A quick turn around to YVR for a meeting on a long weekend. The odds of the airport being as quiet as it was were beyond low.
Checked in on line and headed to the airport's long term parking. (Don't forget to print your coupon for 20% off at the GTAA website).
FlightAware showed the flight being on time, so I headed to the lounge for a quick caesar. I've documented my caesar making skills in a prior TR. A couple good magazines were taken for the ride.
Quick and smooth boarding with no delays. There was a bunch (10 - 12) people who boarded right at the end so there must have been a late connection somewhere.
The departing gate was as per usual at the end of the domestic terminal.
Neighbor Embraer headed for Edmonton.
View from my seat...
Seat pitch in C on the 319. New seats and new interior.
Leg room - not bad for C, I'll take the 4" less on legroom.
Mexicana going to... Mexico (?).
T3 was very quiet for a long weekend. Air Transat the Canadian charter, probably going way down south.
T3 was very very quiet...
Air Canada Jetz livery... sometimes used for NHL team transport.
Never seen "Flair" before...
Somewhere over nowhere on takeoff...
Nice farm land and nice cloud formations during climb.
Guess what didn't work? Maps! I read on FlyerTalk that there are some working maps out there... last 2 years I am up to approx 60 flights on AC with no maps...
Nice coast line somewhere near Georgian Bay probably...
I was very hard on AC in my previous TRs for the catering in C. As promised here are some pics. Drinks were served after take off. No hot nuts, just a package of almonds.
Appetizer served with warm bread. Spinach salad was ok, slightly on the small size.
Choices were either salmon or chicken with pasta. I chose the salmon, I have had bad luck with the chicken. The salmon was not bad. 3.5 out of 5 points... Slightly dry but definitely better than anything I had on the recent YYZ - FRA legs.
Coffee was served in the usual Second Cup (Canadian version of Starbucks). Later on there was a cookie and ice cream service but I passed on both accounts.
Approach into the rockies.
More rockies... no bumps, nice and smooth ride.
Getting into Vancouver from the south.
Stanely Park in Vancouver
Final into YVR on XX L
Smooth landing and long run off, the airport was also quiet.
Easy de-planing and no immigration to speak of...
--------------------------------------- Hotel ---------------------------------------
I stayed at the Westin on Robson St.. I had a 30th floor executive room, the hotel is really quite new and other than 2 insufficient elevators for a 31 floor hotel it is great.
After some sushi and some meetings it was time for the 9:10am flight back to YYZ. I printed up my boarding pass at the airport on the kiosk.
Air Canada how has a "priority" security lane at YVR similar to FastTrack. I wanted to test it out. The agent complied with my request and even remarked that she could recognize I was Elite on the boarding pass (it was nice to see that there was some sort of training). The regular line wasn't that long but it probably saved me 30 seconds... better than 0 seconds.
With not much time before boarding and YVR under construction, I grabbed a quick banana in the lounge and went to find my gate through the renovation maze.
Airside view of YVR through some new walk way's window.
Different view from different window, old AC livery.
Our 777 is in the background, WestJet in the foreground.
YVR is trying to look all FRA like with its renovation and temporary walkways...
Our 777 which has just serviced the Sydney / Vancouver run.
Our gate, orderly boarding, I think I was 1st on...
Mood lighting during boarding... the purser opened all the screens in C class so I guessed either it was time for marketing or safety demo.
Flight deck was open during boarding, I was tempted to go closer to take some photos. Decided not to, maybe next time.
Leg room... lots of it.
Safety demo was on the screens...
There was even the new C class seat in the demo, which I hadn't seen on either the ERJ or Airbus demos... I guess it makes sense but not everything at AC makes sense...
Even the exterior is under construction at YVR.
There was a "compass" painted on the ground, I had never seen this anywhere else. Has anyone see it somewhere else?
Taking off with the mountains in the background.
Startup smoke / condensation?
Takeoff sequence with YVR, rockies and the city...
There were problems with the IFE (no surprise!) during the safety demo, which then lead to the usual black screen of death / reset.
Once things got going... the map was still down!
One nice thing on this version of the software is that the played displayed the time to destination. Odd that they wouldn't put it in as a placeholder for the map but a nice feature. I can now avoid starting a movie with only 40 minutes to destination...
To follow up on C catering with AC, since the flight left at 9:10am breakfast was to be served. Nice warm bread with choice of jams along with fruit to start.
Choices were pancakes (looked good) or omelet with sausage, I went with the latter.
Left over amenities from the Syndey flight? I snagged the temple relief and last tube of eye cream...
The infamous cookies and ice cream served during the flight.
Our descent was delayed due to weather and single runway use in YYZ. The wind and on time departure made us early even with the 15 minute air slowdown.
Selection of weather during descent.
Coming over the water into Oakville / Mississauga area...
Over the 401 highway.
Final resting place of the Air France that had slid off the highway. I flew on the day of the incident (got returned to PHL) and on the one year anniversary (also bad weather).
Thrust reverse - one of my favorite pics of all time!
Lots of AC near the hangar... everything from DH8 to 777.
Skyservice, another Canadian charter. I think it is Skyservice but it could be Sunquest as I can't recognize the livery from this angle.
NWA taking off...
Three flag carriers at T3 (BA, KLM and AF)
Domestic baggage claim.
For all the Feist fans out there, the scene of the infamous 1, 2, 3, 4 video walkway dance.
Some photos from the air train platform at T1.
All in all another pair of solid AC flights. The catering was better than the YYZ - FRA disaster that I had the pleasure of enjoying last time.
This week starts my YYZ, YOW, YUL, YXE, YVR, YYC, YEG, YQR, YWG 2 week run. I think it is 11 or 12 flights in 16 days... All the flights are on AC except a YYZ - YUL on Porter. Should be an interesting time and I'll be sure to post either the longest TR ever a bunch of single ones.
