kq787 From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 59 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7711 times:
This is my trip for this year. This trip covers my itinerary YYZ-LHR-DOH-BKK-HAN-BKK-DOH-LHR-YYZ
Last year, I decided to go with a friend to Bangkok for the 1st time and enjoyed it so much (see trip report [URL Wonderful Thailand YYZ-AMS-BKK-BOM-LHR-AMS-YYZ (by kq787 Sep 10 2010 in Trip Reports)]here[/url])
that I decided to do a return trip there again this year.
This time however, I decided to go by myself and but I wanted to try and see Vietnam for the first time. I went to the same travel agency that booked my trip last year. I explained that I wanted to go back to Thailand and stop in London as I always do every year. Initially she gave me an itinerary going via the USA and Tokyo with UA (YYZ-SFO-NRT-BKK-NRT-SFO-LHR-IAD-YYZ). Looking at this itinerary I was baffled that going to LHR from BKK via SFO was strange. But she stated that it may seem strange, but it is a popular route among travelers. Can anyone confirm this? I was willing to go with this itinerary until she sent me the schedule for the flights and the plane types. I immediately noticed that the SFO-NRT segment was done on a UA 744. I told her that I cannot do any long haul international flight without PTV. Therefore I rejected this itinerary (and the chance to collect serious aero plan miles, stubborn I know). She found me another schedule on Air Canada that would route me through LHR and go through Doha with Qatar Airways. I have never tried a 5 Star ranked airline, especially one that was ranked 5 stars by Skytrax. So I took this itinerary via Europe and the Middle East. I could only get aeroplan points on the Air Canada flight segments.
I arrived at Pearson at 1:45pmm on Saturday the 13th as I had check in online the night before and was able to print the 3 boarding passes (including for the Qatar Airways flights on the air Canada website) for this segment of the trip. When I went to the international flight point at 1:30pm, the check in agent told me that I was too early and asked me to return at 2:15pm as the baggage system only accepts baggage items 4 hours before a scheduled departure. I hanged out at the terminal for the next 30 minutes until and I went back to drop of my baggage at 2:15pm as she suggested. The line became long this time because there were several flights leaving for the Caribbean and only dropped of my baggage at 2:35pm.
As you can see, I have no pictures of my time from arriving at the airport until I was airside. The reason is because I made a mistake when trying to figure out a contraption about the video on my camera and for some reason I accidentally erased on the pictures I had taken until that time.
Sitting in terminal 1 waiting to board my flight
Gate 173 where my plane is expected to arrive
FIDS showing that the flight is on time
Etihad Airlines that has just land form Abu Dhabi
Preparing to the gate to board the flight
The airbus a330-300 arriving at its gate. I missed the registration
Flight 856 is being prepared for departure
The gate starting to crowd as passengers arrive
Passengers lining up to board
Suddenly the flight is delayed for 15 minutes. The reason? At the last moment, there is a problem with one of the wheels and they needed to jack the plane and replace it . All passengers that had already boarded were asked to disembark as the plane had to be as light as possible to replace the tire.
After 10 minutes, the flight is delayed another 15 minutes. At this time I was worried about missing my tight connection at LHR.
Starting to work the touch screen entertainment system
Decided to watch the movie "Limitless"
Oh great, Cineplex ads have invaded the in-flight system
Evening meal of the flight. I chose chicken. I forgot what the other option was
Flight attendant starting the drink service with meal. Chose coke as always
Pic of the cabin from the rear of the plane
Watching a film about the invasion of LA by aliens. I am too lazy to Google the title
Somewhere over the Atlantic
First shots of daylight
Pre arrival snack
Preparing for our descent into LHR. Captain mentioned that we would land at 6:50 am local time and be at the gate at terminal 3 by 7:00am. This would give me one hour to catch my connecting Qatar Airways flight at terminal 4
F/A landing out landing cards
While our plane was on hold, this was my poor attempt to shoot a VS plane
Finally some UK landscape not covered in clouds
We finally landing at 6:50am at terminal 3, and I was obsessed it getting out as soon as possible in order to catch my connecting flight in terminal 4 which leaved at 8:00am
Move it folks, I have a flight to catch.
