Before I start Part 2 of this report, I wish to thank two sets of people on this forum:
1) Thank you to everyone who takes time to write Trip Reports! I enjoy reading everyone else's report very much, and it has inspired me to keep writing mine. Trip Reports are a lot of work to write, and I appreciate that there are others out there that take the time to share their experiences. Thank you!
2) Thank you to everyone who reads these Trip Reports! I appreciate all of the feedback that everyone provides. I enjoy doing these, and am always looking for ways to make them better. I hope you enjoy reading them as much I as enjoy writing them!
And now, the trip home...
Link to part 1: Wet Coast Trip Part 1: Manitoba To BC YWG-YYC-YYJ (by canadianpylon Feb 18 2013 in Trip Reports)]
After arriving in Victoria, I spent the next week visiting friends and some of the sites on Vancouver Island. Victoria is a wonderful place to visit, with so many places to explore!
At the tail end of the Salmon run… The smell was pretty strong
Looking out to Victoria from Mount Douglas
At Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown Victoria
Some of the local ‘residents’ of the wharf…
Houseboats at the wharf
I spent the weekend with good friends in Victoria. On the Sunday, I said a heavy hearted good-bye to my friend and family as I headed across the Strait of Georgia to the mainland with another buddy. He lives in Vancouver, so this was the start of part 2 of my trip!
The ferry at Swartz Bay that will take us to Tsawwassen on the lower mainland BC
Leaving Swartz Bay… Goodbye Vancouver Island!
The ferry crossing was very, very windy that day! You really couldn’t stand outside on the ferry deck without being knocked over. Once we cleared the islands(which is the most scenic part of the trip!) we hit the open waters of the Strait of Georgia. The winds and waves were very strong, and the ferry pitched and rolled the whole way to Tsawwassen. We ended up arriving about an hour late (even though we left on time) because of the wind. Anybody with a weak stomach was struggling on the crossing.
I spent the next few days exploring some of the towns of the lower mainland with my buddy over the next few days.
We went to Hope (where part of the original Rambo movie was shot)
A shot of the Coquihalla River and Fraser River junction in Hope
Driving north of Abbotsford to Mission
We drove up to Squamish and Whistler for the day. On the way, we stopped at Shannon Falls. Simply spectacular!
It was raining the day we drove up (when isn’t it raining in BC in November?!?!) and the falls would vanish into the clouds while standing at the base of them. For a flatlander such as myself, this was a very different experience!
View from our hotel in Squamish
After exploring the areas around Vancouver, we spent the final night in downtown Vancouver. We went to the Danko Jones concert at the Commodore Ballroom (awesome concert venue!). It was great!
Looking across to downtown Vancouver from Granville Island
The view from our hotel
After a night of beer and ear-shattering Danko Jones, it was time to get a little sleep before heading to Vancouver airport for the return trip home!
Air Canada 214
Vancouver (YVR) to Calgary (YYC)
November 22nd, 2012
Estimated Load factor: 60%
ETD: 13:10 PST ATD: 13:21 PST
ETA: 15:30 MST ATA: 15:21 MST
Day of trip: I checked in at the hotel then night before, and saw that my flights to Calgary and Winnipeg were on time. The Vancouver to Calgary flight looked to be half full on an Embraer 190 (yay!), but the Calgary to Winnipeg was full on a CRJ (CRampJet…boo!) As it turns out, this is an important fact for the story later.
My buddy and I got up early-ish (we were at a concert the night before!) and made our way to the airport via the Canada Line. It is a subway/LRT line that runs from downtown Vancouver right to the airport. It is a VERY, VERY convenient way to get to the airport from downtown and vice versa.
We got to the airport about an hour and a half before my flight. I checked my baggage, as I didn’t want to haul it around with me for the trip (ya, I’m lazy like that.) We check out the observation deck in the terminal and walked around the pre-security side of the airport.
A picture I took using the binoculars in the observation deck area
Soon, it was time for me to go through security and get on board my planes home. I said goodbye to my friend, which was harder than I expected. I pulled it together and we parted ways. I will have to make another trip out soon!
