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JetsGo YYZ-YVR-YYZ 06/16/2002, W/B747-437B  
User currently onlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4809 posts, RR: 23
Posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

I had heard of JetsGo's start but hadn't paid much attention until the morning of Saturday, June 15th. That was when I stumbled across their "father's day" promotion via airliners.net. Basically the deal was that any travel was free on June 16th (Sunday) providing you were male and over 21 - which I qualify for (spot on with the age in fact). I first tried booking over the internet at jetsgo.net where I was unable to book a roundtrip YYZ-YVR flight on the day because of a system lock proclaiming "not enough time for a connecting flight". I got a bit frustrated before B747-437B pointed out to me that I could get around that lock by booking two one-way tickets. That I did, and the tickets were booked. The flight to Vancouver would depart terminal 3 the next morning at 9am.

Unfortunately, not being blessed with a car (ugh) it about two hours to get to the airport, via bus and taxi when I realized that the airport buses weren't running yet. I arrived at T3 around 8am after being quickly identified by 437B, quickly chatted up about his ordeals regarding security and the impact on his life post 9/11. I won't get into that in detail of course, because that is his story to tell if he so decides to on this site. But it is a bit shocking to say the least. But let me tell you, the man is a veritable gold mine of information and insight on airline business.

The check in staff at YYZ were well, very inexperienced to say the least. They smiled a lot but it was painfully obvious they could have used a bit more training. When I tried to inquire what the fare would be to depart from Vancouver on Monday (I was considering staying longer if it was reasonable), it took four staff about 10 minutes to give me the answer. In the end, I declined the fare as it was over my budget.

Proceeding to the waiting area I quickly caught sight of the gleaming white MD-83 with the green happy face on the tail, C-GKLN. What I was most surprised to see was that the same staff at the check in counter had now moved to the gate and proceeded to board the passengers. My signifiant other joked that we'd also see them heading for the cockpit shortly too  Smile/happy/getting dizzy So, I guess you call that efficiency of working capital.

My seat on the outbound sector was 10E, the window seat on the right side of the a/c. 437B had an exit row seat in row 22. The seating pitch on this aircraft configured for 160 seats was barely adequate for me - but I'm 6'4". We were greeted by an all-female cabin crew that was for the most part quite attractive and their uniforms very smart - green with black leather jackets. The captain for both sectors was Chris Lewis. The flight appeared to be about 2/3 full, surprising given the promotion. Speaking with B747-437B, we presumed that we appeared to be the only ones taking advantage of the promotion on that particular flight - especially given the number of women on the flight who were academically ineligible for the promotion.
Pushback was delayed slightly, but quickly we pulled up to runway 23 and the engines started the run-up. Having never flown a narrow body McDD airplane, I didn't know what to expect in terms of noise. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the ventilation system was almost as noisy as the engines on takeoff - the quietest cabin I think I've ever been inside (which includes the A330). There was a steep climb out before a slight northerly turn.

With JetsGo, the service was exactly as I expected. Sparse amenities, but friendly staff and reasonable prices. Non-alcoholic drinks cost $1, as do chips. Bagels and scones are $2, and a turkey baguette is $4. Certainly more reasonable than what VIA rail charges. The food was OK - not exceptional but not outside of expectations for a no-frills operation. Water, BTW is free as long as you don't take the whole bottle.
But in terms of in flight entertainment, bring your own. JetsGo doesn't provide any except for a window  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

After spending some time sleeping and some chatting with B747-437B I returned to my seat for the final 1 hour of the sector, seeing (I believe) Lake Louise, and the Rocky Mountains - a majestic sight that makes the trip entirely worth it.

A bit later, I was surprised to see that the leading edge slats had been deployed just as the descent from 35,000 feet had begun. 437B confirmed to me that this was an error by an inexperienced flight crew. The approach to YVR took us almost all the way over Vancouver Island, where below we could see ferries just about to meet up halfway across the strait. Coming in for landing, we seemed to be quite fast (although I wasn't sure, not having flown the -80 before) and indeed we were. The landing was a bit botched, with a good number of spotters witnessing a large bounce before we settled down.
To add insult to injury, the a/c was directed too far forwards to be connected with the airbridge on arrival - resulting in a delay as the aircraft had to be pushed back.