Of course I have to catch a pic of my plane upon arrival
I dashed towards the area for connecting buses and lined up for the bus that was to take me to T4. As soon as I arrived at T4, I had to go through security. My bag was put aside as it had small toiletries in my hand luggage that had to be further inspected. It was 7:45am at this time and I believed that I had missed my connecting flight. I told the security agent that I will miss the flight as I was in a hurry but she told me that as long as I had a boarding pass, everything will be fine. Doesn’t she know that long haul flights close 15-20 minutes before their departure time? I thought to myself
August 14 2011
Route: London (LHR) - Doha (DOH)
Flight #: QR018
Aircraft type: Airbus a330-200
scheduled departure: 8:00am
Scheduled arrival: 4:40pm
Seat assignment: 34A
I arrived 10 minutes before scheduled departure running to the gate at terminal 4. I barely got there in time for my departure and was the last passenger to board the flight. I realized that that when I boarded the aircraft, and not yet reached my seat, the purser went on the intercom and announced " cabin crew all passengers on board." I was worried that my bags, which were tagged all the way to Bangkok, would make on the flight with me as well.
Seated in my seat, misplaced my boarding pass after and could not remember my seat assignment.
Greeting sweets, I would expect this on all my QR flights
Leaving the gate
After takeoff from Heathrow. I had filmed the take off but I deleted it by accident, #$%^@!
My best shot of Heathrow
The UK countryside
The personal TV on the a330. I later realized that it does not compare to the PTV on the 77W, and was extremely frustrating to use
Breakfast onboard, chose the omelet option
Watching a bollywood film, I do not remember the title. About a millionaire on a Greek island who invites gusts to visit him and ends up being shot, a whodunit thriller. Do not remember the ending or killed him. I fell asleep by this time, as I could not sleep on my AC transatlantic flight
The lights are dimmed
Where is the plane on the map?
Somewhere over turkey
First look at the desert
Pre arrival snack
View from the back of the plane. At this moment, a flight attendant scolded me for taking a picture, saying in her heavy eastern European accent that is was against company policy. Other flight attendant saw me flicking away and had no problem, just her.
Over the Persian sea
On our approach into Doha Airport
The PTV explaining how to transit at Doha depending on how your bags are colour- tagged. My carry on was not colour tagged at YYZ
Waiting for the buses to arrive. We disembarked at the rear. It was frigging HOT
The buses are here. For some reason, when the buses took us to the terminal, we did not go through security when we got to the terminal, just straight into the terminal. I fought this strange.
Waiting in the terminal for my next connecting flight. I found Doha airport quite pleasant and spent my time plane spotting planes landing and taking off, although I was surprised to see the sun go down at 5-6pm in August.
Getting off the plane, and retrieving my luggage was very quick, within 30 minutes I was in my taxi heading for my hotel
View from the hotel room.
August 18 2011
Route: Bangkok (BKK)- Hanoi ( HAN)
Flight #: VN830
Aircraft type: Airbus a320-300
Scheduled departure: 11:55am
Scheduled arrival: 1:20pm
As indicated above, my travel agent organized a side trip with Vietnam Airlines to Hanoi, Vietnam for 3 days. She managed to book an overnight stay in a ship in the halong bay. Here is the trip report. I left my BKK hotel with just a suitcase and the taxi took me to the airport
Taxi to the airport
FIDS. The flight is on time
Checking gate. There was a large group of Vietnamese carrying kitchen appliances as check in luggage; maybe they are cheaper in Thailand. When it was my time to check in, the check in agent scanned my passport for my Vietnamese visa, asking "where is visa", I showed her a paper with name that I printed of from Myvietnamvisa.ca confirming entrance to Vietnam. I was to purchase my visa at the airport upon arrival for $25 US. With that, she checks in my one bag.