I breezed through security and was soon airside. Vancouver airport is beautiful pre-security, but isn’t as nice once you cross over to the airside. It’s rather plain on the domestic side, anyways. I decided to burn a few minutes exploring the gate areas.
Does HSBC have a contract with every airport for advertising?!
Going down to the gate areas from security
Looking across at the International Terminal area
Pretty typical gate area in Vancouver
Air Canada 777 going to Hong Kong
Regional Props pier full of Jazz Dash 8s
My ride to Calgary
We started boarding a few minutes late, which led to a delayed departure. No worries, as I had a long layover in Calgary. The plane was only about 60% full, and once boarding was done, the seat next to me was empty (score!) I settled into the seat, and fired up the enRoute IFE.
What a great IFE system! Movies and TV shows and music!
Wing view from my seat
Obligatory seat view
We taxied out for departure, but I was asleep before we got to the runway. I woke up on descent somewhere over the Rockies… Man that was a good concert last night!
On descent into Calgary
After landing and taxiing to the gate in Calgary
US Airways A319 being pushed back for its flight to Phoenix
The sun was starting to set shortly after arriving. I had a couple of hours to burn waiting for my connecting flight. I walked around the Calgary terminal to try and grab some supper. That is when I discovered that Calgary airport is woefully under-provisioned with decent restaurants to sit down and grab a bite to eat. After looking around for a bit, I decided to grab a soup and sandwich from Tim Horton’s and call it supper. I finally got my Timmie’s in Calgary airport!
Looking across the tarmac
My ride to Winnipeg
About an hour before my flight, I was bored out of my skull. I decided to head to the gate and wait for my flight to board. After waiting for about 15 minutes, they made the following announcement at the gate:
“Good evening ladies and gentleman… We are looking for a volunteer to take a later flight to Winnipeg, as this flight is oversold. We are offering $100 cash or a $200 travel voucher if you are interested.”
I really wanted to get home, but I looked at the situation. 1) I’m travelling alone. 2) I’m travelling on points. 3) I like flying, so additional flying is OK for me. 4) Nobody else is volunteering.
After waiting a few minutes, and seeing no one move to counter, I decided to get up and see if I was a candidate. I talked to the agent, and they said they could route me through Edmonton to get home. Instead of arriving at 21:30, I’d be getting home at midnight. Hmmm…. I put my name down, and they told me they would wait to see if everyone showed up. They off loaded my bag in preparation of me getting bumped. I guess they were oversold by 1.
After volunteering I had, no word of lie, 3 different people come up to me and thank me for volunteering to get off. 1 person was trying to make a connection to Thunder Bay in Winnipeg, 1 person was trying to make it for their parent’s 90th birthday party, and 1 person was trying to get home for a medical emergency. Apparently this was the last flight out of Calgary to Winnipeg by Air Canada for the day. In light of the fact that I didn’t much for my ticket (Aeroplan points) and could easily wait a few hours to get home, this was an easy choice.
Sure enough, when all was said and done, I was bumped. Off to Edmonton I go!
My reissued ticket
I phoned the wife and let her know I was going to be getting in late. The kids were disappointed, but understood. I proceeded to the regional gate area of the terminal to get ready for my flight to Edmonton
Air Canada 8162 (Jazz Aviation)
Calgary (YYC) to Edmonton (YEG)
November 22nd, 2012
Estimated Load factor: 50%
ETD: 19:30 MST ATD: 19:34 MST
ETA: 20:12 MST ATA: 20:12 MST
I made my way down to the regional gate area. It is a gate area at ground level looking out over the tarmac. As it was getting late, there was no daylight. It was hard to see out of the windows, so there wasn’t much to do except wait to board. There was another flights going to Castlegar, but the gate area was pretty quiet.
About 30 minutes before departure, boarding was called for the flight. My ticket was checked, and I made the long walk down a very cold tunnel to the airplane.
