Dripstick From Canada, joined Dec 2001, 2364 posts, RR: 19 Posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3405 times:
My day started painfully early. The only saving grace was no line-up at the WestJet counters in the terminal at Hamilton Int’l Airport. Checked-in at 04:45. Screening was surprisingly thorough. (05:30). Had to take my lenses off of the cameras and they looked down the barrel of each. I was hoping for a frisking, but was disappointed in receiving a brief prodding from the cold wand. Oh well.
The boarding area at YHM is currently one very large room with the gates marked at each airside access door. Pre-boarding began shortly before 06:00. I boarded through Gate 4 at 06:04. I had picked this flight, #660, because I knew I would be flying on one of the leased B737-832’s from Delta Airlines. I took my seat in 7A, which gave me a good view of engine no. 1. The entire aircraft was fitted with dark blue leather seats. Definitely a comfortable ride. Legroom was plentiful. There were overhead screens, which remained stowed throughout the flight. Tail registration was N3740C.
The Moncton flight which had boarded in Gate 2, C-FJWS FIN002, seemed to be having mechanical problems as the mechanics had the engine no. 2 cowl open.
The flight attendants began their safety demo before and during pushback, which began at 06:27. We taxied at 06:30 and were airborne at 06:38. The crew had a great sense of humour. At the end of the safety demo, one of the crew said “…sit back and enjoy the fine Corinthian Leather.” The weary passengers chuckled at that. We departed off of runway 12L and the climb out was quiet and smooth. We followed the Grand River for awhile and then made a turn to the north and passed over Kitchener / Waterloo. We headed northwest from there.
Over Regina we encountered a wee bit of light turbulence due to a line of weather. The Captain mentioned it was approximately 150 miles wide.
We began our approach into the Calgary area at 08:00 local. Touchdown was smooth at 08:16 and block-in was 08:21. Deplaning was very organized. No pushing, biting, shoving, or elbows to the head. As I waited for the connecting flight from Comox, B.C. to arrive, I observed four WestJet arrivals at adjacent gates. The gate agents were very pleasant and helpful, no attitudes. Everyone including the passengers seemed to be in an upbeat mood, which I haven’t experienced with other Canadian carriers. Even though I was in Calgary, I didn’t feel like cattle!
The Comox flight pulled-up to the gate at 08:45. I boarded at 09:08. We pushed at 09:18, taxied at 09:23 and were airborne off of runway 34 after a lengthy taxi at 09:33. During taxiing, I observed an R.A.F. Tristar parked remotely with the reg. # ZE706. Other aircraft seen were an Emery Worldwide B727, UPS A300, Fed Ex A310, Canadian Airlines F28, and an old Cosmopolitan N4AX.
After departing runway 34, we made a right turn and later banked left to begin crossing the scenic Canadian Rockies.
I was able to get some good photos through the broken clouds. The second picture shows Gillies Bay Airport, a paved airstrip on Texada Island. Texada is a large island off the B.C. coast and pretty much directly across from the Courtenay/Comox area of Vancouver Island.
We crossed over Texada Island and descended over the Georgia Strait on our approach into Comox. The view was spectacular. We made a right turn for final and both Hornby and Denman Islands were clearly visible. Touchdown was at 09:40 local. We blocked-in at 09:48 at the small terminal. Most of Comox’s airfield is dedicated to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox.
We deplaned via airstairs and entered the tiny arrivals hall. Our bags were placed on an equally tiny conveyor belt. I watch the same 20 bags go round and round and round. I was tempted to start pulling bags off to speed up the process but "when in Rome"… The whole situation was quite humourous. People were jam-packed next to this wee belt with no room for others to get at their bags. I didn’t care, I was on a long awaited vacation. They are apparently planning a $4 million dollar terminal expansion to ease the congestion.
I had a great 9-day stay in Courtenay, here are a couple more pics.
Cmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3316 times:
Well Mr. V, eventhough I've enjoyed your sense of humor for nearly a year, I have yet to read a trip report by you. Im very impressed . Does YQQ recive any other service besides Westjet from YYC?
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton