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My First MR Report... To ZRH On AC (Lots Of Pics)  
User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 19821 times:

My first MR Trip Report – Is AC one of the hidden gems of N. America Aviation?

B A C K G R O U N D / I N T R O D U C T I O N

Hey everyone and welcome to my trip report. This was a historic moment for me as this was my first MR in order to gain status with UA. I was ~4k miles short and a fare popped up in Y that was just too good to pass up. The result – a trans-Atlantic mileage run to ZRH. Most people would think this is crazy: flying out Saturday to go to Europe and then be back in the same city the next day; however folks on airliners.net or flyertalk would disagree. It’s perfectly normal to them and I was glad to pull off a MR for the first time in my life.

Now that the background and introduction is out of the way, it’s time to fly  This weekend’s travel included the following itinerary: PIT-YYZ-ZRH-YYZ-PIT. All flights were United Codeshare but operated by Air Canada. Two flights on the miniscule Dash-8 100 series plane and two flights on a wide-body, ala B767-300. The day did not start smoothly as I woke up to a head-ache after a night of drinking. Should not have had that much to drink the night before but got carried away.

P R E – D E P A R T U R E

I finally got enough energy to get me out of bed, take a shower and then drive to PIT. I live in Canfield, OH; therefore it was about an hour long drive to get me to PIT. There was no snow in the forecast, therefore the drive was clean and quick. I got to the airport and parked in the long term parking lot which had a going rate of $12 as daily maximum. After parking, I made my way to the passageway that connects the parking lots to the terminal. It was quite an extensive walk, but I finally made it to the terminal, and looking at the clock, I had about 15 minutes to beat the 60 minute check-in cutoff time required by Air Canada Jazz.

C H E C K – I N

Check-in for Air Canada is handled by United at PIT. This evening I must say that the check-in staff present was, how do I put this politely, less than stellar. I tried one of the self-check in machines. Try 1 – slid my credit card to pull up my reservation only for them to have me use a phone to call a representative. Called, and was told that the agent would be checking me in. Try 2 – Went with the agent and she (named Beverly) told me to use the automated machine. Politely suggesting that I tried that and had to call in and the phone asked me to talk to her, she was indifferent, asked me if I tried scanning my passport. I said No I did not and her tone immediately became a bit like (you dumbo, you don’t know anything) and said, that’s why it didn’t work. Try 3 – So in order to satisfy her, I scanned my passport. Finally at least this time the machine asked me “Are you going to Zurich?” and I said Yes. Surely it would work this time and all mighty Beverly would be laughing at my dumbness right? Almost, almost, almost….. NO!!! Machine asked me to call the phone again. So I called up Beverly and she said, let me try it. Try 4 – Beverly tries the passport again. Surprise surprise, same error. So Beverly, now clearly not happy with the machine, decides to check me in herself. So while checking in, she asks “are you heading to Zurich?” I say “yes”. And then she prints my boarding pass out. While she is printing that out, a lady approaches her and tells Beverly that she got the boarding pass for the flight to Toronto and then her connecting flight to CDG, but her mom did not get the boarding pass to CDG. Beverly immediately snapped and in a rude tone, tells the lady, “look, sometimes the machine doesn’t print out the other boarding pass. I can’t do anything about it. You have to get the next boarding pass in Toronto”. The lady says, ‘But I have my boarding pass to CDG, how come my mom doesn’t?” to which Beverly replied, “look, I told you I can’t do anything. Please let me work with this gentleman. Try it in Toronto. We don’t control Air Canada”. I was kinda shocked at this reply or the way Beverly replied. Meanwhile I had my boarding passes in hand, and Voila, Beverly gave me the boarding pass for Zurich to Toronto instead of giving me Toronto to Zurich. So I had PIT-YYZ, and ZRH-YYZ but no YYZ-ZRH. Fearing the wrath of almighty Beverly I didn’t even bother telling her that she had given me the wrong boarding pass. From the replies the lady got, I did not want to spoil my mood either.

S E C U R I T Y / P R E – F L I G H T

After getting the two boarding passes by Beverly, I made my way through to PIT security. The security lines were not that bad at this time on a Saturday and I was through security in less than 10 minutes. Once cleared, I had to take the train over to the main air-side concourse which is like a big shopping mall. I went to a irish pub there and had a Yuengling beer (which isn’t available in Ohio). I made my way to the gate and found a UA agent boarding a plane to IAD. There wasn’t anyone in line therefore I asked her if she could help me. I told her that I did not have my boarding pass for the YYZZRH flight. She said, “That’s really weird. Sir, let me board this plane to IAD and I will help you. Just give me 10-15 minutes”. This was very encouraging and surely, the deeds of Beverly were already being over shadowed with this sweet lady. I passed some time by taking a few pictures and walking around and I saw this IAD flight of about 15 people depart on a Canadair jet. Quite a light load for this plane. The flight departed and the sweet lady not only helped me get my boarding pass, but also the lady who’s mom did not have the boarding pass to CDG. I guess the United machines might not like Beverly as clearly they decide to not work for her, but work for her co-workers. OK OK OK. I think I’ve been sarcastic enough  Meanwhile another United lady came and said, the Air Canada flight is here, should be start boarding for that flight or the United flight to LA? The reply was, “United is mainland here, we should board it first” and immediately boarding for the LA flight was called. Again for an Airbus A319, the load was about 50 odd people. Are Saturday’s usually this light all the time?

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYLAcLKbI/AAAAAAAAeHE/iYBGy4oNloY/s800/IMG_4918.JPG

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United Express to IAD


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United Express to IAD


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United to LAX

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PIT Airport Airside

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Pre-Boarding

F L I G H T – O N E
PITYYZ
Air Canada 8039 operated by Air Canada Jazz
Aircraft: de Havilland Dash 8-100 (twin-turboprop) (DH8A/R)
Route: EWC EWC038 EWC038060 DKK V522
Departure: 6:08 pm
Arrival: 7:10 pm
Speed: 261 kts
Altitude: 23,000 feet
Seat: 4A(Exit Row)


Finally boarding was called for our flight. More like this is what happened: a gentleman wearing a UA badge came over to the crew that was supposed to be waiting for the AC flight. He asks, “Are you guys waiting for the AC flight?” The response was yes. The gentleman says that, “oh. Your flight is ready to leave. You should head there”. As soon as that happened, the crew left, and that was followed by about 10 people flying to YYZ this evening. Like I said, a really really light load. We had to climb down the stairs behind the same gate where the UA flight to LAX departed. The plane wasn’t at a gate per say, more like it was sitting in the middle of two gates. We climbed down the stairs, got out to the tarmac and then walked to our A/C. Flight time for this flight was about an hour and two minutes according to the pilot. This was my first flight on the Dash 8-100 flight and boy was this tight and small plane. The window seats looked extremely cramped. I was given the exit row seat and in the entire exit row, I was the only one sitting. The safety demonstration was done in both English & French and the prop fan blades were started. This was really loud. My seat was right next to the fans, and pretty soon, the sound was getting really annoying. The takeoff roll was quick. It was like driving a car at 70mph (that’s how fast I felt we were going) and suddenly it takes off. After the 10,000ft mark, I had to put on my headphones so that the annoying sound could die down a bit. Service on this flight was very minimal. It consisted of some pretzel sticks and a beverage. I went with ginger-ale and a glass of water to go along with the pretzel sticks. After the service, Canadian landing cards were handed out. We would have to fill these out since we were connecting through YYZ. The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful and pretty soon, it was announced that we were on our initial descent into the YYZ area. It took about 20 minutes to land but as soon as we landed, I didn’t even feel like the pilot slammed the breaks. After the landing, the plane seemed to just go along at a similar speed all the way closer to the gate. We got to our gate and then it was time to leave the wonderful seat on this tiny plane and make our way to the YYZ airport. While taxiing I saw some AC wide-bodies as well as some other airlines such as Etihad. I had just over an hour and 15 minutes to connect to my next flight. I wasn’t aware I was gonna go through hell in order to get to the next flight.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYOunaEcI/AAAAAAAAeH8/VXR_bxIiNa4/s800/IMG_4927.JPG
My ride to YYZ

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Exit Row Instructions

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Seat Pitch

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Looking Across the Exit row

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Cabin

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYQxEd3HI/AAAAAAAAeIs/-o8q22Vttwk/s800/IMG_4933.JPG
The ever so powerful prop

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYSyJ8h7I/AAAAAAAAeJM/_O9Ye-jy0Mk/s800/IMG_4938.JPG
Emergency Pull Down

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In flight service (Ginger-ale with pretzels)

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYUY2u0UI/AAAAAAAAeJk/N6ygqPxoMHM/s800/IMG_4944.JPG
Getting close to YYZ

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYU2DCrQI/AAAAAAAAeJs/XiGlL5i61Dc/s800/IMG_4945.JPG
Closer


Landing gear down


C O N N E C T I O N / T R A N S F E R

Once out of the plane, I started following some clueless passengers to the arrival area. Turns out the first one didn’t read the signs and started walking the opposite end. We were at gate 252 and instead of turning left to go to arrivals; the person started walking right towards the end of the terminal. Everyone blindly was following. We passed an airport official who looked at us with a dazed look and finally told us to turn around. We turned around and started walking towards terminal 1. I followed the sign of “arriving passengers” and made my way to the area that said, “International Connections”.

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Everyone turning the wrong way


Finally going the right way...

This is where the fun began. There was a guy and a really attractive girl working the international connections desk. I was called up by the guy and upon looking at my passport and boarding passes, he was confused. What followed felt like a job interview while he was making his own notes.

