canadiantree From France, joined Jun 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8999 times:
B A C K G R O U N D
Air Canada has always held a special place in my heart. The first ever plane ride I had when I was 3 weeks old (which I've since completely forgotten ) was with Air Canada between CDG-YYZ. As a French and Canadian citizen, this route flown with Air Canada 881 has been my one time long haul flight every year between 1982 and 2001. I remember the various aircraft types used on the route from the 767 to the 744, then later operated by the A333 to now a 77W.
I had lots of family in Toronto who then decided to move to Seattle and White Rock, BC. So Air Canada 881 was no longer on the agenda for some time to come.
In August 2012, my cousin got married in Chehalis, WA. This trip report will cover my trip from Bratislava, Slovakia where I currently live, to Vancouver, BC. This would also be my girlfriend's first visit to Canada, so all in all a very exciting trip ahead
T H E J O U R N E Y
A) Getting to Budapest from Bratislava
One may wonder why we chose to fly out of Budapest (200 km from Bratislava) when VIE is a mere 45 minute bus ride from our city's center. For some reason the airfare out of BUD was 250 euros cheaper per person. So the choice was easy. We would set sail to Budapest Keleti train station from Bratislava on the 25th of July in the afternoon and reach Budapest for a night over before our flight the next morning.
At Bratislava Hlavna Stanica train station
We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Ferihegy for 39 euros for the 2 of us including free wifi (which did not work) and free breakfast. Not a bad deal. The room as you can see isn't very big, but still clean and comfy, we shared a bathroom and toilet with 3 other rooms which to the best of my knowledge were empty the night we were there.
After a pretty restless night (due to excitement), we awoke and headed down to breakfast.
After breakfast we headed for the airport. We had 2 options. The hotel had a shuttle service for 6 euros per person, the airport was a mere 2 km from the hotel, I researched online and found the bus that goes there leaves 300m from the hotel, for 1 euro per person... So the math was quick, what I didn't realize is that we had to go through some sort of jungle on the way there, as well as cross train tracks!
On the way to the airport
Eventually we made it and we were at the airport 1.5 hours before our flight to Munich. As I had checked us in online we were grateful to be able to avoid this:
I really liked the Budapest airport, clean and spacious, shame for Malev to be gone though...
B) CLH 1675
Departs at: 9:05 AM
Arrives at: 10:25 AM
Actual flight time: 55 minutes
Distance: 490 miles
My first ride on the CRJ-900 so was pretty excited. the flight was pretty uneventful but fun regardless!
We landed on time, and I was as ever excited to spot my first Air Canada heavy after over 3 years. We deplaned, went through passport control, and finally ended up at our gate where the majestic Airbus A330-300 was waiting to take us to Toronto.
Eventually it was time to board, I was unable to check us in all the way to Vancouver from Budapest so we were issued our boarding passes in Munich to Vancouver, which would mean we would have to recheck our bags in YYZ.
On the jet bridge:
We were greeted by not one, not 2 but THREE female flight attendants. All 3 of them were laughing and smiling and welcomed us on bard with enthusiasm I hadn't seen since I left Canada 3 years ago. This flight was going to be a good one!!!!
C) ACA 847
Departs at: 11:50 AM
Arrives at: 2:35 PM
Actual flight time: 8 hours 40 minutes due to strong winds
Distance: 4,251 miles
The seat is very comfortable. 32 inches of legroom, I'm 6 feet 1 and it was adequate, some seats at the back only have 31 and some in the middle in the forward cabin have up to 34, but I was content. I had my wing view, that's all that mattered.
I will say that the engines on Air Canada's A330 are my FAVORITE to listen. I was counting the seconds until spool up while my girlfriend was still talking to me thinking that she had no idea that in about 10 seconds I wouldn't be able to hear her anymore as the engines got louder, and louder, and louder, for me truly the best sound when it comes to air craft and engine epicness for take off. The video sadly doesn't do it justice as I didn't have an external mic but you get an idea I think.
Brussels Zaventem airport
About an hour into the flight we were served lunch. I felt like the crew was pretty numerous for an A330, I counted 8 F/A's serving the economy cabin, not sure about Executive First. But it felt good to know there were so many of them. I'd say the average age for the women was 35-40. I think we had the NICEST one on our side of the plane. Everytime I noticed her she was laughing and giggling with a new row of passengers, really a breath of fresh air compared to some of her colleagues. All in all they were all pleasant, but she just outdid the rest, everytime she passed by my row she asked me if I had enough to eat and drink and for my girlfriend as well.
