KQ787 From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 65 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12260 times:
prior to the Easter break, i noticed that i had 5 day break and i decided to take a trip. rather than heading to the sun like my fellow canadians ( i am not a sun worshiper), i decided to go back to London , UK as i always liked the city. the only thing that concerned me was the weather. I kept checking the internet ( met office, BBC weather , weather network, etc) to London's forecast almost all unanimously predicted endless rain. The last time i went to the UK was in June 2007 for trooping the colour ( see trip report. i was eager to go back to the UK so, i took the opportunity go use my Easter break to head to London. This time, i decided to use Air Canada and i was eager to try out their long haul service and to fly on my fav aircraft, the B777.
Thursday April 9
Air Canada 848
depart YYZ 8:40pm
arrive LHR 8:20am
I arrived at Toronto 's Pearson international airport by taxi at 5:45 pm and headed to a kiosk for check in. i printed my boarding pass near the area where passengers were checking in for a AC flight to Frankfurt and was told to drop off my luggage at a different area. when i got the the correct drop off area( assigned by a letter, forgot which one) , there were a few people waiting in line and about 5 Air Canada check in agents. i thought check in would be swift, but i waited in line for 20 minutes because the agents went from 5 to about 2 as more and more passengers arrived to also check in. They probably ended their shifts or went on break.
It was then my turn, which lasted barely 5 seconds and i was given my boarding pass. the terminal even during the evening rush was pretty quiet
I then proceeded through security, then took the loong walk to the international terminal area through the long walk way and down the escalators to the gates. this was my first time in T1 and i think it is better terminal than YYZ's T3.
below is the iconic statue of T1. not very appealing but popular with travellers as many were taking pictures of it
i went into the terminal early so that i could do some plane spotting.
We we to board through gate 177. surprisingly despite the flight being overbooked, boarding was chaotic as long lines were formed and calling passengers by seat assignment was not even suggested.
My seat, which i had preselected was 43k, which was left not much space for reclining. as soon as everyone was on board, the safety procedures were made. from my seat , i could not even hear it because the engines just outside my window made it impossible to hear the safety procedures. announcements were made in English and French. the captain first came on the speaker and map out our route, arrival and any little occurrences that we might expect. Then a french -speaking cabin crew did the same in french. curiously, there were pauses in his speech as he tried to translate exactly what the captain had said and he simply kept it basic.
the safety procedure
i did not take pics of the take off as it was dark and my camera doesn't photograph well in the outside light. i did enjoy a view of the city lights below. as soon the IFE came to light i proceeded to explore it . Curiously, in my opinion, air Canada's IFE has many more options than that of BA. below is a blurred picture of the screen as i was watching " Quantum of Solace".
then the meal service began on AC, they served the main meal first ( chicken of beef) instead of a pre -meal (you know, like peanuts). i chose the beef which was ok. i am quite surprised at how small the portions of airline foods are. I have a huge appetite. Then the coffee service was done.
when doing red eye flights, i always have difficulty falling asleep. i cannot sleep in the sitting position no matter how hard i try . i always sleep on my stomach. so i decided to stand up and stretch my legs and take pics of the cabin as seen below. returned to seat to watch " Changeling" for the rest of the flight as we approached the British isles.
we landed at T3 at gate 44 then took the long walk to immigration, collect my bag and take the heathrow express to central London
Below are some pics i took of my visit tin London. despite predicting rain for the long weekend, it was basically Grey clouds and i did not even take out my umbrella
I went to east London ( lewisham ) and bought some clothes and shoes from outdoor merchants. one person was selling 3 semi-casual shirts at 10 pounds
Russell square near my hotel
i tried to so some shopping on Easter Sunday unfortunately most retail shops were closed including Harrods. I took the opportunity to walk, yes walk, from Russell square to tottenham road down to Trafalgar square , then on to the Mall to Buckingham palace to Victoria station and then take the tube to south kensington, and then i walked through Hyde park to the princes of wales memorial fountain, to kensington palace , up to bayswater to finally take the bus back to Russell square. my feet were aching and i think i lost some weight form all the walking
i love tesco, barring eating at some restaurants, i bought all my meals here
tesco in osterley, hounslow ( they had cheap shoes here) i walked from the osterley station to this shop. anyone familiar with the area would know how far it is
Tuesday April 14
Air Canada 849
depart LHR 3:30pm
arrive YYZ 5:25am
it was now to return back to Toronto after a wonderful few days on London, i took the tube from my hotel to paddington to get the heathrow express back to heathrow. last time i flew out of T4, so this time around it would be T3.