Upon disembarking, I walked to the arrivals hall to get my Vietnam visa
View of our aircraft
Upon arriving at the arrivals hall, several tourists and I waited to pay for our visas which surprisingly were processed quickly. this is my visit to a communist country, and truth be told, the communist military attire of the airport staff and security officials were wearing stood out.
Leaving Hanoi airport
Being taken by taxi to my hotel in old Hanoi, a 45 minute ride. it was raining, as it would for the 3 days I was in Hanoi
These highways ads make the site very unattractive
Hotel room in old Hanoi
Here are pictures my trip to Vietnam. Enjoy
This individual noticed a loose string on my sandal and took the sandal off my feet to fix it, he then told the story of his life.
He then charged me 2 000 000 Doan ( $100 USD) for the repair !!I only gave him 250 000 ($13), which I then only had in my pocket. Watch out for him
When I saw this , I immediately took a picture and thought WTF
It is not what you think it is. Either the locals are ignorant of its meaning or it is a shrewd way of attracting foreigners to your business
On my 2 hour journey to halong bay
The architecture of houses here are built to be very narrow, some say for tax purposes
Stopping at a pit stop, selling goods for tourists of course
Arrival at the dock to board the boat for our overnight cruise
Raining hard this time
our boat, the halong phoenix
Waiting to board
My room below deck
A local came by boat to our boat to sell western junk food to the tourists. not very appetizing seeing all this . I would have been more interested if she sold local junk food.
our boat, we left to visit a cave
our tourist guide asks us whether the above was a man or a woman. There is a clue that gives it way.
Climbing a hill to get a view of the bay
view from the top
return to our ship
returning to Hanoi
August 21 2011
Route: Hanoi ( HAN)- Bangkok (BKK)
Flight #: VN833
Aircraft type: Airbus a320-200
scheduled departure: 4:15pm
scheduled arrival: 6:05pm
seat assignment: 20G
After 3 wonderful and rainy days in Hanoi, it was time for my return flight to Bangkok. my flight to back to BKK was at 4:15pm and I had to check out of my Hanoi hotel at 12pm. I was taken by taxi to the airport
Checking out of the hotel
on my final day in Hanoi, sunshine crept in.
again with these billboards, which ruin the landscape
arrival at Hanoi airport at 1:pm. it an hour to get here due to traffic
FIDS in the departure hall. the airport separates domestic and international check in desks. It was confusing trying to find the international check in desks
Finally the check in desks for the international flights . Are they on a break?
I went to get a drink and returning 20 minutes later, the desks were finally open
International departures , before immigration and security
most international for Europe leave in the evening
waiting to board the flight to BKK
leg room in my aisle seat
cabin crew starting their meal service
pork option for lunch
at this moment my camera battery died out, so no further pics for this leg of the trip. As with the inbound flight, the flight was smooth and went by rather quickly landing in BKK a few minutes past 6pm.
after a further 3 days in Bangkok, I decided to leave and go on my annual pilgrimage to the UK to visit relatives.
At this moment when I presented m 2 bags for check in, the 2 bags were overweight . The max allowance is 23 kg, but my 2 bags registered at 28 and 30 kg respectively!! Why? My obsession with thai fanta. I love the drink so much that I bought 25!, yes 25! bottles with me and stuffed them in my 2 suitcases.
I was not willing to part with them and promptly decided to pay to excess baggage fee ( 2800 Thai Bhat) to carry them with me. I went to the baggage desk to pay the fee. because there were other passengers in front of me, it took a while to process and my bags were one of the last to be accepted
Final call for the flight. We actually did not start boarding for another 30 minutes. But nice trick airlines use to rush their passengers to the gate
my aircraft to Doha this morning
finally boarding the aircraft. as I was seated in the rear of the aircraft, I was one of the first to board
I picked up where I left off on my previous QR flight by waiting the whole 1st season of Downton Abbey. I did not get to watch the whole season as the flight was not long enough and I watched whole series but missed the 2nd half of the last episode as the flight ended.
episode 2 of Downton Abbey was interrupted my the video explain the IFE system. 5 minutes wasted
cabin crew starting the breakfast service
this time I chose noodles for breakfast
pre arrival snack before landing in Doha
first view of the Arabian desert
this has to be Dubai
watching the last episode of Downton Abbey was interrupted by the video explaining Doha Airport's arrival procedures for passengers
5 minutes later, the last episode of Downton abbey is again interrupted by a video promoting QR new destination service
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 860 posts, RR: 4 Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6092 times:
Always a plesure to read reports out of YYZ to far away places lol. And how nice your journey started on Rwy 23!!
