Hello everyone out there in A.net land. Nik here with the long-awaited trip report about my trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba to visit the girlfriend. Well, here it is! Read it and enjoy!
The trip report:
June 28-July 3, 2007
My journey started at home: bags were packed, friends were all up and giddy because I was going east to meet my girlfriend for the first time in a while (while to me means 2+ years).
I had everything set up: my Tracer carry-on and checked baggage were all packed, I had a few packs of gum and I was all set. My dad suggested web check-in, but since I didn't want to fret about printing the passes and such, I elected to check myself in at the airport. Plus, the ticket jackets are just so cool to collect.
Check-in: it was easy. Walk up to desk, state your name, number, reason for travel and where you're off to, put your checked baggage on the weigh scale, and shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about.
After check-in, it was time to go get dinner at Taco Time, hang around Spaceport and just cruise. At 17:55, I was at D-Concourse security checkpoint and I was ready to go.
Security was ALSO a breeze. No SSSS, but I did get beeped, because I went through the machine too fast. Other than that, no issues, no problems, no worries.
June 28, 2007
Departure gate: D50
ETD: 18:45 MDT
ATD: 18:44 MDT
ETA: 21:34 CDT
ATA: 21:30 CDT
Arrival gate: B (that's it. B.)
Cruising altitude: FL400 (40,000 feet)
Cruising speed: About 500 miles an hour
Takeoff runway: 10
Landing runway: 36
First Officer: Ian
Flight attendant serving me: John
Well, it was the usual good WS quality service. After the boarding announcement at 18:25, I was third in line. Pulled out the driver's license, got aboard and took my seat behind the wing.
The flight attendants were funny, attentive and caring. I had walked along the jet-way with one of them, I had asked if I could talk to the pilots afterward, and they naturally said yes (I was naturally excited). So I took my seat on the leathery grey seat and said hello to my home for the next hour and thirty minutes.
After the (rather funny) demonstration from the attendants, I sat back and watched the plane push back from D50 and push facing southward. We taxied along the taxiways at YYC for about 3-4 minutes, while Ian briefed us on our flight length, altitude, speed and such.
About 6 minutes after push, we line up with 10, Ian comes on and says, "Here we go, folks" and unleashes the power of the twin CFM-6 engines. I'm guessing the roll was about 20 seconds and then...we were airborne.
We got up to 10,000 pretty quickly, and we were level at 400 about 20 minutes after departure. I'm guessing we were somewhere over southeast Alberta.
I didn't get the BOB service tonight, but I did get the complimentary cookies and Pepsi. After the Pepsi, I got coffee about an hour later. During the downtime, I chatted with the two nice ladies sitting beside me, watched a couple episodes of The Office and fingered through the Calgary Sun.
About an hour and ten minutes after being airborne, it was time to return to Earth. We began our descent probably around 9:00-9:10 Central Time, somewhere near Brandon. I couldn't tell, but I knew we were following the Trans-Canada tonight. The weather was amazing, making the approach into YWG smoother than a baby's bottom (not that I've felt one).
We came in low over Winnipeg, turned north for approach, dumped flaps quickly and then touched down fairly smoothly on 36. Turned off after about 20-30 seconds and shut down at gate "B" (I will never understand why they use letters instead of numbers) about five minutes early. I was impressed. The only thing that annoyed me was that there was a minor discrepancy that delayed us from getting off the plane until 9:36, but they soon explained that it was a gate error.
The real treat was seeing the flight deck. I talked with Tara the Captain and Ian the First Officer, who kind of looked liked my driving instructor, only friendlier and really loved his job. Got a picture of the flight deck (which I will post later in the pictures section).
I got my checked baggage, kissed and hugged the girlfriend (Brittany, and yes A.net, I DO have a girlfriend) and I was on my way. It was the start of a grand vacation.
Itinerary of trip:
Camping at Delta Beach
Breakfast with friends
The Forks/The Forks Mall
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (surprisingly good movie)
Helped re-kindle a relationship
Friend's house (saw tornado)
Pizza Hut craziness
More time at friend's house
However, as a great man once said: all good things come to an end.
July 3, 2007, today, was basically the day where my girlfriend and I, after 4 full days with each other, had to say goodbye. It was hard, and it was painful (sort of like my last trip to the dentist combined with a swift kick in the nether-region), but it had to happen.
So, after having breakfast, getting my stuff all packed together and saying goodbye to the girlfriend's mom and grandmother, we were off. However, we stopped by another friend's house, picked her up, went to Tim Horton's in Portage La Prairie and then headed off to Winnipeg.
We arrived at YWG by 16:00, checked in and that was also easy: walk up to desk, put baggage on belt, there you go. No worries, no problems, no delays.
After killing time at the observation deck thing, the arcade and the bookstore, I decided it was time to go through security. Security was the same in YWG: belt, chains and coins out, no beeping, we're good.
July 3, 2007
Departure gate: H (Why not numbers, like 1, 2, 3? Much easier to understand)
ETD: 18:00 CDT
ATD: 17:56 CDT
ETA: 19:01 MDT
ATA: 19:09 MDT
Arrival gate: D50 (is that weird or what)
Cruising altitude: FL410 (41,000 feet)
Cruising speed: About 520 miles an hour
Takeoff runway: 36
Landing runway: 16
Captain: Guy (Think Guy Fawkes)
First Officer: Harland
Flight attendant serving me: Couldn't tell
It was the same service on the way back as it was on the way there: quick, friendly and funny. During boarding, I talked with a deadheading F/O about the job, his life and the way things were going, and he said come talk to me if you get bored. I gratefully accepted his offer but soon had to go and get onto the plane.
Got onto the plane, was greeted by Harland, the F/O that looked like a thinner, zitless me, and the flight attendant that would serve me later. Got into my front-end seat, sat down and prayed the middle seat remained open. No such luck today, as a businessman travelling to Edmonton made himself comfy in the middle seat. No worries, he was nice and talkative.
Pushed back four minutes early, got started up, and the safety demo was performed while we pushed back. Taxi was quick; saw a 5X 757-200 sitting on the cargo ramp, some FX jets and an NW Airbus taxi onto 36. We waited about 10 seconds for said Airbus to depart, and we were on our way.
This time, I had cash to spare, so I decided to get a thing of Twizzlers. Now, instead of the small packs you would expect to get, for $2, you get a HUGE bag (once again, pictures at the end of the trip report. If you really are THAT impatient, scroll down and look at the pictures, if they are not there, have more patience). Other than that, it was basically the same complimentary drinks and cookies.
Watched Frasier, Jeopardy and The Simpsons to kill time, and thumbed through my pictures. Took a few of the return flight, since the outgoing flight was darker and I couldn't get proper light.
So after about an hour and forty minutes, we began our descent into YYC. Cabin was cleaned up, and we were on our way down. We came in from the northeast, flew over Airdrie, flew parallel to the Deerfoot for a bit and touched down on 16. We passed a cargo 727 and a Central Mountain Air Beech 1900 on the way in. We taxied off of 16 and pulled into gate D50 a little late, but nothing bad.
After that, headed downstairs, got the baggage and headed home. Solid end to a good trip.
Thanks for taking the time to read this TR.
NOTE: pictures will be posted in a separate posting.