Hello fellow a.net people, Nik is back in the New Year with a trip report on WS.
Leg one - Outbound
December 27, 2007
WS732, Boeing 737-700
Depart/push 0900MST (actual 0911)
Arrive/shut down 1222CST (actual 1235)
Seat 5F (a first! I have NEVER been seated on the right-hand side of an airplane before!)
I had been anticipating this trip for over 2 months now, as I had booked the trip in October. Basically, it was my vacation from reality for 9 days (I had earned it) and it was well overdue.
Check in was simple: point, click, set, match, done. I had checked in the night before using web check-in, and had printed off my boarding pass quite quickly. Headed over to the web check-in bag drop-off desk and simply left my luggage there, hoping it would catch up with me in Winnipeg.
After leaving my baggage at the desk, I decided it was breakfast time and headed over to the local Tim Horton's (for those who have been to or through Calgary, it was the Tim Horton's near A-concourse, near the huge windows overlooking the ramp). However, since the debit Gods were not on my side that day, I decided to go get some cash (why Tim's at YYC never get debit machines is a mystery to me).
After breakfast, it was time to go through security. Granted, it was an hour before the flight was expected to even push, but I have found ways of keeping myself entertained. CATSA was simple: take off your jacket, take off belt, take off wallet and ensure there are no coins. Place carry-on baggage (side-bag and camcorder for me) into bucket and let the good times roll!
After clearing security, headed off to the end of the concourse, where my gate was. Now, this is at the way end of the concourse. It is quite interesting to see some of the flights that arrive at 8:00AM (Skyservice A320, Air Transat A330, the United 737 that was probably going to either DEN or ORD) in comparison to the usual AC/WS traffic during the day.
After kicking some ass in Simpsons pinball at the D-concourse Flippers (and blowing $10 in quarters doing so), it was about time to head off to the gate. Pre-boarding was called around 8:40 and general boarding was called around 8:50. I was one of the first to board.
After finding my right-hand side, window seat (the most coveted if you are departing to the north off of 34, as you get the best terminal views), I feared that the middle seat would be taken and my dreams of being able to stretch out and relax would be dashed. Nope, not exactly. My seat partner for the next two hours would be occupying the aisle, leaving the middle seat open wider than the doors at a 24/7 Wal-Mart super-center.
So, as 9:00 came and past, I was still wondering why 1L was still open, and why the baggage loader ramp car was still against the aircraft. The Captain, Ria, came over the intercom and explained that the rear cargo door was broke-dick and that it would be a little while before we kick the tires and light the fires, so to speak.
FINALLY! At around 9:10, the doors were shut, the safety demonstrations were given in both official languages, English and French, and we finally got both engines started.
I was thinking we were gonna haul ass off of 16, but when we turned left on "Charlie" before "Charlie 8" I knew we were expecting 34 for departure.
After about 4 or 5 minutes, we turned onto 34, turned on the power and accelerated into the sky, Winnipeg, here I come!
Cruise was the typical "sit back, relax, enjoy PTV" and usual, friendly WestJet service. Even my request to see the flight deck after landing was granted. As a snack, I got cookies, coffee and Twizzlers (read my last WS trip report to understand why I chose it). Pretty freaking good for two bucks if you ask me.
Anyway, as we descended into YWG, I noticed the difference between Calgary and Winnipeg: I could see almost NO green ground; it was all snow. For a minute, I could barely distinguish the clouds from the ground, it was so white.
After a quick descent from FL390, we touched down on 13 and taxied quickly to the gate. After booking it out of my seat, I quickly realized I forgot my MP3 player. I got back to seat 5F, grabbed my MP3 player, and was invited into the flight deck. After a quick chat with Kevin (first officer) and Captain Ria, it was time to head off. Met Brittany (girlfriend) again and headed off for my vacation.
Well, as many will say, time flies, and so do vacations. Before I knew it, it was time for moi to head home.
Leg two - inbound
January 5, 2008
WS515, Boeing 737-600
Depart/push 1600CST (actual 1603)
Arrive/shut down 1705MST (actual 1701)
Basically, did the opposite of my arrival: kissed the girlfriend so-long for another 5 months, checked in, passed through security. Nothing out of the ordinary in that perspective.
Essentially, boarding was a little late (1545 vs. 1530) and was completely full. I also noticed that instead of the usual 700 series, it was a 600 (absence of winglets, since WS did not install winglets on the 600 series). Irony was, after YYC, the flight was heading to YQQ, home of another WS worshipper. (Weird, eh, Carson?)
The sucky thing, I will admit about this flight, was that A: I was stuck way in the back, row 20 and B: when I went to change the channel of my PTV, it broke right in front of me. Lovely, out of over 100 passengers, I am the only one with a broken PTV. Oh well, lighten up, Frances.
After a quick push and start, our Captain, Greg and our First Officer, Peter, got us off of 18 quite quickly.
Like in my past trip report with QK (Jazz), the back row offers NO recline whatsoever, and has slightly less legroom as I noticed before (although comparing a CRJ with a 737 is like comparing a smart-car with a sedan in comparison to leg room sometimes).
Service was just like the flight out: friendly and courteous. I got a Pepsi, some cookies, and a parade of buttocks slapping against my right arm as many-a-passenger needed to use the lav on this flight (great, I didn't realize the lav was right behind me until AFTER 5 or 6 backsides rubbed my arm).
Descent into Calgary was bumpy. To cure my slight fear of turbulence (if you've ever seen that shitty Ray Liotta movie featuring the aileron-rolling 747, you'll understand, even though I doubt our 737 could bank over 45Â°, let alone roll over on its back), I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and just enjoyed the rocking and rolling as we barreled through the sky at 300 miles an hour.
Finally, after about 20 minutes of being battered by the turbulence, we finally touched down ala the Hokey-Pokey (you put your left wheel up, you bring your right wheel down, slam your nose gear on and you shake it all about...). It took about 5 minutes to taxi off of 28 (landing runway) to our gate.
Shut down was a little early, but de-boarding took a bit because for some reason mis-communication occurred and the YQQ passengers had to change to another plane. Finally, after a few minutes, the doors were opened, I thanked Peter and Greg and I headed off to baggage claim to get my checked luggage.
After 10 minutes or so of waiting, I finally got my luggage, I headed off to the car and headed home. After 9 days, my vacation ended (for now) and will re-commence in June.