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Canada2012 Part 2: Heading West On WestJet  
User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 269 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4865 times:

Background
Somewhere around late October, early November, our International Studies teacher started to talk about an International Internship we still had to do in order to pass the bilingual part of our education. Most of my fellow students listened to what she had to say, then erased the information as quickly as possible. Way to much effort required to arrange something, you know how 15-16 year olds are. A few of us, including me, though, had their travelling minds put into action. Two of my classmates went to New York in late April, early May. And two others joined me on a trip to London, Ontario. My father and his cousin have a campground there, and after an email and a phone call, we were ready to start planning.

Planning
I spent a good couple of hours on a Saturday searching for flights from either BRU, AMS or DUS, to YYZ. After those hours passed, I had quite a list of available flights. Most of them, however, were in the price range of €800-€1000, which was too much, really. But then I stumbled upon KLM. Directly from AMS, they had the guts to ask well over €1100 for the flight. But searching with Brussels as departure point, it was (only) €800! And yes, it was the same flight, exactly. The ZYR (Brussels South train station)-AMS section was by train! So we settled on that option. At least, my friends did. My family would come over near the end of our trip, and I would spend another few weeks in Canada on vacation with my family, while my friends would go back again. I would then, together with my family, fly out of YXU, via YYC, to YVR. There we’d be taking an RV and drive it around for two weeks, before heading back to the Netherlands again. My family would fly the longhaul sectors in J, and that meant that my last sector YVR-AMS would be in J as well. But the combination of AMS-YYZ and YVR-AMS wasn’t possible with the train ride from Brussels, so I got to skip that part and go straight to AMS.

Today’s sectors
The day started very early for me. The alarm went off at a horrible 04.45, we left the campground at 05.30 for our 07.00 flight. Arriving at the airport, we said goodbye to our hosts, who were so kind to bring us to the airport at this hour. You have to love Canadian hospitality. We lined up for old-school check-in, which was not busy at all. When we got to the counter, the nice lady informed us that our flight would be delayed by an hour, the new departure time was 08.00, but she assured us we would still make our connection. We would now arrive at YYC at around 10.00, while our next flight was scheduled to depart at 10.30. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but we had no choice but to wait.

After a simple breakfast at Tim Hortons we lined up for security at 07.15.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG052.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG053.jpg
There was one advantage of the delay, the YXU morning rush hour was over. YXU doesn’t have that many flights, but there are around 4-5 of them leaving at roughly the same time. Security was a breeze, we were through in a minute or two. We took our seats in the gate area and waited for boarding to start.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG054.jpg
This happened on time, with passengers with small children and those needing assistance boarding first. This was followed by general boarding, and we were on board at 08.00.

WestJet flight 567
YXU-YYC
Boeing 737-700WL
C-FWSY
Gate D (Bridge 7)
Seat 16D
Departure S: 07.00 A: 08.27
Arrival S: 08:55 A: 10:21

The Captain informed us that the APU was unserviceable, and that, as a consequence, the air conditioning was not working yet. They would start the engines at the gate using the ground power unit. It took a while before this happened, and during that time the cabin was heating up quite significantly. We pushed back at around 08.15, with one engine running. Pushback stopped at the taxiway, but we didn’t start taxiing. There were two Air Canada Dash 8s on the taxiway, waiting for us to clear it. After around 5 minutes, we moved over on one engine, to let the Dashes go past. After another few minutes the second engine was started, and a couple of minutes after we finally commenced our taxi. All in all, it was around 08.30 before we took off, and with a flight time of 03.44 according to the flight deck, this further reduced our connecting time.

Service started when the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off, and consisted of your choice of drink with either ‘Crispers’ or cookies. One of my neighbours chose the former, and the other chose the latter, I too went with the former.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG055.jpg
They were supposed to have Ranch flavour, but I didn’t notice that specific taste. They were tasty though, no complaints. I chose a coke with it, which came in a plastic cup. I didn’t bother to ask for the whole can, as I had a fairly large drink back at YXU, I was hydrated well enough.

http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG056.jpg
Working on the report...

Although it’s not even close to Ryanair, WestJet is considered an LCC. Their fares were a bit cheaper than Air Canada over this route, so that’s why they got our business. There are some signs that give away their ‘auxiliary revenue’. There’s quite a lot of advertising going on. Not on the overhead bins or anything, like the aforementioned carrier, but on their napkins for example.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG057.jpg
This one’s for Disney Parks
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG080.jpg
This one (taken on WS447) is for the “WestJet RBC World Mastercard”.

There was also a lot of advertising for their own services on their Livemap channel. In fact, there was more advertising than map!
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG064.jpg

As for comfort, I found WestJet’s seat to be pretty reasonable. It was a leather seat, and it showed a few signs of wear, but overall it was a comfortable seat. The legroom was barely enough for me, but remember I’m 1.95m  . I’m glad I was in the aisle seat for this longish flight.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG059.jpg

Around halfway through the flight I decided to explore the contents of the seatback pocket. It contained the works: safety card, barfbag, BOB/IFE menu, and the in-flight magazine. The latter had some fleet information in it. See if you can find any mistakes, as far as I’m aware, there aren’t any.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG060.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG061.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG062.jpg

When we started descending, the purser announced that those with tight connections could disembark first, they would keep WS447 at the gate until we were on board. Our approach gave us some nice views over suburban Calgary, but I don’t have any pictures of that. Landing was a bit on the rough side, but I’ve had worse. Our gate was close to the runway, so we docked after a few more minutes. Passengers connecting to WS447 were let off first, which included us and about 27 other people. The gate on our boarding pass was gate 50, but it was empty. I heard a couple of people around me curse WS for saying they’d wait, but then depart anyway, but there was someone from the company around to direct us to the new gate 42. We boarded and found our seats at the last row. This time, I did have a window seat, 23A, so I’ve got more pictures of the scenery for this flight.