Guy: Where are you headed?
Me: Zurich
Guy: Why?
Me: I am about 6000 miles short of my elite status. I found a good fare and I need the miles.
Guy: What is elite status?
Me: I get some benefits with the airline when I travel on them domestically.
Guy: How much was the ticket?
Me: $398
Guy: Did you buy the ticket?
Me: Yes I did
Guy: Can you show me your itinerary
Me: Yes. Here it is
Guy: So you are going to Zurich today and flying back tomorrow
Me: Correct
Guy: Why?
Me: I need the miles
Guy: So you would pay that much just to get miles?
Me: Yes. I think it’s worth for the extra benefits I receive.
Guy: Hold on… (types away and makes some marks on the landing card; while consulting the girl)
Me: Waiting
Guy: Can you prove to me that you purchased the ticket yourself?
Me: Sure. Shows the purchased itinerary with my CC info along with my CC in hand
Guy: That’s a really good price
Me: Yes it is.
Guy: What do you do?
Me: I’m an engineer for a company that manufactures titanium
Guy: Are they paying for it?
Me: No sir. I’m paying for it
Guy: Why aren’t they paying for it?
Me: Sir I am not going on business.
Guy: So you are staying overnight?
Me: No. I will be on the next flight back, which will be the same airplane.
Guy: So spending this much is worth it?
Me: Yes (while he makes more marks)
Guy: Can I see your itinerary again?
Me: Absolutely
Guy: Do you have any checked bags?
Me: No sir I don’t
Guy: Why not?
Me: Sir, I’m going there for 3 hours. I won’t even get to leave the airport.
Guy: Just hold on…
Guy: OK. What you need to do, is head downstairs to the area marked CNX. You will have to clear Canadian immigration and customs and then you can connect to your flight.
Me: Thank you and have a wonderful day
Guy: Next in line…

So I head down the escalator and go towards the area that is marked as CNX. Here there was a lady that looked at my passport and pretty much asked me the exact same questions as the person above did. Surely this would prove that I’m a harmless brown person going on his first mileage run… But it wasn’t meant to be!!! I thought the interrogation was over and I would just have to clear Canadian immigration as I would be transiting, but no. I walked into this room with agents sitting in their windows. I stood in line and was called by another immigration officer. I wasn’t prepared for this…

Guy: Hi
Me: Hello
Guy: Passport & boarding pass please
Me: presenting them
Guy: So you are headed to Zurich
Me: Yes sir
Guy: Why?
Me: I am about 6000 miles short of my elite status. I found a good fare and I need the miles.
Guy: So you purchased the ticket just to get the miles?
Me: Yes sir
Guy: When was the last time you were in Canada?
Me: Oh. Must have been at least 4-5 years ago…
Guy: What do you do?
Me: I’m a process engineer for a company that manufactures titanium for the aerospace industry
Guy: So do you travel for work?
Me: Yes sir, I do. But only in the US.
Guy: So are the elite benefits worth it?
Me: Yes sir. I get free checked-in bags etc. and when I travel a check-in bag costs $20 and the 2nd is upto $50. So the savings add up quick
Guy: Wow makes sense.
Me: yes sir
Guy: So why not go for more than a day if you are going all the way there?
Me: Sir I don’t’ have vacation. I have to be back at work on Monday
Guy: Oh… (and types away). He stamps my passport and writes, “Transiting to Zurich”
Me: I’d never thought I would get a Canadian stamp on my passport…
Guy: why is that?
Me: Well sir I’ve always drove to Toronto. This is the first time I’m flying into Canada.
Guy: Welcome and gave me a smile. Now what you need to do is go through those doors, go down the escalator and head through customs.
Me: thank you and have a wonderful weekend
Guy: Thank you and same to you.

Surely this must have taken care of all or any confusion… I head down the escalators and then walk towards the customs. While trying to walk out, I’m instructed to head into this other area which says “secondary screening”. I was like wow. Another one. So here’s how the 3rd one went. It started out with very similar questions. And same answers. Then the guy asked me to wait, while he pretty much emptied out my backpack and checked out every little thing in my bag. He turned my laptop on to see if it worked. Then he saw my camera and said: “Why are you taking the camera if you are not even going to leave the airport?” to which I replied, “I’m an aviation enthusiast. I like to document my trips as I like to make them memorable”. He replied by saying, “It’s a nice one too. Not an ordinary camera.” He also found a car rental agreement from Hertz when I was in MUC in november so he asked about that. I said yeah I rented a car there to which he replied, “You bought a car there?” I said “No sir, I rented one”. Then he turned on my camera and went through each picture. After that he asked me to wait while he went inside. Inside the room, there was a guy having his dinner sandwich and the first guy who interrogated me, was also present there. He comes back and asks me, “when is your next flight?” I reply by saying 8:50 sir. It was already 8:15. So he said, a couple more minutes and went back inside. He came back with another person, and while I was quiet, he said, “yeah the guy just pulled a couple bags. I’m pretty sure they are his.” So the guy asks me, “are you sure you didn’t check any bags in?” I replied, “Yes. I’m positive. The only thing I have is this backpack” So they both go and try and match my passport and boarding passes with bag tags, and obviously they did not match. He came back and I asked, so were they mine? “he said, no no. they were someone elses. Just a few more minutes”. Now the clock was hitting 8:30 and this guy just disappeared. He came back and said, “I see that you don’t have any bags checked-in. Your status isn’t showing up on the AC system”. I said, “I don’t know. My boarding card shows Star Alliance status”. I finally asked him, “did I raise a red flag?” and he replied by saying, “well you aren’t like an average traveler. I have not seen this very often”. “here’s what you do. You head out, make a sharp left and then you are out to Terminal 1. You will just have to clear security again and you can walk to your gate. Thank you and have a great flight” Finally after being interrogated 4 times, I was let go. What paranoia!!! While leaving, I yanked out a copy of the mileage run article from Conde Nast Traveler and said, “Here’s an article that Conde Nast had on this type of practice known as mileage run” The guy gave me a dazed look as I walked away. I was finally into Canadian Territory known as Terminal 1 of Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 19838 times:

F L I G H T – T W O
YYZZRH
Air Canada 878
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300 (twin-jet) (B763/Q)
Route: KENDI YCF J588 YMX 4900N 07000W FOXXE NATW SUNOT NATW KESIX MIMKU UL10 WAL UL151 MID UN615 XAMAB UL612 RESMI UL851 MELKO
Departure: 9:11 pm
Arrival: 10:33 am
Speed: 468 kts
Altitude: 33,000 feet (But we did climb to almost 37,000 feet)
Seat: 18A(Exit Row)


I made my way to the departure floor and headed straight for security. After clearing the security I had a LONG walk towards gate 176. While walking, I hear my name along with five other names on the PA system telling me that it is final boarding call for my flight. I start to run towards my gate and in the excitement and / or nervousness; I made it to the gate that was boarding the flight to Abu Dhabhi. I hear my name again and realize that I’m a dumbo and was at the wrong gate. I made it to my gate and handed my boarding pass. The gate agent said, “Mr. XXXXX, you made it. We thought we would have to leave without you tonight”. I said, “yeah I thought I was going to miss it too. Immigration was a pain.” He laughed and then asked if I had any checked bags so that he could make sure they were on this flight. What a nice chap. It was definitely a welcome sight after the hell I had just witnessed.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYaDLcQmI/AAAAAAAAeK8/3WzWKh0dqLQ/s800/IMG_4956.JPG
YYZ after security


I made my way to the seat 18A and immediately settled down. I was situated right next to the galley and the FA immediately looked at me said, “you look like you barely made this flight. Let me bring a glass of water for you”. I was shocked. What an awesome awesome gesture on her part. She got me a glass of water and said, “now relax, and enjoy this flight. If there is anything I can do for you to make this flight comfortable, please let me know”. This was already a great start to this flight. The pilot came on and announced the flight details and also said that they were still waiting on five more passengers to show up as their luggage was already on the flight. I had my water and the FA came in and said, “We believe in recycling. So I would appreciate it if you could hold onto your glass. I will just refill this when you need water.” She explained the exit row procedure and I got comfortable in my seat. There was no one sitting next to me so I used that seat to hold my stuff. A few minutes later, the FA came and said, do you mind if you could move your stuff? I am going to move a person here as he’s sitting there and he has no leg room. The guy showed up and was quite a tall man. He sat down and the first words that came out of his mouth were, “This is luxury”. I struck a conversation with him and chit chatted until it was dinner time, after which we both put on our respective movies.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYbCSTGxI/AAAAAAAAeLM/1NDLbXiYFt4/s800/IMG_4958.JPG
Exit Row leg room

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More

Air Canada’s B767s are fitted with personal screen IFE that is AVOD. It features over 300 hours of entertainment. I immediately started exploring the system. It had a lot of selection of Hollywood movies, some classics, Canadian movies, and some French and other international movies. I settled on the moving map feature and kept it there for a while. There were 4 types of maps that one could select. So I settled for the high resolution moving map. The pilot announced that boarding was now complete and that the doors had been shut and we would be pushing back momentarily. The safety demonstration video started and was performed in both English & French with German subtitles. We taxied a long way and finally made it to the runway. The 767 started its take-off roll and it did not seem as powerful as some of the 777 rolls I have experienced. Nonetheless, the plane thundered down the runway and very soon we were airborne.

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The IFE screen

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The USB port available on every seat

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The EMPower Port

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Fellow AC widebody

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High quality moving map

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More

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Long way to go


Once at 10,000 feet, the pilot came about and spoke of the service schedule, which consisted of a drink service, followed by a hot dinner, then duty-free and then finally a breakfast muffin as breakfast. Sounded like something really average, but I was about to be surprised. The FA was sitting on the jump seat right next to us and struck a conversation with the guy sitting next to me until it was time for her to get up and prep for service. Two carts came, one with the hot dinner and the other with the drinks. I was offered a drink and I went for a beer. The reply I got was, “What type? Canadian, Heineken or Coors Light?” I went with the Heineken and by the time dinner came to my seat, the FA asked, sir would you like another beer? And I politely agreed and got another one. The meal choices were Chicken or Beef. I believe I overheard the description that the Beef was with some mashed potatoes, whereas the chicken was with pasta and tomato based sauce. I went with the chicken and to my satisfaction this was a very decent meal. It wasn’t anything special, but for airline meals, it was edible and actually had some taste to it. It came with a roll of bread, some sort of corn & carrot salad, and a brownie with melted chocolate sauce. There was also a moist towelette provided along with a small bottle of water. After dinner, I put on the movie Takers from the vast selection of movies available. The movie was about 1 hr and 40 minutes long. Before collecting trash, another drink service came and I went with another Heineken and I was given one without any weird looks or questions. I enjoyed the movie with my Heineken. The trash was collected slowly, which was followed by the duty free shopping cart. Even though I eyed some sunglasses on offer (which were $52) I decided not to buy it.

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The hot dinner service

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYhDeYQvI/AAAAAAAAeMs/Xpo6ziYOAzc/s800/IMG_4972.JPG


The cabin lights were now dim for people to sleep. The movie ended and I put one some XM radio and tried to sleep. Knowing that I would be on the same flight back to YYZ, I had to catch some slumber. Therefore I opened the blanket and then closed my eyes. I don’t think the music was much help because I kept on opening my eyes. I finally just put my headphones away and closed my eyes. I guess I was asleep pretty soon after that. I only opened my eyes here and there to adjust the blanket as it was getting extremely cold in seat 18A. But I did manage to catch some sleep and woke up when I heard the carts move about. I also might have heard the FAs walking around offering water top ups. Also the galley next to my seat was set up with a tray of glasses, water and orange juice sitting for self service. I woke up and about five minutes later, was served a banana nut flavored breakfast muffin. Since I was freezing, I asked for coffee to go along to help me get a bit warm. Both the muffin & coffee went well together and I went for another cup of coffee. The pilots came on and said that we would be starting our initial descent into Zurich area very soon and once started, it should take us about 30-40 minutes to land.

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Sunrise

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYh2NgLDI/AAAAAAAAeM8/KUazv5N-AeM/s800/IMG_4977.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYiV3BP1I/AAAAAAAAeNE/McwyKhs0u1E/s800/IMG_4978.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYi3P1sHI/AAAAAAAAeNM/8V8CxsjXe_Q/s800/IMG_4981.JPG
Wing

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYjUorIRI/AAAAAAAAeNU/sm4iWlitmj4/s800/IMG_4982.JPG


I used the moist towelette provided earlier to freshen up and once the trash was collected, I took the opportunity to get up and walk around to stretch a little bit as well as use the restroom. I also struck a conversation with the friendly FA who was sitting in the jumper seat with us. She was a really nice lady and we had a great conversation about the YYZ-ZRH route, ZRH in general and what her plans and my plans were. The seat belt light came on and I headed back to my seat. It was very cloudy outside, therefore I settled on watching some more TV. I put on the movie “How to Train your Dragon” and I could only watch about 20 odd minutes of the movie before the system was kinda shut down and it was time to land. After that was taken away from me, I glued my eyes and camera to the window and started clicking away. The scenery was spectacular as you could see snow covered ground to pretty much wherever you could see. Slowly and steadily we landed in ZRH and after the flaps coming down and the reverse thrusters coming on, we slow down and start taxiing towards the terminal.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYjuWHDNI/AAAAAAAAeNc/eCEVfiKif4Y/s800/IMG_4983.JPG
Cloudy & Snowy Zurich suburbs

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYjwD3ptI/AAAAAAAAeNk/2jj1D_2mIs8/s800/IMG_4984.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYkbe5kvI/AAAAAAAAeNs/ylxfUHgRORc/s800/IMG_4985.JPG
Getting closer

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYk_LFg9I/AAAAAAAAeN0/GRB4B_OHW9E/s800/IMG_4986.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYl1SjPBI/AAAAAAAAeOE/zgVMUjlNoHM/s800/IMG_4988.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYmer3BFI/AAAAAAAAeOU/nmhqiKpQIwY/s800/IMG_4990.JPG
lots of snow

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYnh_Vn4I/AAAAAAAAeOo/G16wTfXqdm4/s800/IMG_4992.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYn-3J_eI/AAAAAAAAeOw/Wu7M3NZP8Ho/s800/IMG_4993.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYoiZeG0I/AAAAAAAAePA/4F6e9117rN8/s800/IMG_4995.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYpFqHWeI/AAAAAAAAePI/utUaVLxn2MA/s800/IMG_4996.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYqwSHLBI/AAAAAAAAePg/y3xfyJQx-W4/s800/IMG_4999.JPG
So Close

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYrQcONyI/AAAAAAAAePo/D0db-hqfq6k/s800/IMG_5000.JPG

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYsW6ZCUI/AAAAAAAAeP4/9ZDPbr7zTV4/s800/IMG_5002.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYtz_dHrI/AAAAAAAAeQQ/uFJvWV3s5aM/s800/IMG_5005.JPG
Taxiing

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYubbim1I/AAAAAAAAeQg/pVMoKZdv5I4/s800/IMG_5008.JPG
Zurich

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYu7-XwgI/AAAAAAAAeQo/z7XPdO4DVmg/s800/IMG_5009.JPG
LX Country

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYv8zR7XI/AAAAAAAAeQ4/f0vz1Dx6pxQ/s800/IMG_5011.JPG



There was a lot of snow on the ground and on our way to the gate, I saw the Singapore Airlines A380, along with an array of LX A330’s and LX A343s. We finally made it to our gate and as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, the usual rush of people getting up to leave the plane started. I understand it was a long flight, but I don’t think people can move out unless the doors are opened. Gradually everyone started walking, and I walked through the business class cabin, out the door and into ZRH. I was in Switzerland.


User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19729 times:

C O N N E C T I O N / T R A N S F E R

I got out to the terminal and immediately wanted to know whether I would have to clear customs / immigration in order to connect to my next flight, which would be departing from the same gate 3 hours later. So I decided to take the escalators down from what I believe was Gate E54. I went down and sat on the bahn that would take me to the main terminal. I thought I would check it out; however to my dismay I would have to clear immigration in order to go to that terminal. Fearing that I would have to go through some more hell (Thank you YYZ) I decided to take the same train back and walk around the arrivals level and take some pictures. I walked to the very end, and saw a TG aircraft. Walking on the other side, I kept seeing more and more LX and the building of the main terminal. I didn’t even realize that ZRH had an observation deck. That’s something I should have definitely checked out, but unfortunately I could not. Oh well, there’s always next time.


Right after arrival into ZRH. The train that takes to the main terminal



http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYxcjSPWI/AAAAAAAAeRY/hiVxFPu57DM/s800/IMG_5015.JPG
The main train station

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYx5rlaAI/AAAAAAAAeRg/eddwrRuNeLg/s800/IMG_5016.JPG
FIDS

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYyHIOBwI/AAAAAAAAeRo/QRQ5JPDbUzo/s800/IMG_5017.JPG
The Train

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYyQKujpI/AAAAAAAAeRw/1oLYaHc_TLQ/s800/IMG_5018.JPG
LX

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYy5T1GqI/AAAAAAAAeR4/GJng_BhViho/s800/IMG_5019.JPG
My ride from YYZ and back to YYZ

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYzH_tZoI/AAAAAAAAeSA/Rp08hVfrblI/s800/IMG_5020.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYzqchjwI/AAAAAAAAeSI/MyrbdjKU0Hc/s800/IMG_5021.JPG
more LX

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYYzzD7obI/AAAAAAAAeSQ/_yeZ6O4o7Xo/s800/IMG_5022.JPG
Flughafen Zurich

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY0yXUleI/AAAAAAAAeSg/bUXQWBEaA6s/s800/IMG_5024.JPG
TG with SQ A380 taxiing


I finally decided to go through security and wait in the main area. Plus I wanted to find a restroom where I could brush my teeth, and change clothes and freshen up in general. I walked around and spotted a family restroom and I went in. Took all the time to freshen up and when I got out, I decided to walk some more. I wasn’t going to get to walk some more in a couple of hours when I would board my next flight. There was a galore of LX widebodies heading to destinations such as Delhi, Miami, Muscat, Montreal, Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, LAX, BKK, SFO (just to name a few). I got to the end of the terminal and just missed the SQ A380 push back. It was already taxiing to the runway and I could only catch a glimpse of the whale jet  I really wanted to check it out up close and personal, but I guess it would be next time as well.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY1H62J9I/AAAAAAAAeSo/DQeUiSiN7oM/s800/IMG_5025.JPG
The whalejet taxiing

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY1hsDvvI/AAAAAAAAeSw/4WKmCFgkmD4/s800/IMG_5026.JPG

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY2OUgVZI/AAAAAAAAeS4/F_qTumQmlgg/s800/IMG_5027.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY21oAwbI/AAAAAAAAeTE/IY1qxd4WMF4/s800/IMG_5028.JPG
Ukraine International

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY4YTbWdI/AAAAAAAAeTU/K5Jyf_yyDE0/s800/IMG_5030.JPG
the LX flight to DEL

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY4_FtVwI/AAAAAAAAeTc/xj0Zzu-LySk/s800/IMG_5031.JPG
Swiss country


I went to the Caffe Ritazza and grabbed a beer and watched some planes take off in front of me. Oh how I wished I could be at the observation desk. I also saw the DEL flight being called for boarding and saw plenty of fellow Indian smiling, looking excited to head back home for the holidays. It gave me inspiration to try to fly LX next time I want to go to India. I finished the beer and then went to the duty free to check out stuff to buy. I was in Switzerland and couldn’t go back without buying Swiss chocolate. Now that would be an insult to the Swiss right? Kidding… While there, I found this awesome looking winter hat that said Switzerland on it. Usually I get a shot glass to represent as a souvenir; however technically I never visited Zurich, therefore adding a shot glass to my collection sounded unfair.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY5TVVgDI/AAAAAAAAeTk/QFQtB-qfpN4/s800/IMG_5032.JPG
Caffe Ritazza

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY5q439eI/AAAAAAAAeTs/6wbkHLTCAhw/s800/IMG_5033.JPG
Some holiday lighting


Ittinger

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY6cyuCVI/AAAAAAAAeT8/ACTePEGOJFk/s800/IMG_5035.JPG
UA heading back to IAD

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY7M1AWMI/AAAAAAAAeUE/cO_A0Uf5K-E/s800/IMG_5036.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY7kdx-MI/AAAAAAAAeUM/BFFXWCETuMU/s800/IMG_5037.JPG
Look at all those small LX jets. Can anyone count?