Lunch was the usual chicken with vegetables you would expect from Air Canada or any other airline crossing the Atlantic. I thought it was good, not out of the ballpark good but certainly edible. My irlfriend had the pasta and she liked it. I even was allowed seconds dibs on chicken and bread (I'm a big guy )
The rest of the flight was rather uneventful, mostly smooth, Air Canada's IFE is really phenomenal in my opinion. I never had the opportunity to compare to an Asian carriers IFE but the screen was huge, Air Show had alot of options, I had 150 movies to choose from, I had easily plenty to keep myself entertained for a flight from Paris to Sydney if need be
About 2 hours before the flight came to conclusion, we were served the usual hot posh wraps that Air Canada is known for, Cajun Chicken or Tomato Mozzarella were the choices. I had chicken which was good. My girlfriend enjoyed her veggie one. That F/A came back and I chatted with her telling her we still had a 5 hour flight to Vancouver waiting for us/. She gasped and was like "Oh wow, you do know that Air Canada domestic is all BOB right?" I was like yes, she told me to hold a second, she disappeared in the galley for a second and came back with a plastic bag containing FIVE hot posh wraps, 3 chicken ones and 2 veggie ones. My heart leaped, I was ecstatic, Air Canada really hadn't failed me after 30 years flying with them.
Some more aerials of the flight:
We started descending into Toronto about the time we were supposed to arrive at the gate, the weather looked quite overcast but I was happy to be able to see some familiar landscapes such as HWY 404, Scarborough, Markham and even a glimpse of the CN Tower on final, as well as Downs-view airport.
At this point I was abit annoyed at my girlfriend because she was complaining about the turbulence on descent and the touch down etc when I was anticipating every moment of it, that's me you hear after touch down scolding her abit (in French), looking back at it I kind of feel bad for being so hard on her, it was her first long haul flight...
Some shots at YYZ as we taxied to our gate.
As we disembark, I gather my belongings abit reluctant to have to leave this beautiful plane, on my way out through door L2, I say my last good byes to the crew thanking them for everything and I leave by saying "You guys deserve your Skytrax rating". They were all very surprised and flattered at the same time and said a very humble thank you to me, and off I was into Pearson Terminal 1 which I hadn't visited in 5 years.
Views from the terminal before Customs and Immigration
My beautiful bird for the last time
Austrian 767 with winglets waiting to depart back to Vienna as OS 072.
Welcome to Canada!
Customs was very easy, we collected our bags, rechecked them, went through security once again, and in we were through to the Domestic part of T1.
We landed on time and the flight was fine. I love the 767, when traveling as a couple it is perfect, but I have to say I prefer the A330 which is much quiter and more comfortable
C L O S I N G R E M A R K S
I loved flying with Air Canada. I was not disappointed by their service and really would rather fly them to Canada rather than anyone else. The hard product is very competitive, and the soft product, international is top notch, domestic, definitely could be improved.
This is outbound leg of my journey to Vancouver. I will also be posting the return flight sometime soon which is again with Air Canada with a slightly different routing, YVR-YYC-FRA-BUD
Thanks guys, comments and feedback as always welcome.
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8823 times:
Always a pleasure to read about AC!! Great trip report with excellent photos and the videos are awesome, especially the landing on Rwy 23 in Toronto. I spot there a lot and have to say seeing an AC A330-300 land there is just breathtaking.
That is the best seat actually lol...and you really got some great views out of there especially with those winglets
Quoting canadiantree (Thread starter): I was counting the seconds until spool up while my girlfriend was still talking to me thinking that she had no idea that in about 10 seconds I wouldn't be able to hear her anymore as the engines got louder, and louder, and louder, for me truly the best sound when it comes to air craft and engine epicness for take off.
Oh dear, I hope she is not reading this.
Quoting canadiantree (Reply 1): About 2 hours before the flight came to conclusion, we were served the usual hot posh wraps that Air Canada is known for, Cajun Chicken or Tomato Mozzarella were the choices. I had chicken which was good. My girlfriend enjoyed her veggie one. That F/A came back and I chatted with her telling her we still had a 5 hour flight to Vancouver waiting for us/. She gasped and was like "Oh wow, you do know that Air Canada domestic is all BOB right?" I was like yes, she told me to hold a second, she disappeared in the galley for a second and came back with a plastic bag containing FIVE hot posh wraps, 3 chicken ones and 2 veggie ones. My heart leaped, I was ecstatic, Air Canada really hadn't failed me after 30 years flying with them.
That was especially nice of her to do that!!
Quoting canadiantree (Reply 1): I say my last good byes to the crew thanking them for everything and I leave by saying "You guys deserve your Skytrax rating". They were all very surprised and flattered at the same time and said a very humble thank you to me
I'm glad you could acknowledge their great service. Not everybody takes the time to thank the crew, just feel it is their job.