cover the territory that you did in Canada earlier this year! Thanks for your comments. The next one should be coming soon.

Hi Nils

Quote:
Thanks for this most excellent piece once again. Your pics are a joy to watch and your narrative was well put together. But oh boy what a bummer in missing out on your main goal, the Twotter. Good to see you were proactive and booked some replacement flights immediately. I hope they didn't ruin your cc (again)

Thanks for your detailed comments. It was such a shame. I did end up booking something special (well for me anyway) so it was not all bad. I really want to go back there though some day for the Twotter. The replacement flight was indeed expensive - but hey, you only live once right?  
Quote:
That Saab looks huge in comparison to the Twin Otter.

Yes - agreed!

Quote:
Come on, it can't be that bad? And I thought that 'Jazz' thing was something of the past but clearly not?

I hate the CRJ200. It's awful and cramped - however, I am a fan of the CRJ900 which is a vast improvement. I've not done the CRJ1000 yet. Markus seems to like them though!

Quote:
Thank God for the recycled air inside the plane. You didn't get sick?

No - which was a relief.

Quote:
Shouldn't that be a Ginger Ale or a Single Ale

Well spotted - sorry for the typo! Thanks again all - Pjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: NorthStarDC4M
Posted 2012-11-06 10:37:50 and read 12186 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 16):
Quote:
No security? Pinch me! Wow!

None! It was incredibly relaxed. How flying used to be I imagine.

There are many areas in Canada with no-security on boarding. Even on aircraft the size of 737s (some Arctic destinations).
Pretty much every province outside the maritimes (and they may as well?) has unsecured flights. Airlines like Air Labrador, Air Creebec, Air Inuit, Bearskin Airlines, Calm Air, Perimeter Airways, etc etc operate most if not ALL their flights as non-security clearance. I grew up watching NorOntAir (DHT/DH8) and Austin Airways (HS7, C99, CNA) (later Air Creebec (HS7, DH8, EMB, BEH) and Bearskin (SWM)) flights board out of YTS straight out the door to Thunder Bay, Moosenee, Sudbury, North Bay, and so on...

It's just because the destinations served are so isolated there is no economical way of providing security for so very few passengers.

There were always limitations, I remember clearly Air Creebec passengers being held (25 minutes) because Air Ontario to YYZ was boarding... and they had problems with the door on the Dash 8 on the Toronto flight, and it had to be door closed before the non-cleared flight(s) could be allowed to board, same thing happend if a non-secured flight arrived while a secured one was boarding. Both deplaning was not such a big deal and as I recall can mix?

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: CYP353
Posted 2012-11-06 15:26:17 and read 12186 times.

Hi palmjet,

oh, how I (as a huge Twin Otter fan) looked forward to this part of your trip. And how much I suffered with you as the misery started to unfold! Up to now I've always been lucky with adventures like these (touch wood), riding the Twotter to Barra under blue skies (getting off the island by ferry two days later as there were no flying conditions), and leaving the Scilly Islads on the last flight before weather closed down the airport. Still, thanks to your good photos and informative texts, it was a very enjoyable read and I hope I can visit this part of Canada one day, too!


Thanks a lot for writing it - and good luck next time!

Tis

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-11-07 13:44:18 and read 12186 times.

Hey, J.,

great work again.
Really good to follow more about these unknown parts of Canada.
Such a shame that the Twotter ride doesn´t work at all.
But you never know these days, sooner or later it hit´s everyone.
Ready for the next part now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-08 02:52:22 and read 12186 times.

Hi NorthStarDC4M

Quote:
There are many areas in Canada with no-security on boarding. Even on aircraft the size of 737s (some Arctic destinations). Pretty much every province outside the maritimes (and they may as well?) has unsecured flights. Airlines like Air Labrador, Air Creebec, Air Inuit, Bearskin Airlines, Calm Air, Perimeter Airways, etc etc operate most if not ALL their flights as non-security clearance. I grew up watching NorOntAir (DHT/DH8) and Austin Airways (HS7, C99, CNA) (later Air Creebec (HS7, DH8, EMB, BEH) and Bearskin (SWM)) flights board out of YTS straight out the door to Thunder Bay, Moosenee, Sudbury, North Bay, and so on...

It's just because the destinations served are so isolated there is no economical way of providing security for so very few passengers.