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY98dhbBI/AAAAAAAAeU0/OPXc9bGWllA/s800/IMG_5042.JPG
Which airline is this? (Edelweiss?)

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY-B-0LzI/AAAAAAAAeU8/vc3yAVcz7oc/s800/IMG_5043.JPG
Ukraine International taking off

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY-4-FDpI/AAAAAAAAeVE/NWgTOR09nBs/s800/IMG_5044.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYY_544-QI/AAAAAAAAeVU/tacLSBPprvs/s800/IMG_5046.JPG


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 19553 times:

So, let me get this clear. What was your reason for flying to ZRH?

It seems that you fitted the profile that would set the alarm bells ringing. Travelling alone, without checked in baggage and returning on the vary next flight. Lucky that you weren't strip searched, by the sound of it.

At least the poor experience on the ground was offset by the positive experience inflight. Hopefully the trip home is better for you.


User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 19361 times:

F L I G H T – T H R E E
ZRH – YYZ
Air Canada 879
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300 (twin-jet) (B763/Q)
Route: VEBIT T51 LASUN UT10 RLP UL613 SANDY UL15 BIG UL9 STU UN546 BAKUR RESNO 5500N 02000W 5400N 03000W 5300N 04000W 5100N 05000W DENDU CYMON MIILS YMX J546 CELAR
Departure: 1:10 pm
Arrival: 4:15 pm
Speed: 500 kts
Altitude: 33,000 feet (But we did climb to almost 38,000 feet)
Seat: 18A(Exit Row)


After completing my shopping, it was time to head back to the gate area to see when boarding would be. To my surprise, there weren’t a lot of people there and boarding had already started. I boarded with an American couple and I guess we were either one of the first few on the plane of the last few. Because I didn’t see many people get in after us. I settled into my seat and I already had a seat companion. The FA welcomed us and told us that we could move to another seat if we wanted as this flight was very light. I asked about the load, and she said, there were only about 91 people on board. 91 people on this B767, this meant that there were a lot of empty rows in the rear of Y for us to lay down. My neighbor decided to leave his stuff and head back to an empty row. I went back to the bathroom to see how empty the flight was and there were a lot of people just sitting by themselves unless they were traveling together. I claimed a row of seats myself in order to get some slumber after takeoff. While sitting at my seat, I spotted an EK B777 show up and taxi to the gate next to ours.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZAOhHvkI/AAAAAAAAeVc/-l4Z6O84ZoI/s800/IMG_5047.JPG.
Executive Class on the B767


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZARwnvMI/AAAAAAAAeVk/v5BXCXfTiwQ/s800/IMG_5048.JPG.


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZA1VkklI/AAAAAAAAeVs/-qOTJ4p5nx4/s800/IMG_5049.JPG.
Looking at the Y cabin



The pilot came on the PA system and announced that we would be waiting for the flight to Shanghai to push back and once that flight is done with its push back, we would be allowed to push back. As he was saying that, I saw the LX flight was being pushed back by the TUG and then it stood. It started taxiing and a couple minutes later, we pushed back. The PTVs had the safety demonstration video playing by now (which was the same as the inbound flight). It was very interesting to see all the planes lining up for the runway and then speeding down for the takeoff. I watched an LX takeoff and it immediately reminded of a couple of photographs here on A.Net (insert those LX pics here). Once the planes took off, they banked left and while climbing almost made a circle to head the very opposite direction. We got to our position and we waited for the take off.


.
The flight to Shanghai


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZBzH73rI/AAAAAAAAeWE/aFXzZFsgbkE/s800/IMG_5052.JPG.
EK Coming in


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZCYixi0I/AAAAAAAAeWM/A69PbFZccP0/s800/IMG_5055.JPG.
Shanghai flight gone


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZD-3EqrI/AAAAAAAAeWs/Uxh-MVJY5AE/s800/IMG_5059.JPG.
EK B777-300ER


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZFg4SBDI/AAAAAAAAeXE/LLngVSWHJDE/s800/IMG_5062.JPG.
TG at ZRH


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZGN_XSbI/AAAAAAAAeXM/UhKqPUYVUL0/s800/IMG_5063.JPG.
Another LX A343


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZHdgp3eI/AAAAAAAAeXk/-akivPws5jU/s800/IMG_5066.JPG.
The LX flight to DEL


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZJRlC_YI/AAAAAAAAeYI/pq5pkATF_u8/s800/IMG_5075.JPG.
The flight to Shanghai ready for takeoff


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZLUMEHpI/AAAAAAAAeYw/uxQKskX2b7c/s800/IMG_5080.JPG.
About to start the take-off roll


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZMRaH9OI/AAAAAAAAeZA/UfYXmGWgLtM/s800/IMG_5083.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZNkbCNhI/AAAAAAAAeZY/v6mkVNarVm4/s800/IMG_5086.JPG.
Rotation


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZO1eb5ZI/AAAAAAAAeZo/0RzpoahEBAo/s800/IMG_5088.JPG.
Takeoff with the swiss Alps


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZPyleEaI/AAAAAAAAeZ4/FvNYVx7AUz4/s800/IMG_5090.JPG.
Another LX A330


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZRFSgvOI/AAAAAAAAeaQ/sx09ab5D2jQ/s800/IMG_5093.JPG.
The Shanghai Flight turning over us


The B767 spooled up and then sped through the runway for a wonderful & powerful takeoff. We also banked left and followed the same path and it allowed me to check out ZRH as a whole. The sights were supreme as we saw a very nice overview of Flughafen Zurich. This is why I love aviation and the fact that we are capable of watching something like that never fails to amaze me everytime.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZResh7gI/AAAAAAAAeaY/t24kUAlJ0nU/s800/IMG_5094.JPG.
Our take-off roll


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZR5AgzZI/AAAAAAAAeag/XiiiEUWOXE4/s800/IMG_5095.JPG.
A QR flight as well


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZSYmlOMI/AAAAAAAAeao/qcb4dWsLMNc/s800/IMG_5096.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZS1ItzBI/AAAAAAAAeaw/5fBcTz8QQ1c/s800/IMG_5097.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZTcnR3xI/AAAAAAAAea4/9pv6i0To0wg/s800/IMG_5098.JPG.
Looking at the Swiss Alps


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZT9R-1FI/AAAAAAAAebA/fke22wZ0zTk/s800/IMG_5099.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZUrJw1PI/AAAAAAAAebI/PGoEYy6sKHg/s800/IMG_5100.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZVC5GjYI/AAAAAAAAebQ/ZHKid7dXZDQ/s800/IMG_5101.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZXFzMi1I/AAAAAAAAebw/J9Th9_HffdM/s800/IMG_5105.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZXh-IMuI/AAAAAAAAeb4/u1gLOU5XRI8/s800/IMG_5106.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZYe51J0I/AAAAAAAAecA/X1ZsgwzuvVM/s800/IMG_5107.JPG.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZY83WmCI/AAAAAAAAecM/hZy-KZJyqTg/s800/IMG_5108.JPG.
A nice lake


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZZCKbExI/AAAAAAAAecU/5lVPPuFKVfU/s800/IMG_5109.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZZ6CViuI/AAAAAAAAecc/ljoAUE2yg0E/s800/IMG_5110.JPG.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZaWER9QI/AAAAAAAAeck/kaO7cQsnCcY/s800/IMG_5111.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZapH-gII/AAAAAAAAecs/7MF21KMAG7Q/s800/IMG_5112.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZbPcgtkI/AAAAAAAAec0/BlOkjnWQhLY/s800/IMG_5113.JPG.
The IFE


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZbcoDmkI/AAAAAAAAec8/8CVaw8B-co0/s800/IMG_5114.JPG.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZcRf8bfI/AAAAAAAAedE/X_X7Oy1q1u8/s800/IMG_5115.JPG.
In flight cabin


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZdEc9W8I/AAAAAAAAedM/nsXuuIvBftg/s800/IMG_5116.JPG.
Exit row leg room again


Once airborne and over the clouds, I shut the window shade and headed back to the row of seats I had “reserved” for my comfort. I immediately raised the center arm rests and lay down. The purser came on the PA system and announced the service schedule: drinks, a hot lunch, followed by duty free and then a hot snack prior to landing. I was enjoying my flat bed in Y. I had 3 pillows and 3 blankets that I used to the full advantage. I must have taken a 15 minute nap as when I woke up, I heard the FAs chit chatting and prepping for the drink / meal service. The choice was chicken and beef again. This time the chicken came with some sort of gravy with some veggies. I have no idea about the beef. I took a Heineken as my choice of beverage and again, AC did not disappoint with the food. It was very edible and it actually had some taste. I added some black pepper and I couldn’t wish for anything else. I finished my meal, had another beer and immediately decided to sleep. I closed my eyes and was off in slumber land.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQZKvmRgJjI/AAAAAAAAeuE/HkCcn-hQ6vc/s800/photo.JPG.


I woke up when we had 3.5 hrs to arrival into YYZ. I decided to head back to my exit row seat and sit for the rest of the flight. I must say that the FAs on this flight were equally good as compared to the inbound flight. The galley was set for beverages, so the first thing I did after waking up was get some water. I went and asked for some ginger ale and I was given a full can without any questions asked. I took the ginger ale back to my seat and put on a movie. I think one of the FAs spotted me doing this, so she came back and offered me some pretzels and cookies and said, “Enjoy this with your movie.” What a lovely gesture. I put on a hindi movie starring Salman Khan, named Dabangg, and wasn’t disappointed with the movie. It helped kill time and it was decently entertaining. After that, I decided to go back to “How to Train your Dragon” since I had only watched 18 minutes of the movie. I put that on and started watching it.

A little bit into the movie, the hot snack service started. The choice was either a veggie wrap or a chicken fajita wrap. I went with the chicken fajita wrap and it was very very delicious. It was extremely hot; in fact so hot that I had to wait a little bit in order to enjoy it. I was feeling a bit hungry; therefore I went back to the galley and asked, “Would you happen to have an extra chicken wrap?” to which the answer was a big smile and “of course. Here you go. Would you like something to drink with that?” I asked for another beer and was happily given one. I enjoyed the rest of the movie with another chicken wrap and a beer. The landing cards were also handed out and I was glad I didn’t have to fill out another Canadian one as I would head straight to the American immigration area.

Soon after, the pilot came on and said that we were beginning our initial descent into the Toronto area and gave us the normal information such as weather etc. about Toronto. This was repeated in French. As soon as this was done, somehow the IFE system was shut. So I again could not finish my movie. Now I will have to rent it and finish it. I must admit, it was a good movie. I opened up my window shade and was greated by spectacular views of downtown Toronto. I could see the CN tower from the distance as well as the Toronto City Airport. I wish I had my zoom lens here and could take better pictures but I could not. We continued our descent and banked left and were then over the lake. We would then make a left turn again and then finally line up for the runway to land.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZfoB8PII/AAAAAAAAed0/C7pskGx5QvY/s800/IMG_5121.JPG.
Downtown YYZ


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZiC2ggPI/AAAAAAAAeec/wjnKk2KrzWA/s800/IMG_5126.JPG.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZi0SuI2I/AAAAAAAAees/7vJJC6kzGLw/s800/IMG_5128.JPG.


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZkSb2AjI/AAAAAAAAee8/n20a1xe1Su4/s800/IMG_5130.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZnNfMJRI/AAAAAAAAefs/fkIcNPyIfbQ/s800/IMG_5136.JPG.
Another plane on approach for landing


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZotHMutI/AAAAAAAAegI/-YrxqgjwKxU/s800/IMG_5139.JPG.
Another AC B767


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZrdyuf7I/AAAAAAAAeg8/7efglJOdw6E/s800/IMG_5145.JPG.
Ice Crystals


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZsvNmS_I/AAAAAAAAehM/p7HkLn3EcU8/s800/IMG_5147.JPG.


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZtuzloVI/AAAAAAAAehg/mfnueepbb78/s800/IMG_5149.JPG.


The FA and I struck a conversation here and she asked about my trip and how I thought AC was so far. I asked her if the light load was normal during this time of the year to which she replied that she had not seen such a light load in 10 years, and suggested that maybe the holidays and the cold weather could have something to do with it. We touched down to a sunny and cold Toronto and again, it didn’t even feel like we hit the brakes. While taxiing I spotted a 9W A330 at the gate along with other AC widebodies. We finally made it to our gate and as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, the usual rush of people getting up to leave the plane started. Since the load was so light, we were out in no time. I was back in the land of security from Hell, but I had some encouragement that I would only get to see the US immigrations and customs. I had originally planned to go out of the airport and go eat some really good Indian food, but the inbound hell I got, discouraged me from that.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZuZCwAbI/AAAAAAAAeho/CHI87OJJH-U/s800/IMG_5150.JPG.
Taxiing with Air Transat


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZuprFc1I/AAAAAAAAehw/rJKWPBm9ZPU/s800/IMG_5151.JPG.
BA, AF


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZvJSazRI/AAAAAAAAeh4/WDcdKBwoITk/s800/IMG_5152.JPG.
Pearson Terminal


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZvgFN2CI/AAAAAAAAeiA/o83_lU9wvLo/s800/IMG_5153.JPG.
AC Country...


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZwXFBfWI/AAAAAAAAeiQ/KRQLuqyC5qI/s800/IMG_5155.JPG.
LH, Austrian, Alitalia & Air India?


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZyBxOmeI/AAAAAAAAeis/79JIlI6g7OE/s800/IMG_5158.JPG.
9W and Alitalia tails


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZyrdgFxI/AAAAAAAAei0/5t0QDHhcFqw/s800/IMG_5159.JPG.
Managed to quickly snap this. Sorry its blurry...


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZzSxpkmI/AAAAAAAAei8/bdvC-DLqUas/s800/IMG_5160.JPG.
Some activity


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZ0L23w8I/AAAAAAAAejM/airXBJAnWHM/s800/IMG_5162.JPG.
9W A330


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZ0kGrSnI/AAAAAAAAejU/dGDUJcs5u7I/s800/IMG_5163.JPG.
Sunset time


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZ04TRszI/AAAAAAAAejc/qubxg3fo91w/s800/IMG_5164.JPG.


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZ1XoAG_I/AAAAAAAAejk/BurVzNEIRi0/s800/IMG_5165.JPG.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_t87Q6m9zUa0/TQYZ1ij6A6I/AAAAAAAAejs/ce-2HWHGigQ/s800/IMG_5166.JPG.



C O N N E C T I O N / T R A N S F E R

I got out of the plane and made way to the same central area I was at a day earlier. The same 2 windows that said “International Connections” and the 2 escalators taking down to the immigration area were also there. While walking, I spotted the 9W crew heading to their A/C. Boy I must admit, that was a very good looking young crew with good looking uniforms. I have never had the opportunity to fly 9W long haul, but it’s definitely on my “to fly” list.
I headed down the escalators, turned left and while walked was asked, “US Connection?” to which I nodded and passed on towards another escalator taking me upstairs. I had passed the CNX area again. I went upstairs and immediately have to find the AC customer service area so that I could get my boarding pass to the PIT flight. It was a quick stop and I was handed the boarding pass in no time with the seat 2F assigned.

I went around the checkpoint where I was asked, “any checked-in bags?” to which I replied, “No” and was granted access to this wonderful line that was winding towards the US immigration area. Finally in about 10-15 minutes, I was called and I kid you not, I was asked:

Guy: How are you doing?
Me: Doing good but tired.
Where are you coming from?
Me: Zurich
Guy: What were you doing there?
Me: I needed some miles. Found a really good fare and thought of flying
Guy: You did this just for miles?
Me: Yup. Flew out yesterday and am back today
Guy: Is it worth it?
Me: Yes it is.
Guy: Welcome and have a safe flight back home.

How simple was that? I though US / Canada were on the same level of paranoia. Obviously I have seen the worse and was expecting the worse; however this was a pleasant surprise. My passport was stamped and then I headed towards the US security and then came into the area where there was a pub, a duty free shop and hallways that led to various gates. I went to the duty free shop and got a bottle of Scotch. I was also kinda hungry and needed to get dinner before my next flight. So I head over to the pub and ordered a beer along with my food. I must have sat there for about 45 minutes to an hour and after clearing my check, I headed towards my gate. At this point I was really tired and just wanted to shut my eyes. I must have taken a quick nap as I was woken up by my neighbor for the boarding of the PIT flight.

F L I G H T – F O U R
YYZ – PIT
Air Canada 8038 operated by Air Canada Jazz
Aircraft: de Havilland Dash 8-100 (twin-turboprop) (DH8A/R)
Route: V37 ERI YNG CUTTA CUTTA2
Departure: 8:58 pm
Arrival: 9:52 pm
Speed: 263 kts
Altitude: 20,000 feet
Seat: 2F


Now I could not wait to board this flight. I just wanted to board and then sleep as I would have to drive another hour to finally be home. I finally got on board and this time the load was not light at all. The flight was practically full with 2 big guys occupying four seats. These guys were so big that they literally did not fit in one seat. I was in seat 2F and it was a very small and cramped seat. I really could not sit there comfortably; however I sat down and immediately shut my eyes. I woke up when we had landed in PIT, but I’m guessing there was probably a drink & pretzel service like the inbound flight. We finally made it to our gate around 10 pm and then I headed to my car in order to drive back home. The drive back home wasn’t fun as it was snowing pretty heavily. I finally got home and just crashed.

C O N C L U S I O N / R E M A R K S

I must say that this MR was a very interesting experience; however I would also say that US airports don’t give as much hell as YYZ gave me when I was there. YYZ might be THE worst airport to transit through if you are doing a MR. For normal traveling, it might be ok. YYZ is a very spacious airport and has a lot of facilities.

Air Canada…

What can I say about AC. This ladies & gents is a hidden gem in N. America. It is such an under rated airline. The service offered was top notch and comparable to the flight I was on from MUC-IAD on LH. The crew was lovely and friendly and genuinely seemed like they enjoyed their work. They were helping the passengers, interacting with them and moreover taking care of them without any attitude. Kudos to them. If someone from AC is here on this board, please do report that the crew on both the AC flights to/from ZRH was just spectacular. It is service like this that will probably not make me think twice before booking on AC again. The thought of transiting through YYZ, that might be a bit of a bother; however for vacation, that also might be negligible.