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Last year, I decided to go with a friend to Bangkok for the 1st time and enjoyed it so much (see trip report [URL Wonderful Thailand YYZ-AMS-BKK-BOM-LHR-AMS-YYZ (by kq787 Sep 10 2010 in Trip Reports)]here[/url])
that I decided to do a return trip there again this year.
I remember this report well.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): I explained that I wanted to go back to Thailand and stop in London as I always do every year. Initially she gave me an itinerary going via the USA and Tokyo with UA (YYZ-SFO-NRT-BKK-NRT-SFO-LHR-IAD-YYZ). Looking at this itinerary I was baffled that going to LHR from BKK via SFO was strange. But she stated that it may seem strange, but it is a popular route among travelers.Can anyone confirm this?
Huh why would somebody do a Circle Pacific fare and then fly to LHR only to return to YYZ from there. Makes more sense to do a Round the World fare, perhaps flying BKK-LHR-YYZ on TG and AC.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Therefore I rejected this itinerary (and the chance to collect serious aero plan miles, stubborn I know).
If you had to do a Star Alliance RTW fare you probably would have racked up on Aeroplan miles, but not sure how much that fare would have cost you.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): I could only get aeroplan points on the Air Canada flight segments.
Well that is really not great for such a long trip.
Perhaps you could have also done a YYZ-AUH-BKK on EY and had 77W service right through!! But not exactly your 5 star carrier like QR.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): After 10 minutes, the flight is delayed another 15 minutes. At this time I was worried about missing my tight connection at LHR.
That is really a scare.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Evening meal of the flight. I chose chicken. I forgot what the other option was
Such a tacky presentation. AC can do better.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): After takeoff from Heathrow. I had filmed the take off but I deleted it by accident, #$%^@!
Do you have a new camera lol
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): View from the back of the plane. At this moment, a flight attendant scolded me for taking a picture, saying in her heavy eastern European accent that is was against company policy. Other flight attendant saw me flicking away and had no problem, just her.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): View of the cabin from the rear of the plane, here flight attendants saw me take pics and no scolding was forthcoming
Must have been just her, I guess each airline including QR has it's own dragon LOL
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Waiting for the buses to arrive. We disembarked at the rear. It was frigging HOT
You were after all in the Middle East in August!! And are you sure your watch was not still stuck on some other time zone. I don't think the sun goes down at 6pm in the Middle East and especially not in August
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): The buses are here. For some reason, when the buses took us to the terminal, we did not go through security when we got to the terminal, just straight into the terminal. I fought this strange.
Why strange, this happens all the time at Middle Eastern airports.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): It was so humid, either that or the engine fumes steamed up my camera lens
It was the former I guess...remember heat in the Middle East. I recall once landing at midnight and the aircraft door opened and it looked like an oven had been turned on. For some reason it was still very hot that night.
Quoting kq787 (Reply 1): cabin crew starting their meal service
Excellent traditional uniforms!
Quoting kq787 (Reply 1): The max allowance is 23 kg, but my 2 bags registered at 28 and 30 kg respectively!! Why? My obsession with thai fanta. I love the drink so much that I bought 25!, yes 25! bottles with me and stuffed them in my 2 suitcases.