There were always limitations, I remember clearly Air Creebec passengers being held (25 minutes) because Air Ontario to YYZ was boarding... and they had problems with the door on the Dash 8 on the Toronto flight, and it had to be door closed before the non-cleared flight(s) could be allowed to board, same thing happend if a non-secured flight arrived while a secured one was boarding. Both deplaning was not such a big deal and as I recall can mix?

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I experienced a number of flights where there was no security on boarding. This is not confined to Canada either. I am aware of similar practices for some internal flights in NZ too.

Hi Tis

Quote:
oh, how I (as a huge Twin Otter fan) looked forward to this part of your trip. And how much I suffered with you as the misery started to unfold! Up to now I've always been lucky with adventures like these (touch wood), riding the Twotter to Barra under blue skies (getting off the island by ferry two days later as there were no flying conditions), and leaving the Scilly Islads on the last flight before weather closed down the airport. Still, thanks to your good photos and informative texts, it was a very enjoyable read and I hope I can visit this part of Canada one day, too!

Thanks for your comments. Sorry to disappoint - I so wanted to do these flights. I also did the Twotter flight to Barra which went off without a problem. I've not done the Scilly Islands Twotter though. Glad you enjoyed the report in any case. Hopefully I can get back there someday to try again!

Hi Markus

Quote:
great work again.
Really good to follow more about these unknown parts of Canada.
Such a shame that the Twotter ride doesn´t work at all.
But you never know these days, sooner or later it hit´s everyone.
Ready for the next part now.

Thanks for your comments. Yes I know how this can happen to all of us   Hope you are otherwise well?!

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: infodesk
Posted 2012-11-09 04:06:46 and read 12186 times.

Hi Palmjet,

I felt for you so much when reading this report. To think that the very thing you’d planned your trip around didn’t happen, it must have been an awful disappointment for you. I am, however, a firm believer in things happening for a reason, even if it makes no sense at the time. After hearing the story of the lady who was stranded in Nain for 2 weeks, well, imagine what a disaster the trip would have turned into if that had happened to you.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Makkovik, Natuashish

Some rather Inuit sounding names there.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In fact, there is no FIDS in the terminal at all

Is that a record? Don’t think I’ve ever come across an airport without FIDs before.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
They also offered me an immediate refund to my credit card (which I can confirm happened the very same day). The apologised profusely and wished me well.

Such great customer service, they really must have sympathised with your lost cause.

Super landscape shots of your flight to Gander. I also really like the E190 in AC colours- in fact, those birds looks good in any livery.

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-10 11:15:39 and read 12186 times.

Hi Hannah

Quote:
I felt for you so much when reading this report. To think that the very thing you’d planned your trip around didn’t happen, it must have been an awful disappointment for you. I am, however, a firm believer in things happening for a reason, even if it makes no sense at the time. After hearing the story of the lady who was stranded in Nain for 2 weeks, well, imagine what a disaster the trip would have turned into if that had happened to you.

Thanks for your comments. I also believe that things happen for a reason. It gives me a perfect excuse to go back soon! It was very annoying on the day though. Ugh. Yes, I think if I had been stranded in Nain, it would have sent all of my other plans in Canada into turmoil. That would have been worse I think.

Quote:
Some rather Inuit sounding names there.

Yes! There are some more coming up in the next report too...

Quote:
Is that a record? Don’t think I’ve ever come across an airport without FIDs before.

I haven't been an airport with no FIDS since I was in outback Queensland back in March 2011! Pretty rare these days not to have one - especially as Goose Bay seems to get a regular flow of flights each day.

Quote:
Such great customer service, they really must have sympathised with your lost cause.

I think they thought I was weird at first when I told them my story - but they were genuine and the immediate refund was carried out as promised. Cant ask for more than that.

Quote:
Super landscape shots of your flight to Gander. I also really like the E190 in AC colours- in fact, those birds looks good in any livery.

Thank you! It's a lovely part of the world. I also think the E190 looks good in any colours!

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-11-13 08:03:55 and read 12186 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Another great adiition to your Canada series. Very entertaining with many nice and clear pictures  
Such a shame you missed out on the Twotter, especially that being one of the main purposes for your trip. But you cant do much about the weather unfortunately.
Looks like you had some more nice flights with AC, nothing all too special though.
Quite surprised to see an AC and Condor 767 at Halifax!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-13 09:40:57 and read 12186 times.

Hi Brendan

Quote:
Another great adiition to your Canada series. Very entertaining with many nice and clear pictures
Such a shame you missed out on the Twotter, especially that being one of the main purposes for your trip. But you cant do much about the weather unfortunately. Looks like you had some more nice flights with AC, nothing all too special though. Quite surprised to see an AC and Condor 767 at Halifax!

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed. Yes, nothing you can do about the weather especially when booked on a small aircraft like the Twotter! Air Canada were fine on the other sectors - nothing overly special is pretty accurate. They got me from A to B on time in relative comfort.

Yes, I was surprised seeing the Condor 767 more than the Air Canada 767 at Halifax - AC operates a year round service to LHR from there using the 767 and I believe the 767 I spotted was actually doing LHR - YHZ - YYZ so it had arrived from London before I got to Halifax and was picking up passengers for the hop to Toronto.

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-11-14 02:15:11 and read 12187 times.

Nice report...shame thing didn't work out though.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
These airports are so small that Natuashish isn’t even recognised on Great Circle Mapper but this is approximately what the route looks like.

Ooh, cool route! I'd love a flight on the Twotter.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
She asks if I have any luggage and I show her my camera bag. She asks me to put it on the scales and then commences to tag it to Nain before I stop her in mid stroke - telling her that it’s fragile hand baggage! She clearly thinks I wanted to check in my camera. Oh I don’t think so! She smiles when she realises her mistake and wishes me a good flight as she hands over my boarding pass. I am also relieved I don’t have to be separated from my camera!

Ha, how big is your camera bag if she thought it should go in the hold!?

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
The apologised profusely and wished me well. I could not ask for more - down to earth customer service but it still did little to take away the shock that I would be Twotter-less on this trip to Canada.

Such a shame. Can't be good business for them if they somtimes have to cancel for 2 weeks....all thatn lost money....

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The only downside was that this routing required a CRJ200 sector, which I was really trying to avoid. I detest these aircraft with every bone in my neck. They are so uncomfortable for anyone who is taller than 3ft

I completely agree...horrible little aircraft.

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: ghYHZ
Posted 2012-11-14 03:22:04 and read 12189 times.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 23):
Quite surprised to see an AC and Condor 767 at Halifax!

Hi Brendan………I see you’re from the Netherlands…… then you would have really been surprised a few years ago as Halifax had scheduled KLM 747-400 service. An AMS-YHZ-YOW flight. In later years, the route was operated by Martinair using a 767.

CP Air (later Canadian) also had an YHZ-AMS route:


[Edited 2012-11-14 03:27:29]

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-11-23 13:32:30 and read 12101 times.

Hello Palmjet!

Another nice read of your Canada trip. Shame the weather ruined your Twotter plans, but the Air Labrador personnel seemed to be apologetic, and service minded as well with the immediate refund.
Good to see more nice experiences with AC and AC express as well.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
the Air Canada EM190s each have individual IFE on each seat back

Impressive to see that on such a bird. But I guess they operate some quite long flights.

Martin

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-12-11 03:18:59 and read 11366 times.

Hi Gab

Quote:
Nice report...shame thing didn't work out though.

Thanks for your comments. Yes - sometimes things just dont go to plan!

Quote:
Ooh, cool route! I'd love a flight on the Twotter.

These types of routes seem to be so rare these days - especially with Twotters!

Quote:
Ha, how big is your camera bag if she thought it should go in the hold!?

It's not very big at all ! I think she was just on auto pilot as most people seem to have a lot of stuff to check in for those flights.

Quote:
Such a shame. Can't be good business for them if they somtimes have to cancel for 2 weeks....all thatn lost money....

Yes - although I have no idea what their costs are like.

Hi Gary/ghYHZ

Quote:
CP Air (later Canadian) also had an YHZ-AMS route

I had no idea CP flew to AMS from YHZ! Thanks for that.

Hi Martin

Quote:
Another nice read of your Canada trip. Shame the weather ruined your Twotter plans, but the Air Labrador personnel seemed to be apologetic, and service minded as well with the immediate refund.
Good to see more nice experiences with AC and AC express as well.

Thanks for your comments. Yes it was a positive experience with Air Labrador - despite the weather. I'll have to try again to do this flight in the future.

Quote:
Impressive to see that on such a bird. But I guess they operate some quite long flights.

They do indeed!

Thanks again - Palmjet

Topic: RE: To Twotter Or Not? Air Labrador & Air Canada
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-12-26 03:53:07 and read 10556 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 16):
they don't have an online booking service so I had to email the hotel directly and request a room!

Aha! Going retro again?   


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