ZRH airport seemed like a great facility. I could not experience it as I wanted to; which is why I would be heading back there sometime  

Overall I’d say it was a wonderful trip. Apart from the hell I received at YYZ while heading out, it went smoothly and it was truly a great adventure. I hope you guys enjoyed this adventure with me. If you have any questions, comments, please feel free to get in touch with me…

Thank you all for spending the time to read this report…

Cheers & Go Bucks!!!

[Edited 2010-12-13 08:40:20]

User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 19342 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
So, let me get this clear. What was your reason for flying to ZRH?

It's called a mileage run. Lots of people do it to collect miles. Please refer to flyertalk.com for more information...

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
It seems that you fitted the profile that would set the alarm bells ringing. Travelling alone, without checked in baggage and returning on the vary next flight. Lucky that you weren't strip searched, by the sound of it.

Thank you for the kind words  
Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
At least the poor experience on the ground was offset by the positive experience inflight. Hopefully the trip home is better for you.

Yes it was. The in flight experience was great. and the trip home was much much better. No hassles. and an easy welcome back home...


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 19024 times:

Great report with many nice pictures. What a nightmare transfer at YYZ, unbelievable that you were questioned several times. The catering looks fine, but the portions could be larger.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18868 times:

Hey buck3y3nut, Nice report and i loved the quality of your night time photos into YYZ.

Congratulations on your First MileageRun. Glad you enjoyed it and hope the status brings you some joy in the upgrade arena or at least Y+ when flying UA.
In general i guess most Canadian immigration officers can seem very anti MR. You would think by now that they would be familiar with people passing through on mileage runs? Maybe they are but just like to grill us to see if we are legitimate? I agree with Quokka that the profile of a MRunner can look suspicious, that of a drug runner for example, but to have to tell your story Four times is a bit rough.
I have had generally good experiences at US borders. I had a chat for a few minutes with a officer in PHL earlier this year doing a MR with US. I was routing MAN-PHL-PHX-LAX. He was a bit "frosty" at first, wanting to know about my job, income, who i was travelling with. I said (and i think its best to be honest) look, i got a very good deal on a ticket, i collect miles and i love to fly. His response was classic, "ah, your one of those guys"!!!. I showed him the rest of my itinerary for the next few days LAX-SFO-LAX-SFO-LAX-ZRH-MAN and laughed. He scanned my fingers, stamped me in and wished me a good trip  

Looks like you met some very nice crew on AC. Always makes for a nice flight.

I agree, ZRH is a nice airport with an interesting mix of airlines/aircraft.

So are you going to keep MRunning? It can become very addictive. My longest to date is 20,009 BumInSeat miles over 5 days.

Cheers, Lee


User currently offlinegjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18840 times:

I second PlaneHunter's comment, I really enjoyed your report. The treatment at YYZ is unacceptable in my opinion, but I've basically had the same experience previously: easy immigration to the US, complicated and less friendly immigration to Canada.

User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18814 times:

Hola buck3y3nut!

Excellent MR, I have done some of those but only Intra-European and they were not half the hassle you mentioned.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 4):
however I would also say that US airports don’t give as much hell as YYZ gave me when I was there.

I assume you hold an American passport, so that may explain part of it.
I did once a transit to go to YYC in SEA and I ended up naked in front of the two police officers... so it is not always as you mention. I remember it as another experience, so far I try to avoid connecting in the US as much as I can  

AC seems a great airline, I have done some flights with them but never in the new configuration and they have been always nice and helpful, service is better than the one you find in many airlines. Good job! Keep it up AC!

Loved the pictures of snowy Zürich, by far the best airport in Europe and my favorite for connections.

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 2):
Which airline is this? (Edelweiss?)

Edelweiss is mainly a charter airline acquired by LX in 2008 and while it continues to fly charter flights to holiday destinations it serves as well LX destinations and it us not infrequent to find it on LX routes, eg. I have flown them ZRH-TXL several times. They keep their image, silverware and glassware bear the flower after which it is named.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18714 times:

hey there - great report and some fantastic pics too. I really enjoyed your series of departure shots from ZRH.

Glad you got your MR done even with all the hassles in YYZ. Totally unacceptable but perhaps not surprising in this era of paranoia. I have a US based friend who actually did a MR to YVR last year, and was only meant to be in YVR for a few hours, and like you, he was questioned by several immigration officers in YVR, and was actually held in YVR for 2 hours because they did not believe he was doing a mileage run. Seems like your Canadian neighbours need to be advised what a mileage run is!

The tip that he took away from his horrible experience in YVR was in future, to least book one night's hotel !

He and I both did a mileage run in the US in early 2009, and I was searched at the gate in MDW, because we had never cleared security at any of our transit airports and the officials in MDW could not understand how I'd managed to get through security there without my boarding pass being scrutinised (I was a SSS because of my name). I explained that I had done a mileage run and never left the airside area of MDW, having arrived from DTW a couple of hours earlier. I was made to feel like a criminal - being questioned at the gate in front of passing passengers, and then searched again in front of passengers at the gate. I've vowed never to set foot in MDW again.



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2208 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 18525 times:

Really, really great TR. I wish I had a little more time to comment on the specific aspects that I liked about it, but in general you wrote it in a way that reached out to any aviation fan (i.e. the thrill of seeing ZRH airborne). Worth it in the end, I hope.

As far as your experience in the YYZ airport went, I can empathize fully, 100%. In fact, just around this time of year exactly two years ago, I went through the same experience. I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for a semester, and I flew on an AC itinerary DFW-YYZ-SCL outbound in July 2008, and returned the same way in December, SCL-YYZ-DFW. The reason for choosing this itinerary is too complicated to explain. My experience on-board the AC flights were outstanding; my encounters in Toronto airport, however - not so much.

The outbound journey wasn't too awful, for whatever reason, but the inbound journey subjected me to harassment, similar to what you encountered. Our overnight flight into YYZ from SCL landed early morning, and I had about a 3-4 hour layover in Toronto. After a long, international flight, coupled with just simply wanting to get home, being nearly broke, and still having 8 hours of traveling ahead of me (the YYZ-DFW flight took longer than usual due to weather/holding traffic), I just wanted everything to go as seamlessly as possible.

Well, upon exiting the aircraft in Toronto, there was a fellow Chilean passenger, probably no older than 18, who spoke no English and couldn't understand the marked signs at the YYZ transit area. I offered to help by speaking to him, in Spanish, to guide him through the process (since I was fairly familiar with YYZ from the inbound journey). Immediately, two suspicious officers whisked us to the side, noting our Spanish, demanded to see our documents, and then eyed my immigration form having seen that I traveled to Brasil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay throughout my semester. I did not see where they took the Chilean kid from there, but I was also screamed at for "not following proper instructions" and going in the direction I was supposed to? in order to connect to transborder flights.

Well, I went through an unnecessarily lengthy interrogation in the immigration line, mostly because, yes, it seemed suspicious that a U.S. citizen was transiting through Canada after spending 5 months in South America. I was frequently asked about smuggling drugs, amongst other inane questions, meanwhile keeping a straight face, answering honestly, before they let me go. Collecting my luggage was almost as miserable - I recall having to go into some special room to find them? Again, I was yelled at for "not knowing the system" when I took my claim tags to the baggage inquiry counter. I finally managed to claim and recheck them to Dallas.

After that hellish experience, I breezed through US immigration and proceeded to security, where I was "randomly selected" for a full-body search. It took no less than ten minutes, after I was asked more questions and was nearly groped. One of the security agents, who was either of Indian or Pakistani descent, saw the look on my face as I was being searched, and empathized with me. I asked him plainly, and simply, what this was all for.

"They're idiots," he told me.

I've heard two sides of the story: that plain and simple, transferring in Toronto/Canada is just awful, but that other individuals appreciate the consistency to their interrogation system. Whichever the case, I can say for sure that I do not wish to go through that again anytime soon. I am sorry that you had to, I understand fully.



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently onlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1934 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 18519 times:

Thanks for the report and I am already dragging my decision to go through Vancouver for a semi-mileage run in January! However folks in Toronto can be very paranoia and I always recommend against going through Toronto for mileage run. Air Canada is a very nice carrier, but the hassle in Toronto is just not worth it.

I like Canada and love to travel there, but the immigration and custom officers are definitely some of the most unfriendliest Canadians that you will meet. Toronto has a certain reputation, as well as Vancouver, which has improved for the Winter Olympics. Being the gateway to Canada, these immigration and custom officers do not reflect the warmth image that the Canadian Tourism advertisement tries to provide. I sincerely hope that Canada can do something about it. You can be strict without being rude. Mileage runs are well discussed in various TV news networks now featuring in a number of BBC and CNN travel shows.

Thanks for the report and a good warning to fellow mileage runners! You are not the first one to report such treatment, and sadly not the last one!

Carfield


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 18083 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report and photos! Thanks for sharing!

Really nice to read about your trip with Air Canada. Looks like they took care of you pretty well in-flight! I'm amazed with the tone at the beginning of your trip with that agent; why do people have to talk to others like that?! Especially if you work in customer service!!

A United A319 from PIT to LAX?! Interesting .. I'm actually surprised they weren't busier as US has cut so many flights from this airport!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1088 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 17510 times:

Love all the pics from your MR trips!
Such a wonderful review, I really enjoy reading as much as looking at all those photos.
This is one trip report I'll remember and come back to look at it again  

Sound like you had fun on Air Canada for the mileage run. I'd love to do so for STAR GOLD status!
Yep, free checked bag and/or free additional allowance! And Lounge access and perhaps upgrades!!

I'd do MR on cheap Air Canada fares anyday!!

