PeterJ From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 42 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5778 times:
This brief trip report documents the trip I took to move to Vancouver, BC. The routing was BDL-YYZ-YVR on Air Canada Alliance (Air Georgian), and Air Canada. I apologize in advance for the crummy quality of the photos, and the brevity of the report overall. I was absolutely exhausted throughout the trip, plus I had to rely on my old iPhone 3G, which was a fine phone, but not a great camera.
I left Western Massachusetts for the last time at about 04:45 to get to Bradley International Airport by 05:30 for a 07:00 departure.
This was my first time on Air Canada. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of frequencies that AC has from BDL to YYZ and YUL. (7) That made my trip planning easy.
My father dropped me at the curb, wished me luck, and I headed into the terminal to the single AC desk which was empty. Given that I was traveling with a lot of paperwork for immigration I decided to check in at the airport instead of online to reduce the amount of paper in my bag. I was then directed to the security line to the left of the counter, one I hadn’t noticed before. The checkpoint moved quickly and less than 10 minutes later I was out in the terminal.
After walking the terminal, checking out the ops on the ground, I decided to just sit, wait, and do some emailing. I noticed while I was wandering, that the AA gates were proudly advertising the new order.
Soon after, boarding was “called.” I put that in quote because all six of us were mulling around, and the agent just let us know, and told us that this was our last chance to get refreshments to bring aboard. This is my first time riding in a turboprop period. I was thrilled that we got to walk down stairs at the end of the jet bridge and onto the tarmac. (Haven’t done that since I was flying through CDG.)
AC 7427 (Operated by Air Georgian ZX 7427)
Scheduled Departure: 07:00
Scheduled Arrival: 08:55
My uncle has traveled a lot for work, and his company often flies him AC with a connection at YYZ, so he was telling me all about the 1900D. I actually liked the ride I had on it. For the most part it was smooth flying, with some turbulence over Lake Ontario. My biggest complaint was the noise. I was in 2B, right next to the propeller. Perhaps that seat is noisier than others? I could hardly hear myself think. The noise was so loud I couldn’t understand most of the safety briefing or any of the pilot’s announcements. I actually found the seat comfortable, and the pitch was fine, though the reading light is basically useless.
Another thing I enjoyed was that because of the relatively low cruising altitude, I had a great view almost the whole way. We were almost to Toronto when we hit some clouds and light rain which obscured my view.
Unfortunately the window was quite scratched up, and so the photos didn’t come out right.
Overall, I enjoyed my first turboprop experience. It was, surprisingly to me, more comfortable than my CRJ experiences. With so few people on board it was a unique experience.
Toronto Pearson Airport
This was also my first time to YYZ. I had 3 hours there, but about 1 hour was dedicated to immigration matters. I found Terminal 1 to be somewhat lacking. For a major hub I expected a few more food/shopping options. It reminded me a little of T7 at LAX, only with much better upkeep. I grabbed my inaugural Tim Horton’s as a Temporary Canadian, emailed some folks, and then explored the terminal. Sadly I didn’t get to catch much unusual traffic. There were a ton of Maple Leafs, a ton of WestJet, and I saw Air India, KLM, Korean, and Sunwing. (I had never heard of Sunwing—I picked up a Toronto Star, and the cover story was a perfect storm of maintenance issues in Paris that resulted in a 36 hour delay on a Sunwing flight.)
I will admit, I got confused. There was a previous departure to Vancouver at the same gate. When I went to scope it out before I went to explore, they had just closed up and I got a quick nervous jolt like I had missed my ride. Nope. Just a lot of departures per day.
Boarding was slated to start at 11:25. I noticed that time came and went with no announcements. As it turns out there was a downgauge form a 321 to a 320. So while everyone was sitting around waiting, an announcement was made that was something to the effect of “We regret to inform you that this flight has been downgauged and we will not be able to accommodate everyone. A minor fracas ensued. Despite what I have read on here and FT about Air Canada’s gate agents, I thought that this woman did everything right. She made the announcement, and told everyone to please have tickets ready and that people would be called to the podium if there was an issue. Naturally about 35-40 people immediately lined up.
Scheduled Departure: 12:00 (EDT)
Scheduled Arrival: 13:58 (PDT)
I was unaffected, and was one of the last to board. Sadly what was an open row for me this morning was now, of course full. The captain made a brief announcement and the cabin crew came through with left over French newspapers. I grabbed a copy of La Presse and tried to feel my way through it with my limited French. While I am certain I missed the nuances, I actually was able to get the gist of most of it.