The regional flight tunnel to all prop flights
My ride to Edmonton (sorry about the quality)
Boarding the Dash 8
Hello Mr. Propeller.
Almost right on time, the door was closed (which was good, because it was cold!). I simply love the Dash 8 aircraft! I love the seats, the propeller start-up and the ride! This flight did not disappoint! The seat was comfortable (aided by the empty seat beside me.) The aircraft started up the props and we made the very quick taxi to runway 16. After waiting for another Air Canada Airbus to depart, we lined up on the runway. A short wait was had, and soon the props kicked into life, pushing me back into the seat. A short run down the runway, and we were on our way to Edmonton!
Shortly after takeoff. Downtown Calgary is on the left side of the pic
After turning north, flying parallel to the airport
The flight to Edmonton was uneventful. A drink service was provided, but that was about it for a 45 minute flight. I enjoyed looking out the window at all of the towns as we followed the Highway 2 north. The Dash 8 approached the airport from the west, and we landed on runway 12. Short and sweet. One more flight until home!
Air Canada 8516 (Jazz Aviation)
Edmonton (YEG) To Winnipeg (YWG)
November 22nd, 2012
Estimated Load factor: 100%
ETD: 20:50 MST ATD: 22:42 MST
ETA: 23:20 MST ATA: 01:11(+1) CST
I had about an hour and half wait in Edmonton before my last flight, so I decided to do what I have been doing all day…explore! This was the first time I have been in Edmonton since they finished their major renovations. I have to say, I love the new terminal! It is large, airy, and full of amenities! What a fantastic terminal!
I decided to get a bite to eat at Quiznos, using the food voucher that Air Canada gave me. After a rather filling sub, I went for walk from one of the area to another…
Main concourse area in Edmonton
Art made from an airplane…Interesting.
Shopping concourse. Many of the stores were closed at this time of night.
Departures board in Edmonton (does that say ‘Delayed’ for my flight?!)
An Air Transat A330 resting overnight…
Edmonton takes the ‘City of Champions’ thing pretty seriously
After walking from one end of the terminal, I decided to head to my gate at the Gate 49 area. Gate 49 is the regional jet/prop area. Arriving at the gate, I was not happy to see that my flight was in fact delayed…again. By this time, I was getting tired. I didn’t want to be waiting at the gate to find out the flight got cancelled and have to scramble to get a hotel room. I approached the gate agent and asked him if the flight was for sure happening, or was it at risk of being cancelled. He assured my that the flight was leaving, albeit 1.5 hours late. OK. So we wait.
It’s about 22:15, and the call boarding for the flight to Winnipeg. Everyone looks like the walking dead, dragging their bags down the escalators and the walkway to the plane. Another brisk walk outside and we got on to the CRampJet 200.
So now… I am tired. I just want to sleep, and the seats are NOT comfortable for a 1.5 hour flight. Add to this, my seat mate. Mr. 2E. He is drunk….very, very drunk. Apparently, he is a talkative drunk. And potentially one with brain damage, as he only has a 15 minute memory. So, it’s late, and this guy next to me proceeds to repeat the conversation and ask the same questions at least 6 times on the flight. And he not shy about sharing his flatulence. I swear, I thought something was rotting in the front of the plane and wafting over me. It turns out he was rotting on the inside, and it was escaping from him one fart at a time. The fact that he laughed about it and swore profusely during the flight was the cherry on top of what was a miserable flight. Did I mention that he spilled his coffee on me? You know, he had to sober up to drive home after the flight…
Needless to say, I’m still in therapy because of this guy, and I have attempted to suppress any memory associated to it. It was a 2 hour flight that felt like an eternity, and I had to shower when I got home.
Overall, the Air Canada flights were decent. I got a $200 travel voucher and some extra flights under my belt.
Normally I try to record the takeoff and landings of the flights, but most of them occurred at night, so they wouldn’t have turned out. I simply enjoyed the flying this time, and it was great!
I hope that you enjoyed this report! I appreciate all of your feedback!