Let me know if you have any requests (I'll try to capture all the lounges for starters - YQR is like a closet!).
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 503 posts, RR: 8 Reply 2, posted (5 years 22 hours ago) and read 14581 times:
Thanks again for a very informative TR about AC. You picked a great weekend to be at Vancouver.
Another great place to stay, is the Listel Hotel, at the other end of Robson St (West) nearer Stanley Park. It features O'doul's restaurant and quite a nice jazz bar.
The catering from YVR-YYZ seemed to be pretty good. AC just does not seem to make a great effort in the catering up front, although as you say, domestice seems to be better than International. I am neither a frequent flyer nor can I afford to travel in C or J, however I have noted that domestice flights in Y seem to be better and the F/A's more attentive. I really could care less whether or not the booze on overseas flights is complimintary or not, I like to have a couple of gins before my meal, and that seems to be an impossibility on the Transatlantic flights, either Eastbound or Westbound. As I say, I certainly don't mind paying for the drinks, I just want a couple of them before my meal. They have tons of time on these flights, even from YYZ at least 6.5 or 7 hours. They just never seem to be able to get it right.
I would also think that the flight 34 meal service in C from YVR-YYZ would be a little more elaborate. The reason I say this, of course, is that it is a continuation of a long Trans-Pacific flight. I don't know if it is because the majority of travellers are upgrade status or what, but from what I read on these TR's Air Canada is sadly lacking in an elaborate, polished type of international J service compared to other carriers. About a year or so ago, one British traveller who made a trip to/from Canada on AC in J actually commented that the service might be a embarrassment to Canadians, and I tend to agree with him. I did travel in J a couple of years ago, and it was no flaming Hell, and I can't say much more for the international Y service either.
I travelled in Y last summer YVR-YUL-YVR. Neither of the 763's I was on was XM'd, but that is really of no importance to me. I bring my own entertainment anyway. What did impress me, was that on both flights, there were 2 complete services of BOB and drinks, and plenty of attentiveness in between. The fact that I could purchase a couple of cocktails, then purchase a decent sandwich was great. I wish the international service would take some lessons from the domestic! I am by no means a fussy traveller, I travel that seldom that whether I am in J or Y matters little to me. I enjoy the flight and having my own entertainment. If I do complain about a service, such as International Y, then I would say something is really wrong with it.
My overseas trip next year will probably be either by KLM or British Airways.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
Eskzoo From Canada, joined Jan 2008, 61 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (5 years 22 hours ago) and read 14553 times:
Quoting AY104 (Reply 2): I would also think that the flight 34 meal service in C from YVR-YYZ would be a little more elaborate.
I agree... some sort of snack with the ice cream would be much appreciated. To put it into context you take off at 9:10am local time and land just before 16:00 local time. All that you've eaten is breakfast and a cookie.
I was starving, so during descent I asked for some nuts and got a can of Pringles and nuts from the back.
I agree that the Y product is good overall. The C is nothing great compared to other world carriers.
Also there is no way that the "Executive First" should be called a "First" anything product. It is business class at best with excellent seats. The service, food, drink selection, lounge access, mileage, amenity kit or anything is different than the C product.
Considering I booked a YYZ - FRA - PRG return in October for $2,800 - neither is the price!
Triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 679 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 22 hours ago) and read 14541 times:
Quoting Eskzoo (Thread starter): Flight deck was open during boarding, I was tempted to go closer to take some photos. Decided not to, maybe next time.
You should have asked an f/a if you could go in the cockpit. I don't know what the rules are on the Canadian carriers now, especially after 11 September. Usually on the American carriers, you can go in there when the plane is at the gate. I flew Canadian Airlines LAX-YVR-HKG in 2000, and was allowed to go in the cockpit during both flights, a 737-200 and a 747-400.
C172Akula From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 979 posts, RR: 5 Reply 9, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13517 times:
I'm pretty sure the compass you saw painted on the ground in YVR is a Compass Rose. They use them to recertify compass' in aircraft when they are due. Pretty much just line the plane up with the direction on the ground and take the compass reading, as some compass' may be off a couple of degrees. I remember in our little flight school cessna's the compass correction card would fit in right under the compass proper.
Roger I definitely will: here is the routing for my trip (All AC)...
May 23 - YYZ to YOW
May 25 - YOW to YYZ
May 26 - YYZ to YOW & YOW to YYZ
May 28 - YYZ to YUL (Porter)
May 31 - YUL to YYZ
June 2 - YYZ to YQR
June 5 - YXE to YWG
June 6 - YWG to YYZ
June 8 - YYZ to YEG
June 9 - YEG to YYC
June 10 - YYC to YVR
June 14 - YVR to YYZ
and on June 17 - YYZ to PRG (OK)...
So 14 flights in 3 weeks! For me it is a record by far!
Eskzoo From Canada, joined Jan 2008, 61 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (4 years 12 months 6 hours ago) and read 12588 times:
Quoting ThereAndBack (Reply 13): The C seats look nice except how do you see out the windows? Is it easy or do you have to get into an uncomfortable position?
I like to try to get the seats in row 6 or the last row of the 2nd cabin as there is additional storage behind the seat. Those seats have the worst windows for viewing anything especially in takeoff and landing mode. Once you recline it is good or average...
Quoting Davescj (Reply 14): BA in international J is the same, bar cart and packet of Macadamia nuts. In F, it is drink with nuts on a dish, not warmed there either.
On YYZ to FRA in business on AC the nuts were served in a dish and hot... on LH from FRA to PRG same thing... 40 minute flight.