I was excited to try out enRoute, the IFE. While I knew it wasn’t going to be KrisWorld, I was curious to see what it would be like. I was a bit disappointed. While I liked the moving map, the audio only worked if I fiddled with the headphones, and several features just had a “Feature Not Available” screen. Also, outside of a year old (seriously Air Canada?) ep of the Rick Mercer Report, and a documentary about 2 men who retraced the route of Marco Polo, there wasn’t much that interested me. It was frustrating to see other people having full access.
The cabin crew was great during the flight. They were visible for most of the flight, with the Cabin Services Director periodically checking in on the Y Cabin. There were a lot of restless children on the flight, though I am pleased they weren’t crying!
Obligatory shot of the lav, not exactly the most spacious in the world
The flight was smooth—perhaps the least turbulent I have been on in ages. My only regret was picking the aisle seat. I always default to the aisle. As we made our final to YVR I was blown away by the limited view I had out the windows.
Soon enough we landed and had taxied to the gate. Our gate was at the far end it seemed, which meant a long walk to baggage. Along the way I saw a BA 744, a KL MD-11, a CX 744, Edelweiss, and NZ. I was impressed by YVR, it is really a great looking airport, with lots of native-inspired art and design throughout. I also got the sense that there is a lot in terms of amenities, shopping, etc.
I wouldn’t change much about my first experience on Air Canada. Other than the delayed departure from YYZ, everything was easy, though the regional flights are really stuck out in the proverbial sticks. I wonder how long the walk is exactly, from the end of that pier to immigration/baggage/whatnot. I especially enjoyed my first turboprop experience. I was especially pleased by AC’s schedule out of BDL, it helped ease some stress that I didn’t have to leave from BOS. I look forward to exploring YVR further when I head home in October.
I’ll close with a few photos from my new home
Acadia Beach, part of Pacific Spirit Park which surrounds most of the University of British Columbia
PeterJ From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 42 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4635 times:
Thanks! The Beech was great. It was funny to be on a flight where 6 pax meant it was almost half full. The cabin pic doesn't do it justice, but I also had a pretty clear view through the front windows which was a neat bonus.
Tigerguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 446 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4529 times:
Nice report you've got here. I remember my first turboprop ride--granted, April isn't that far back yet. The Dash 8 exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed the heck out of that flight.
Incidentally, I took a peek at your previous report about LAX and noticed the two 767s you were on... This past Memorial Day, N676UA suffered a tremendous delay at its gate, forcing a gate change for my flight to LAX--on N666UA. (Did your imagination go into overdrive because of the registration? ) In case you're wondering: yes, I was in the middle of a day trip, and yes, I wrote a a trip report about it. [begin shameless plug] The Top Ten (Leg 6/7):SoCal [end shameless plug]
I just love the mounting evidence that this world of ours is so small, don't you?
I've flown with Charlie I, Buddy, Earl, Carl I, Lucy II, Fritz, Stretch, L.J., Thunder, Flip, André, and 21 others
Thank you! I love it here. Everyone is friendly, and no matter where I seem to go, the views are breathtaking.
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 3): N676UA suffered a tremendous delay at its gate, forcing a gate change for my flight to LAX--on N666UA.
That is too funny. That day trip was purely because I was bored, and wanted to fly around for a day. I remember standing at the gate at ORD, thinking "Boy these planes need to be repainted," then I wrote down the registration and thought "Really? There wasn't anything they could do to avoid that?" I am not superstitious, but I know plenty of folks who are. And aren't airlines/hotels typically sensitive to this? Omitting row/floor 13? Seems strange. I looked at your TR, (very nice, BTW) and I saw you got to ride up front on N666UA. I was in Y, and my sense was that whole plane had seen better days.
PeterJ From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 42 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3454 times:
I actually read your report before I left--I ran a quick search for AC in the Trip Reports forum to see what people thought. I agree, I really enjoyed my flights with them, despite the issues I had with enRoute.
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 7): Oh, BTW, did AC give you any free food (besides the coffee) for free, or is it all BOB?
No food of any kind. Just drinks on the A320 and BOB. (Though several runs.) And, of course, no service on the Beech. Though when the gate agent at BDL announced boarding, told us we could board now, or if anyone wanted to run and grab something to eat or drink quick they could do so if they were quick.