Many thanks for 5 star trip report.

nethkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 17044 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really great report, enjoyed it immensely. I'm not sure if MRs are that popular, but someone travelling with just checked baggage and flying and returning on the same plane, does cause bells and whistles to go off. I mean seriously how many people do that, if they are not doing such a trip for business purposes only. So you can't really blame YYZ for it! However YYZ customs and immigrations are a lot less friendlier than the US customs and Immigration, I have to admit.

You did a more than normal approach into Toronto using Rwy 33R, which is the north south runways. Usually the East or West runways are normally used. You mentioned the BA, AF but forgot the PK lol...The Air India you felt you saw was basically a Sun wing B737 with winglets. AI had it been here would have been the 7773ER but now operating nonstop to India with the B77LR! Also it's great to see that AC uses the same inflight maps as does Etihad.

Really great to see AC up in the lights with your reports. I can assure you they are not an underated airline and have been number one in North America for a very long tme now! Nice to see that you enjoyed your flights with them especially on the Toronto-Zurich-Toronto. Those special touches by the FAs is what makes all the difference. I personally love AC.

Lastly, Zurich is so beautiful in either summer or snowy winter...And with all those gorgeous LX tails it's just magnificent!! Too bad you missed out on the SQ A380 but you managed to get the gorgeous TG A340-600!!


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 17039 times:

You are lucky. At least you got your suitcase if you had one. They lost mine and never found it again. I believe it was stolen in YUL. Follow up / compensation, customer service was atrocious.

Yes the crews are excellent. Seats / legroom entertainment is good. But that's it. I find the meals very average, especially a tiny cookie for desert. Fortunately they avoid plain "lettuce" as a starter. Better than US airlines but that really is not difficult to accomplish. And passing customs in Canada / YUL was unpleasant. Takes a lot longer doing that in Canada than in the US.

[Edited 2010-12-14 11:17:47]



[Edited 2010-12-14 11:21:49]

User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16570 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Great report with many nice pictures. What a nightmare transfer at YYZ, unbelievable that you were questioned several times. The catering looks fine, but the portions could be larger.

Thank you PH. The questioning was a nightmare. But the key was to keep my cool and remain as patient as possible. The catering was pretty good on my flights, and yes, the portions could be a bit larger. I felt like having some more after I was done eating on my way back.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Nice report and i loved the quality of your night time photos into YYZ.

Thank you Lee.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Congratulations on your First MileageRun. Glad you enjoyed it and hope the status brings you some joy in the upgrade arena or at least Y+ when flying UA.

Thank you again Lee. I'm glad I got status. As the free checked bags adn Y+ or a remote chance of domestic upgrades is definitely a + while on UA.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
I agree with Quokka that the profile of a MRunner can look suspicious, that of a drug runner for example, but to have to tell your story Four times is a bit rough.

I agree that it can look suspicious. But to ask everything four times was a bit much.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
His response was classic, "ah, your one of those guys"!!!.

Awesome!!!

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
I showed him the rest of my itinerary for the next few days LAX-SFO-LAX-SFO-LAX-ZRH-MAN and laughed.

That sounds like one heck of an itinerary...   I'm sure he must have thought, "what people do for miles ".

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Looks like you met some very nice crew on AC. Always makes for a nice flight.

I did. The crew was very friendly and geniunely seemed to be enjoying their work. The crew can make or break a flight according to me and some others here on A.net. They definitely made my first MR enjoyable and memorable.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
So are you going to keep MRunning? It can become very addictive. My longest to date is 20,009 BumInSeat miles over 5 days.

Maybe. If the price is right, why not? I know it can become addictive, with the hunger to achieve greater status  .

Quoting gjunnar (Reply 8):
I really enjoyed your report.

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it  .

Quoting gjunnar (Reply 8):
The treatment at YYZ is unacceptable in my opinion, but I've basically had the same experience previously: easy immigration to the US, complicated and less friendly immigration to Canada.

I understand where they come from; however a little awareness to this practice can go long ways for the YYZ folks...

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Excellent MR, I have done some of those but only Intra-European and they were not half the hassle you mentioned.

Thank you Roger. You are lucky you did not have to go through all of that   But it was definitely an experience, one that I would surely not want to repeat.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 9):
I assume you hold an American passport

Yes sir. I do.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 9):
AC seems a great airline, I have done some flights with them but never in the new configuration and they have been always nice and helpful, service is better than the one you find in many airlines. Good job! Keep it up AC!

It is a great airline indeed. Up there with the European ones. Definitely much better than the long haul service on US carriers in my opinion.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Loved the pictures of snowy Zürich, by far the best airport in Europe and my favorite for connections.

Thank you again. Seems like it is an amazing airport for connections. Too bad ticket prices aren't usually the cheapest through there. Example, I was checking on tickets to India for my parents, and they had complained about CDG last time they went. I tried to route them through ZRH but the ticket prices were not very favorable. Oh well!!!

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Edelweiss is mainly a charter airline acquired by LX in 2008 and while it continues to fly charter flights to holiday destinations it serves as well LX destinations and it us not infrequent to find it on LX routes, eg. I have flown them ZRH-TXL several times. They keep their image, silverware and glassware bear the flower after which it is named.

Thank you Roger. I had never heard of this airline before, but I think the plane had a cool livery...

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
hey there - great report and some fantastic pics too. I really enjoyed your series of departure shots from ZRH.

Thank you very much  .

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
Totally unacceptable but perhaps not surprising in this era of paranoia. I have a US based friend who actually did a MR to YVR last year, and was only meant to be in YVR for a few hours, and like you, he was questioned by several immigration officers in YVR, and was actually held in YVR for 2 hours because they did not believe he was doing a mileage run. Seems like your Canadian neighbours need to be advised what a mileage run is!

Yeah. Seems like they need to know what a MR is. That's why I carried a copy of the MR article published by Conde Nast and left a copy with the customs guy at YYZ. Hopefully he will share it with his colleagues...

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
The tip that he took away from his horrible experience in YVR was in future, to least book one night's hotel !

Yes. Absolutely. Or keep EVERY possible document you can including your business card to show what you do.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 10):
He and I both did a mileage run in the US in early 2009, and I was searched at the gate in MDW, because we had never cleared security at any of our transit airports and the officials in MDW could not understand how I'd managed to get through security there without my boarding pass being scrutinised (I was a SSS because of my name). I explained that I had done a mileage run and never left the airside area of MDW, having arrived from DTW a couple of hours earlier. I was made to feel like a criminal - being questioned at the gate in front of passing passengers, and then searched again in front of passengers at the gate. I've vowed never to set foot in MDW again.

That sounds like a horrible experience!!! I wouldn't want to go to MDW again after that experience...

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
Really, really great TR. I wish I had a little more time to comment on the specific aspects that I liked about it, but in general you wrote it in a way that reached out to any aviation fan (i.e. the thrill of seeing ZRH airborne). Worth it in the end, I hope.

Thank you very much mate. I'm glad you enjoyed the report with all the pictures. Its always a thrill to see the ground once airborne. It's my source of entertainment on the flight, especially when there is no cloud in sight.  . Yes I guess it was worth all the troubles and hassles in the end. I will be doing some personal as well as business travels next year; therefore these benefits will help...

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
After that hellish experience, I breezed through US immigration and proceeded to security, where I was "randomly selected" for a full-body search. It took no less than ten minutes, after I was asked more questions and was nearly groped. One of the security agents, who was either of Indian or Pakistani descent, saw the look on my face as I was being searched, and empathized with me. I asked him plainly, and simply, what this was all for.

"They're idiots," he told me.

hahahaha. Priceless!!! This is golden.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
I've heard two sides of the story: that plain and simple, transferring in Toronto/Canada is just awful, but that other individuals appreciate the consistency to their interrogation system. Whichever the case, I can say for sure that I do not wish to go through that again anytime soon. I am sorry that you had to, I understand fully.

I'd say so. Because I didn't see the immigration people sending everyone to the CNX zone. There was a couple in front of me that was sent there, only because their English wasn't the best, and both the husband & wife were not on the same page. One of the questions asked to the wife was, "Any checked bags?" "She said Yes" however the bagtags of both husband & wife were tagged to the husband's name. So the agent made a fuss about it and asked where her bag was, claiming that the husband had checked the bags and she didn't. Isn't this preposterous???
But I guess if one was going for leisure vacation for a week or so, they wouldn't have any issues connecting through YYZ. It's just not meant to be the best airport for a MR. Flyertalkers also say the same thing...

Quoting Carfield (Reply 12):
However folks in Toronto can be very paranoia and I always recommend against going through Toronto for mileage run.

Yes it seemed like they were quite paranoid. I understand where they come from, but like i said, a little more awareness goes a long way...

Quoting Carfield (Reply 12):
Air Canada is a very nice carrier, but the hassle in Toronto is just not worth it.

It is indeed. If going for a vacation, I highly doubt one will see so much hassle. Therefore it might not be that bad. for a MR - NEED TO AVOID like the PLAGUE...

Quoting Carfield (Reply 12):
Thanks for the report and a good warning to fellow mileage runners! You are not the first one to report such treatment, and sadly not the last one!

Thank you very much   I'm glad you enjoyed the report...

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
Great report and photos! Thanks for sharing!

Your very welcome Matthew. I'm glad you enjoyed the repot and the pictures...

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
Really nice to read about your trip with Air Canada. Looks like they took care of you pretty well in-flight!

Yes they did. They were great in everything. I really did not expect this much as we all know US airlines don't really set up a nice benchmark for others to follow...

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
I'm amazed with the tone at the beginning of your trip with that agent; why do people have to talk to others like that?! Especially if you work in customer service!!

Yes. It was quite apalling!!!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
A United A319 from PIT to LAX?! Interesting .. I'm actually surprised they weren't busier as US has cut so many flights from this airport!

Yeah. I was wondering why the flight was so light as well...

