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My First Longhaul: AC ZRH-YYZ-YYC  
User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1389 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8541 times:

Okay guys and gals, I try myself on a first trip report. So apologies that it's probably not among the better ones on a.net!
Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pics during the trip, so it's an all-text report!

So my first ever long haul trip taking me to western Canada was about to start the morning of June 4th, 2008. My alarm clock called me out of sleep at 6 am, shortly followed by my cell phone alarm, as I always make double sure I won't oversleep on travel days. After I had a light breakfast of a croissant and OJ in my apartment in northwestern Zurich, I headed to the next bus stop where I met with my girlfriend who accompanied me on that trip. Bus No 80 and the S2 train service took me to ZRH in no time and we headed to AC's counters in check-in 2. The line at the counter wouldn't have been that long, if the agents had actually been working, but they were much too preoccupied to chat with each other and tell some jokes, so we waited almost 20 min with only two pax in front of us  thumbsdown . After having checked in for both the ZRH-YYZ and the YYZ-YYC legs, and having our frequent flier numbers attached to our itinerary, I proceeded to the AC ticket counter to get a printout of my e-ticket as my (very stupid and incompetent SBB-) travel agent didn't send me a itinerary with my travel documents. This resulted in being a good idea, as I then saw that my return flight has changed (I had already guessed that as the AC website didn't show my originally confirmed flight number any more)!

The downstairs emigration counters were almost empty and so we were roaming the airport shopping as we had another hour to kill before boarding time. Finally, we made our way to the skymetro to the E gates, where our flight was departing. About 10 min wait at security and we were in the lounge at the gate.

1st leg:
ZRH-YYZ
AC 879
Boeing 767-300ER, new colours
June 4th, 2008
STD: 1000 CET // ATD: 0955 CET
STA: 1255 EST // ATA: 1250 EST
Seat 32K

Boarding started on-time, and we were off-block 5 minutes early. After a short wait at runway 14, we were off to our transatlantic journey. Routing took us north to LUX-BRU, then a to the west to LON, again north to Glasgow were we finally turned west to our transoceanic routing which led about 150 mi S of KEF, over the southernmost tip of Greenland and Goose Bay to Toronto. Soon we recieved our first drink service, followed by lunch about two hours into the flight. There was a choice between chicken and lamb, and both my girlfriend and me took the chicken, as I'm not confident enough with airline catering to take lamb there... It was accompanied by spaetzle, some veggies, a bread roll, a salad of green beans, and a cherry cake as dessert. While the dessert and the salad were rather good, the chicken with spaetzle were tasteless. However, it was filling which was good as I already got very hungry at the time lunch was served.

Shortly afterwards, I started to watch "There Will Be Blood" on the enRoute IFE system, which worked fine during that flight. However, the AC headsets are rubbish, even my own 4,50-Euro-Headphones work better there (unfortunately, I only figured that out on the return when one side of my AC-headphones ceased operation). As my second movie of choice, I watched "Charlie Wilson's War". As the second movie ended, I switched to the moving map and waited for the pre-landing snack.

During the flight, the F/A's made two rounds with water which could have been one or two more to my liking, with the last one handing out the Canadian immigration forms to fill out. The pre-landing snack consisted of a wrap filled with spinach/cheese or bacon and was again a bit tasteless. Shortly afterwards we were descending into Toronto and landed on 15R and had a very short taxi to our gate.

At immigration, I met the rudest officer ever, some blonde woman in her thirties. After making the mistake of saying "We're doing a roundtrip" she started to snap at me who "we" are as my girlfriend was at the counter next to me. Two mins of explanation of our travel route and insuring twice that the girl next counter really IS my girlfriend obviously seemed enough as she grunted at me and stamped my passport. Whatever... Finally on Canadian soil, I collected my luggage and put it on the connection bag drop-off belt. After clearing security again with no wait, but having to show two officers where the 75 ml sign on my toothpaste was, we were looking through the shops in the national terminal a bit before taking a seat in the waiting area at gate 145.

2nd leg:
YYZ-YYC
AC 1159
Airbus A320-200, new colours
June 4th, 2008
STD: 1500 EST // ATD 1505 EST
STA: 1718 MTN // ATA 1705 MTN
Seat 23C

After boarding and having settled into my seat (the middle seat stayes empty, yeah), we soon took off, can't remember the runway. There was only one service round on this flight with soft drinks and buy-on-board offer. I had a diet coke and bought a prime-rib sandwich, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, as I didn't like its taste very much. Alas, watched "The Chronicles of Narnia" on the again well-working AVOD system as I was in a rather tired and childish mood on that second flight. The F/A's did one round with water supply, however, which I gladly accepted.