WestJet flight 447
YYC-YVR
Boeing 737-700WL
C-FGWJ
Gate 42
Seat 23A
Departure S: 10.30 A: 10.50
Arrival S: 10.32 A: 11.20

My window was scratched and dirty, so my auto-focus on my phone sometimes focussed on the dust on the window, rather than that what I wanted to photograph. Because of the sun and the small screen, this was also hard to notice. But anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

We pushed back twenty minutes late, time we wouldn’t make up due to a strong headwind, as announced by the flight deck. We taxied parallel to the runway until we reached the end of it. We lined up, waited a bit and then took off. We flew on runway heading for a couple of minutes and then turned west to the Rockies. There were some pretty cloud formations in the Calgary area.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG065.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG066.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG067.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG068.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG073.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG075.jpg

There was one service run on this one and a half our flight, which consisted of the same items as the service on the other flight. So I took my third bag of Crispers with my third coke. What can I say, I’m very consistent  .
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG079.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG076.jpg
Chasing contrails at FL410
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG077.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG078.jpg
More mountains below us.

WestJet has this thing just above the tray table that allows you to only turn the ‘lock’ one way, I have no idea what that’s for. Anyone else know it?
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG081.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG082.jpg
Delta A330 (heading to SEA?). I was to slow with getting my phone out, but it was pretty close.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG083.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG084.jpg
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG085.jpg
Cloud sandwich
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG086.jpg
Some Cirrus
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG087.jpg
Some more urbanisation starts to appear
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG088.jpg
YVR in sight
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG089.jpg
City with YVR on the right
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG090.jpg
Water with nice reflection
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG091.jpg
Turning base
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa361/Nipoel123/Canada%202012/IMG092.jpg
Final

We touched down half an hour late, and taxied to the south side of the terminal complex. I got myself some more registrations for my log. I’ve started logging them in March, and I’m close to 200 regs now. Mostly KLM though, as I’ve only been to AMS with spotting as a purpose. Today has gotten me 13 new ones, not bad.

Conclusion
WestJet is commonly regarded as a great carrier, I can second this. Service was conducted with a smile, seats were comfortable for people of average length. As with (almost) all Y class seats, legroom is an issue for taller people like me. But there’s not much airlines can do about that other can increasing pitch altogether, which wastes space, and thus money for them. My PTV on the YYC-YVR flight was not working properly, but as I had a window seat, I didn’t mind. In a nutshell, I can recommend WS to anyone who needs to get around in Canada. Stay tuned for the next part, where I’m sure legroom is not an issue!

Nick


one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4642 times:

Hi Nick,

nice report about your WS experience. Did they also have ginger ale on offer?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4255 times:

Hi PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
nice report about your WS experience. Did they also have ginger ale on offer?

I didn't ask (didn't want to infringe your trademark  ), but I think they did. It's a very popular drink in Canada!

Nick



one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3835 times:

Hello

Great report, thanks for sharing.
Would love to try out WS one day.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3751 times:

Hi Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 3):
Great report, thanks for sharing.
Would love to try out WS one day.

Thanks, you should try WS. You'll like it.

Nick



one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
User currently offlinejetMARC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 554 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

The tray table lock is to prevent the tray table from inadvertently opening during an evacuation. It prevents the latch from opening if it gets caught
on clothing, etc. You'll notice the lock is placed on the appropriate side to only open against the flow of traffic.



"Sucka, I'm gonna send you out on Knuckle Airlines. Fist Class!!" ~ Mr. T
User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Hello jetMARC,

Quoting jetMARC (Reply 5):
The tray table lock is to prevent the tray table from inadvertently opening during an evacuation. It prevents the latch from opening if it gets caught
on clothing, etc. You'll notice the lock is placed on the appropriate side to only open against the flow of traffic

Good to know, thank you for your reply. It was indeed only opening against the flow of traffic.

Nick



one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
User currently offlinecanadianpylon From Canada, joined May 2003, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2933 times:

Great trip report! Thanks for sharing!

Quoting nipoel123 (Thread starter):

There was also a lot of advertising for their own services on their Livemap channel. In fact, there was more advertising than map!

It isn't a live map... It is an advertisement channel with a random map thrown up once in a while in between corny jokes!

Quoting nipoel123 (Thread starter):
My PTV on the YYC-YVR flight was not working properly, but as I had a window seat, I didn’t mind.

This is a VERY common occurrence on WestJet planes. WestJet will be replacing the IFE on their planes soon. They've stopped installing the IFE on their newest 737-800 planes. They are starting to use tablets that can be rented on the flights. We'll see how successful that is...  



Always looking for the longest route with the most transfers.
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