Ha,ha..What did Canadian Customs have to say to that, if you were checked that is lol
after spending a week and 1/2 in london, it was time to head home to toronto. i took the heathrow expess from paddington and went to the the Air Canada check inn desk at terminal 3. 2 bags were overweight ( fanta bottles) but because i had already paid for my 2nd checked in bags online, they waived the fees for me
it is 7:50am and the 8:30am flight is closing. a nice idea to gets pax to the gate
lining up at the gate to baord, after a passport check
at the gate waiting to board the aircaft. no pic of the plane from this gate. it was at this moment that i witnessed the issue with air canada and the languages act. an announcment by the gate agent asking passengers to wait at the gate for boarding they made an anncouncement for boarding. a conversation between a french canadian and a gate agent went like this:
passsenger: quand est ce que vous commencez la procedure d'embarquement?
gate agent: sorry sir, i do not understand
passenger: i asked when will you start boarding . canada is a bilingual country and air canada must provide service in french as well. i will launch an official compliant
gate agent: that is your choice ,sir. i just don't speak french
passgenr: but in quebec we speak speak
gate agent: but i work in london, sir, not quebec.
boarding the plane
seated at my seat at the rear
empty seat next to mine for this flight
leaving the gate
passing a number of heavies
lining up on the runway
watching the kennedys mini series
breakfast servcie is starting
having an empty seat next to you measn leaving yuo try at the aisle seat
offer of tea
filling out customs and immigration form
watching a documentary with the usual cineplex ad
pre arrival snack
watching the lincoln lawyer
it was a cloudy day
my workplace is down there in one of those buildings
downtonw toronto in the backgound
arrival on runway 33
arrival at the gate in terminal 1
waiting to disembark. we were informed that there were cbs agents at the end of jetway doing a passport inspection, which suprised me as one was done at the departure gate at LHR. was one needed on arrival?
our plane at the gate
home sweet home and that concludes my recent trip report. comments are welcome
triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 683 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5006 times:
Enjoyed reading your tr. Lots of great pics.
AC flies YYZ-NRT and you would have been on their 777-300ER which I'm sure does have PTV. You could have flown on VN to Hanoi, or maybe JL or NH.
I live in Bangkok. Which hotel did you stay at here?
willzzz88 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 96 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4623 times:
Again the London visit probably was the reason why...
That's a LONG WAY to East Asia when you can just fly trans-polar YYZ-NRT/PEK/PVG/HKG on Air Canada. Actually HKG would be the fastest connection to SGN/HAN or BKK.
EVA also flies trans-polar YYZ-TPE and Korean flies YYZ-ICN...
All of them have PTV'es.
A YVR connection would offer EVEN MORE opportunities and via the Northern/Western US even more (actually the 744 on UA is the only fleet without PTV, everything else has it I believe after the 777 refurbishment...).
ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8275 posts, RR: 56 Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4488 times:
Nice report, especially the side trip to Vietnam, I love that country, just amazing!
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Initially she gave me an itinerary going via the USA and Tokyo with UA (YYZ-SFO-NRT-BKK-NRT-SFO-LHR-IAD-YYZ). Looking at this itinerary I was baffled that going to LHR from BKK via SFO was strange. But she stated that it may seem strange, but it is a popular route among travelers
- That's an interesting route, apart from those on a mileage/status run, the average joe won't like that!
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): Evening meal of the flight. I chose chicken. I forgot what the other option was
- Not the worst looking meal I've seen on AC.
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): I was worried that my bags, which were tagged all the way to Bangkok, would make on the flight with me as well.
- Good to see your bag made it, seems LHR is not as bad as some say
Quoting kq787 (Thread starter): we did not go through security when we got to the terminal, just straight into the terminal. I fought this strange
- Both times arriving and departing DOH we had to clear security, don't see the point when you have just got off a plane from a secure airport myself.
kq787 From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 59 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4216 times:
thanks for replies
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 2): why would somebody do a Circle Pacific fare and then fly to LHR only to return to YYZ from there. Makes more sense to do a Round the World fare, perhaps flying BKK-LHR-YYZ on TG and AC.
it never came up, the longer route was the best option, she stated.
the IBIS santhorn. excellent location close to the downton core of BKK. the only downside is the TV option it has. of the 100+ channels, only 4 are english language( AlJazeera, Foxnews, ABC-Australia, and DW English). the rest are asian language channels
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8): Both times arriving and departing DOH we had to clear security, don't see the point when you have just got off a plane from a secure airport myself