Quoting nethkt (Reply 14):
Love all the pics from your MR trips!
Such a wonderful review, I really enjoy reading as much as looking at all those photos.
This is one trip report I'll remember and come back to look at it again

Thank you very much for the kind words. I'm really glad you enjoyed the trip report and the pictures.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 14):
Sound like you had fun on Air Canada for the mileage run. I'd love to do so for STAR GOLD status!
Yep, free checked bag and/or free additional allowance! And Lounge access and perhaps upgrades!!

Haha. That would indeed be great. Having lounge access and getting upgrades on International flights, now that would be awesome  .

Quoting nethkt (Reply 14):
I'd do MR on cheap Air Canada fares anyday!!

I might not. Even if the price is great, the hassle & hell of going through YYZ was just too much. My patience was being tested at every moment and I think i will avoid AC for a MR. For vacation though, sign me up ANYTIME!!!  .

Quoting nethkt (Reply 14):
Many thanks for 5 star trip report.

Your very welcome  .

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Really great report, enjoyed it immensely. I'm not sure if MRs are that popular, but someone travelling with just checked baggage and flying and returning on the same plane, does cause bells and whistles to go off.

Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the report... MRs are very very popular. Flyertalk is full of mileage runners across the world. I did not have any checked bags. I'm guessing you meant carry on luggage only? I agree that it would cause bells; but the entire process wasn't needed to be repeated four times...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
So you can't really blame YYZ for it!

I never blamed them. They were doing their job. I kept my patience and was brutally honest with them for every one of their questions. Just I thought the 4x was a bit much.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
You did a more than normal approach into Toronto using Rwy 33R, which is the north south runways. Usually the East or West runways are normally used.

This approach was great. Similar to the one to ORD, where you are over Lake Michigan and you can see Chicago downtown from your window. It was great.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
You mentioned the BA, AF but forgot the PK lol...The Air India you felt you saw was basically a Sun wing B737 with winglets. AI had it been here would have been the 7773ER but now operating nonstop to India with the B77LR!

Haha. I knew I saw PK, but I wasn't sure from the picture. Thanks for pointing it out.  .

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Really great to see AC up in the lights with your reports. I can assure you they are not an underated airline and have been number one in North America for a very long tme now! Nice to see that you enjoyed your flights with them especially on the Toronto-Zurich-Toronto. Those special touches by the FAs is what makes all the difference. I personally love AC.

and I believe you. They do deserve to be number one in North America. They surpass any of the US Carrier's service in all departments.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 15):
Lastly, Zurich is so beautiful in either summer or snowy winter...And with all those gorgeous LX tails it's just magnificent!! Too bad you missed out on the SQ A380 but you managed to get the gorgeous TG A340-600!!

Yes it is. It is a wonderful airport. Too bad I did not get to explore it more. Otherwise I would have. Had I not spent that much time in the bathroom, I would have caught the SQ A380 as well. Oh well, next time I guess.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
At least you got your suitcase if you had one.

Nope. I only had a backpack on me  .

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
They lost mine and never found it again. I believe it was stolen in YUL. Follow up / compensation, customer service was atrocious.

That sounds horrible!!!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
I find the meals very average, especially a tiny cookie for desert.

Concur to a certain degree. The meal size was very average; the taste however was good. It wasn't too bad for Y. At least it was better than the food I had on UA while going to MUC.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
Fortunately they avoid plain "lettuce" as a starter.

haha. yes. the corn/carrot salad was much better than just lettuce that looks like it comes from a big plastic bag of lettuce bought from say, Sam's Club or Costco. lol.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
Better than US airlines but that really is not difficult to accomplish.

Absolutely. That's really not an astronomical task for any airline to achieve  .

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 16):
And passing customs in Canada / YUL was unpleasant. Takes a lot longer doing that in Canada than in the US.

Hmmm. Seems like Canada in general is a bit more strict on immigration. Oh well. Hopefully the next experience will be better...  .


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 15 hours ago) and read 15533 times:

Nice trip report, sorry to hear about the extra questioning. Looks like AC treated you well, have flewn this past July from Montreal to Ft Lauderdale via Toronto and was very happy with them as well. You can find mine here. Air Canada, North America's Hidden Jewel? (by MSS658 Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 15156 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I have traveled all over the world and without a doubt, Canadian Customs and Immigration is the worst I have ever experienced anywhere. They were beyond paranoid. I had to go through secondary screening on my trip to Montreal just last month. They couldn't believe that I would fly from LAX to YUL for two days just to visit their city. Canadian Customs seems to have a real problem and they act like they have a chip on their shoulders. They are even worse than American customs.

User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 15144 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

And yes, the worst experience of all was visiting Toronto a few years ago. They were simply out of control. As a side note however, I really love Canada but their Customs and Immigration Service....that's another story.

User currently offlineStaralliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 15107 times:

Thanks for sharing this TR!

Indeed, AC is a real gem in North American aviation, definitely better than many of the US airlines! Sorry to hear about the rude treatment at YYZ. I love the Canadian airport officers (CATSA). The CATSA officers I've met in YYC and YVR were very friendly and nice. Much nicer than their American counterparts

Cheers on your mileage run and your status for 2011!



Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 14694 times:

Hello(!),

Just to say many thanks for the report and pics. Flying all the way to Zurich for a mileage run is pretty hardcore but you had a great price for the ticket and had a great experience crossing the Atlantic with Air Canada so that's cool. Did you know they have showers in Zurich airport airside which are really nice and not too expensive. You could have had a shower to freshen up if you had time. The food on Air Canada looked great and getting lots of beer and pretzels to watch with your movies must have been nice too. Sorry you had a hard time with all the immigration in Canada, I mean if you were a terrorist you would hardly book yourself on the next flight back and make yourself stand out a mile!

Many thanks,

Pierre


User currently offlinenetdhaka From Bangladesh, joined Feb 2004, 183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14634 times:

Thanks for the detailed report. I enjoined reading it.

I have had multiple negative experiences with Canadian immigration regarding unnecessary lengthy interrogations. One of the agents once told me that "there is nothing to see in London, ON". After that I cut short my visit to Canada and headed back to the US. And I used my US passport for the travel.

After several negative encounters I decided to avoid visiting Canada. I think Canadian immigration is trying to match up US immigration since US immigration tightened up boarder checks. I guess it is not as easy to cross boarder for Canadians as it used to be and Canadians don't like that.

Many Canadians hold negative views about Americans as well. I was once picked on consistently by a tour guide in Winnipeg for being an American. I don't know the reason for it, but feel that jealousy might be at play.


User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14048 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 18):

Thank you very much. I agree with you that AC is really North America's hidden gem. I read your report and enjoyed it too. Seems like you had a great experience with them.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 19):

Seems to be the trend here. Canadian Customs and negativity go hand in hand. I would really like to understand why this is the case. Thanks for the comment  
Quoting caleb1 (Reply 20):

I agree again. Toronto immigration was just horrible. The city on the other hand, AMAZING...

Quoting Staralliance38 (Reply 21):
Thanks for sharing this TR!

Your very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Thank you for the comments.

Quoting Staralliance38 (Reply 21):
Indeed, AC is a real gem in North American aviation, definitely better than many of the US airlines!

I definitely agree with you here. Also helps that they are in Star Alliance so that I can get my UA miles  
Quoting Staralliance38 (Reply 21):
Cheers on your mileage run and your status for 2011!

Thank You. I hope I can utilize the status to its full extent in 2011  .

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 22):
Just to say many thanks for the report and pics.

Your very welcome Pierre. I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 22):
Did you know they have showers in Zurich airport airside which are really nice and not too expensive.

I did not know that at all. I wish I did. Would have packed a towel and got refreshed properly. I had about 3 hrs at the airport.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 22):
The food on Air Canada looked great and getting lots of beer and pretzels to watch with your movies must have been nice too.

The food wasn't too bad and the beer & pretzels definitely helped the time go by with movies   I fully enjoyed the empy flight on our way back.

Quoting netdhaka (Reply 23):
Thanks for the detailed report. I enjoined reading it.

Your very welcome. I'm glad that you enjoyed this report.

Quoting netdhaka (Reply 23):
I have had multiple negative experiences with Canadian immigration regarding unnecessary lengthy interrogations. One of the agents once told me that "there is nothing to see in London, ON". After that I cut short my visit to Canada and headed back to the US. And I used my US passport for the travel.

WOW. That's surprising. Way to advertise your country there. Why would anyone say such a thing? Baffles me.

Quoting netdhaka (Reply 23):
After several negative encounters I decided to avoid visiting Canada. I think Canadian immigration is trying to match up US immigration since US immigration tightened up boarder checks. I guess it is not as easy to cross boarder for Canadians as it used to be and Canadians don't like that.

I think if traveling with family etc., YYZ immigration might be better; however the treatment the couple got in front of me was also not short of weirdness. I mean how does it matter if the checked bag is in husband's name and not the wife's. The reason they had to go through secondary screening, was because the wife said she had a checked bag, and she failed to produce a baggage claim ticket under her name. The husband said he had one checked bag and his baggage claim ticket said two bags. Now this is just doing stuff for the sake of doing... Absolute nonsense!!!


25 ohsopc : Yeah, From my experiences going to Canada, their immigration officers seem to ask at least 10 questions (maybe its required of them to do so or someth
26 ba319-131 : Great report and pictures, rally enjoyed following your trip. - Not great when you have an early start or big day ahead! - How nice, I don't think I'v
27 vegas005 : Let us know the next time you come to ZRH. Can't have you wandering around the E Terminal as passport and custom clearance is a breeze! Agree with you
28 Post contains images buck3y3nut : I really wonder why... Its the same questions. The protocol can be carried out by being friendly. Agreed. Other countries are far more friendlier. Th
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