I arrived at the air Canada check in where it was not that busy and my luggage was checked. as it was my first time at T3, all it can say that this terminal is horrible for plane spotting. being the " virgin" spotter that i m, i walked the whole terminal looking for a good spotting area , i could not find one so i headed back to the duty free "hall" and sat waiting for my flight to be called. at least with T4, i had the victor pier for excellent plane spotting. this terminal is very crowded , and the halls are narrow. i will only fly through t3 again as a last resort.
Boarding for my flight began at 2:15pm and unlike my departure flight, this plane was not 100% full, perhaps a result of flying on a Tuesday after the Easter break. and for the first time like ever, i got 3 whole seats to myself, which was strange because when i checked in online 24 hours prior, the seat map indicated that the seats next to mine ( 42B, 42 C) were taken.
as you can see below, no neighbors for the transatlantic flight
leg space below. i am not that tall so i can't complain
Just my luck, my IFE was not working so i moved to 42B to take advantage of the entertainment features. had these seats being filled up, i did not know how i would have passed the time, and no i do not read on flights.
as you can see, TV screen not working below
but 42B was working so i moved
my mini suite, all 3 seats to myself as shown below
On my inbound flight to lhr, i did not have time to finish seeing "Changeling" so i catched up by fast forwarding to the scene where i left off.
not many people on the flight, so plenty of space to stretch one's legs
this time , for the meal service i chose chicken , which was waaay better than the beef on the inbound flight. it was the same routine. servicing everything ( snacks, main meal, coffee, etc) at the same time
below was my seating arrangement
watching a documentary on Mandela
Watching the movie " milk"
relaxing my feet. yes i know, i need a pedicure
on approach to Toronto
We actually landed 10 minutes early after an uneventful flight from London. i actually enjoyed this flight on air Canada transatlantic, with the exception my original IFE not working, and going through t3, i would definitely try them again
OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27106 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11724 times:
Hey great report. Nice to see some familiar pics of London. Im curious why you went to Lewisham ? Was there something special there other than the market? IMHO there are better places. Also How did you end up in Osterley? Apart from Osterley House theres not much there for tourists. ( My old school is 10 minutes from there ). Tesco's has been built since I left so not sure how far it is from the tube station. I normally go to ASDA by Hounslow Central Tube.
Chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6225 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10455 times:
Nice pictures, your pctures remind me of my recent London trip, I just went for the second time this past Feb. I must say it is one of my favorite cities. In my opinion London trully is the capital of the world. Like my coworker Jose says, Once a man becomes tired of London he becomes tired of the world.
I had the same question as Shamrock 321 above, does AC serve a pre-arrival second service EB or WB?
Quoting CXfirst (Reply 3): I'm guessing that not many passengers were too happy with that one photo with flash on the night flight from YYZ-LHR!
no one complained . i presume most were sleeping
Quoting OA260 (Reply 4): Im curious why you went to Lewisham ?
i did all the " tourist" places the last time i was in the UK. this time , wanted to explore "real " London. therefore, in lewisham, a priest on the street tried to recruit me into a fundamentalist black church and someone tried to get me to volunteer for amnesty international at king's cross station., i had to tell them i was from overseas
Gilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3037 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9827 times:
Great trip report, I travelled on their first 777-300 to YYZ about 2yrs ago when they first arrived and loved them! I couldn't get over how wide and spacious the economy seats are...
With AC offering a consistent level of comfort across the fleet, I think they have got got a good mix.
What the hell is a Canadian doing shopping at Tesco!? That is the shop about where 99% of Brits shop at for their Grocery shopping, and for many it is a love/hate relationship!
You even managed to experience Tesco Extra, I notice that seem to sell about everything under the sun under one roof! Their responsible for closing down many of the independent stores on the high street, by undercutting prices... But thats an argument for another day!
Pleased you enjoyed London, I should be flying out your way in the comng weeks.