I hadn't noticed, to that point, but our flight time was almost 5 hours and the flight would not be able to make its 45 minute turn for the departure back to YYZ. Unfortunately, JetsGo had not yet been set up in the domestic check-in area at YVR and we had to run all the way to the International area to check in for our return leg. I think I was the last one to check in for the flight, after -437B. It was a real rush to get back to the gate again as the turn had been shortened a bit to compensate for the delay.

My seat coming back was 17E, which was still very quiet even on takeoff. Just out of curiosity, I ventured to the rear lav - positioned between the two JT8Ds. It was vibrating quite wildly back there, so I'd recommend you try to avoid the last eight rows or so on the aircraft.
Korean characters on the life vests and unused galley equipment embossed with KOREAN AIR made it pretty obvious as to the origins of C-GKLN (yes, it was of course the same aircraft, and crew on the return). The only carry-over from Royal were the food trolleys, labeled B757.
The cruising altitude was only 33,000 feet on the return leg most likely due to an almost full load of fuel and a packed cabin - there were only a handful of empty seats on the sector.

We ended up arriving about 30mins late in YYZ - a bit tired but also quite happy with our investment of little money and a bit of time.
JetsGo is not going to fool anyone that it is Air Canada with their service, but they fulfill their role very well and operate on a much lower cost basis. The staff's problems including the pilot's small errors are all due to lack of experience and will likely be corrected in the near future as time goes on and I don't think are cause for concern. The MD-83 is a great choice, being economical on short routes with the ability to operate YYZ-YVR with a full pax load. As the airline matures, it can only get better. Therefore, I'd recommend JetsGo to anyone who actually is paying for a ticket themselves and can deal with the small inconvenience of a lack of IFE. Hey - at least you can choose your own music and you'll be saving a lot of money  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Yes, I know I wasn't supposed to take it, but it was just too tempting  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDash8King From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 2743 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1972 times:

Great Report! How was service compared to WJ? I am glad you were able to take advantage of the deal. I hope they make it although I really wish they would stop saying "Canada's True Discount Carrier." 10 mins is a long time but I am sure things are really hectic for start-up as long as that changes it will be noticed.

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days ago) and read 1936 times:

Great trip report CP! Was a pleasure to meet you and comforting to see that I wasn't the only idiot who felt that a fun weekend involved 10 hrs in an MD83. Now I am shamed into finishing my own trip report, so stay tuned!  Smile

User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1906 times:

I'm disappointed in Chris Lewis bouncing the airplane! He always greased the 737's at Royal. I was pleasantly surprised with the landings when I flew on Jetsgo the same day. You can read my trip report in another thread.  Smile

Excellent trip report by the way.

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently onlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4809 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1823 times:

Sorry, I haven't flown with WJ yet so I can't compare.

User currently offlineTT737FO From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 472 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 11 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

>>>A bit later, I was surprised to see that the leading edge slats had been deployed just as the descent from 35,000 feet had begun. 437B confirmed to me that this was an error by an inexperienced flight crew."

Bullshit. Mid Extension is 280kts. This is a fairly typical alternative to using in-flight spoilers. It keeps the airspeed manageable, speeds the descent, and is not as loud/alarming as spoilers. The only thing with slats being deployed--it will automatically set off the seat belt chime/light.

User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 1750 times:

You never told me you're coming here!

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 9 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

This is a fairly typical alternative to using in-flight spoilers

I stand corrected for advising CP incorrectly then. Its rare that I'm so far back on an MD anyway. Thats what I get for not having Elite status with a Canadian carrier....  Sad

You never told me you're coming here!

I'll be back in Vancouver sometime this week for a day or two. Drop me an email if you wanna meet up or something.

User currently offlineFly_yhm From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 1681 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1699 times:

Dash8King I agree with them saying canada "true discount airline" seening as how they aren't.

Where will you spend eternity? He,s more real then you think!!!!!
User currently offlineDash8King From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 2743 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (12 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1688 times:

I would email them but like they would care. Its false advertising IMO because to people who know nothing about airlines they are gonna think we only have one true discount airline from there commercials. They are exactly the same as Tango with smaller seat pitch I believe. Westjet I am sorry I have to say is the true discount airline and it isn't even an exact clone of Southwest.

User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1686 times:

I think it may be perposterous to claim to be Canada's true discount airline when we also have Tango, Westjet and Canjet, if ML's claim of offering the cheapest air fares always on its flights, then calling Jetsgo Canada's true discount airline isn't far fetched.

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
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