Landing in Calgary was very smooth, proceeded to the domestic baggage claim, where one of the monitors which show the flights distributed on the belt was not working. As our flight didn't show up on any other belt however, we figured out which belt it was and claimed our suitcases under the supervision of two velociraptors ripping apart a sleeping bag...

Finally, we exited the terminal and in an adventureous mood as we were, took public transportation into the city center (Bus 75, I think, and the CTrain). However, it worked out well and we arrived happily though tired in our hotel in 209, 4th Ave SE.

Finishing remarks:
The service on AC was acceptable with a nice IFE, though rather tasteless food. What I missed was some friendliness from the flight attendants, who never had a trace of a smile in their faces.

Any comments are welcome, if you like it, I will do another report on the return flight!

Regards,
Sigi


WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBoeingOnFinal From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7316 times:

Nice trip report, I really enjoyed reading that. First trip report in months that I actually read the whole thing, that has to mean something right?  Smile

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
My alarm clock called me out of sleep at 6 am, shortly followed by my cell phone alarm, as I always make double sure I won't oversleep on travel days.

I do the exact same thing. I have never in my life owned a consistent alarm clock, so I just hope that I will never experience a double failure!

Continue writing, and I'll see you around..



norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
User currently offlineC172Akula From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 1008 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6686 times:



Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
we figured out which belt it was and claimed our suitcases under the supervision of two velociraptors ripping apart a sleeping bag...

Haha, I wonder how many people on here read that line and had looks of utter confusion on their faces!

So the moving map was working for you on the longhaul leg, did it work on the YYZ-YYC leg?

How did you enjoy Western Canada?


User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6403 times:



Quoting C172Akula (Reply 2):
So the moving map was working for you on the longhaul leg, did it work on the YYZ-YYC leg?

How did you enjoy Western Canada?

The trip in Western Canada was simply awesome, wonderful country!!!

On the YYZ-YYC leg, the map wasn't working, which is the reason I didn't give any route information as the Captian didn't tell us anything... On the flight back home, the IFE was a different story, keep an eye out for my return report!

Thanks for reading!



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Excellent first report, thank you for that.

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 3):
It was accompanied by spaetzle

Interesting that AC servced spaetzle. I wonder if this is unique to the Zurich route in order to reflect the region's cusine?

Looking forward to reading more of your reports. Vielen Dank.


User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

Hola Sigi!

Thanks for your first TR. As a frequent traveller to YYC I like reading TRs that include that particular Canadian city and flying with AC.

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
took public transportation into the city center (Bus 75, I think, and the CTrain)

Actually it must have been BUS#57. I usually do this same reverse routing when visiting there: C-Train + Bus 57 as I mentioned in my last TR.

I guess YYC was not your final destination and you moved to the Rockies. How did you like it there?

Once again thanks for sharing; looking forward to the return flight.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineBakersdozen From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5927 times:



Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
As the second movie ended, I switched to the moving map

WHAT???!? you mean they are working on some flights now???


User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5804 times:

Quoting Bakersdozen (Reply 6):

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
As the second movie ended, I switched to the moving map

WHAT???!? you mean they are working on some flights now???

Obviously yes. Worked on three out of four flights (i.e., on the 763s, no chance on the 320).

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
I guess YYC was not your final destination and you moved to the Rockies. How did you like it there?

It was awesome. Went to the badlands the first day, afterwards used ground transport to Vancouver via Banff, Jasper, Kamloops, Whistler, and Victoria. Absolutely loved that tour!!!

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 4):
Looking forward to reading more of your reports. Vielen Dank.



Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 5):
Once again thanks for sharing; looking forward to the return flight.

Thanks a lot! Return trip can be found here.

Edited for stupid quoting error.

Took me three edits to get it right. Obviously still sleeping over here... Stupid me.

[Edited 2008-06-23 00:07:02]

[Edited 2008-06-23 00:07:45]

[Edited 2008-06-23 00:07:13]


WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5569 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4794 times:



Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
After a short wait at runway 14

Nice report. You're sure that is was r/w 14? I don't think so. They only land on r/w 14 and there are no take-offs there. There isn't even a proper taxi-way to r/w 14. I think you took-off on runway 16 which is the normal take-off runway for heavies at this time.


User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1389 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4483 times:



Quoting ZRH (Reply 8):


Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
After a short wait at runway 14

Nice report. You're sure that is was r/w 14? I don't think so. They only land on r/w 14 and there are no take-offs there. There isn't even a proper taxi-way to r/w 14. I think you took-off on runway 16 which is the normal take-off runway for heavies at this time.

Stupid me. Of course you're right, it was 16, the one crossing 28/10 where the heavies take off more or less right in front of the terminal B viewing terrace... Maybe I got confused because it's the opposite heading of 34, so I got the 4 in there...



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
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