December 16, 2000 -
Scheduled - D: 09:15am A: 11:20am
Actual – D: 11:45am A: 2:15pm
Duration: 05hr 05min
Boeing 767-375ER(Manufactured: 1988)
*Canadian Airlines International
This mornings drive to the airport was easy going. I was happy that the Toronto area didn’t receive their expected icy rain and snow that was predicted by the news. Once I arrived at the airport I double-checked the departure monitors to find that my flight was listed as “On Time” and shortly after that I proceeded to the check in lines for Executive First/Star Gold flyers. The check in went by smoothly this morning and I was on my way to the gate area afterwards. I would advise those traveling in Hospitality and having to use the Hospitality check in lines to give yourself plenty of time as they’re expecting the length of the lines to be horribly line for the winter traveling season.
I didn’t have the time to visit the Maple Leaf Lounge this morning, so I ventured off to our assigned gate, which happened to be gate 80. I arrived with about 40 minutes until we were scheduled to depart and within 15 minutes, the agent working that particular gate announced that our gate assignment was changed to gate 73. We all up and went over to the new gate for our flight only to find that we didn’t have an aircraft waiting for us. The aircraft was still at gate 80 and was waiting to be towed over to gate 73. It was approaching 9am and that’s when the gate agent announced that the crew was ready to board, but we were missing an aircraft. I patiently waited and after 20 minutes, they posted “Delayed -> 9:45am”, which was later changed to “Delayed -> 10:00am”, this was not looking good for a bunch of us who were connecting onto transpacific flights. As soon as it was nearing 10am is when a CP 767-375ER finally showed up, which featured the hybrid livery, consisting of the Canadian logo on the side and Air Canada tail.
Boarding finally commenced 15 minutes after 10, which began with those needing help, followed by Business Class passengers, AP Elite, Super Elite and then finally Economy passengers. I was seated in seat 4C, which was an isle seat and fine with me as long as I’m not stuck in the middle seat. The seating layout on this particular aircraft was 1-2-2 in Business. I didn’t get a chance to visit the Y class cabin and have no idea what the seating is like. We were not offered any pre-flights drinks, which is understandable considering the circumstances and the delay. I was sure that leaving promptly was far more important than serving drinks.
Once everyone was aboard and seating, we were told that our flight time would be exactly 5 hours. They started playing the safety video right away and once that was done we began to taxi out to the runway. The taxi time to get to the runway about 10+ minutes. We were third in line for take off and it was estimated that we would be airborne in approximately 5-10 minutes. 5 minutes had come and gone and the pilot announced that we have to return to the gate area, due to some loading problems. It took us about 5 minutes to turn back to the runway once everyone ahead of us took off. The ground crew re-sorted the entire luggage and the pilot stated that more fuel was put into the aircraft. Our second departure time was 11:45am and we were airborne shortly before noon.
The in-flight entertainment aboard this aircraft consisted of main screen video in both Y and J class cabins. I’m use to seeing CBC News before the movies, but this flight started with movies as soon as we were airborne. The first movie shown was “Chicken Run”, which starred Mel Gibson and Miranda Richardson in a clay animation feature film. It was followed by “Shanghai Noon”, which starred Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson and Lucy Lui. Short programming was after that, which featured an episode of Seinfeld.
The in-flight service began with drink orders and was shortly followed by a hot lunch. Passengers in both cabins got to take advantage of the open bar that was offered due to the delay in YYZ. The meals offered on this flight consisted of either beef tenderloin or salmon. I went for beef as I am not a fan of seafood and the meal wasn’t too bad. We were offered plenty of drinks and the FA’s in J were constantly wandering the cabin offering us refills. Unfortunately, I don’t remember every detail about the food offered this time around and didn’t remember to take notes. Overall the service was very pleasing for domestic flight in J class.
As we got closer to our destination people were beginning to worry about their connections flights and began bugging the FA’s about this. At that point I knew that my flight to SEL had already departed and thought I was just wait and deal with it on the ground instead of bothering the FA’s. It seems like a good amount of those on this flight were connecting onto AC 3007 to HKG, which was scheduled to depart at 12:15pm, but somehow they decided to hold AC 3007 for those connecting, but didn’t hold other flights to the Pacific. I was a little surprised that they would hold a flight for over 2hrs to wait for connecting passengers. I have never seen this, the latest I’ve knows was for airlines to wait at times no more than an hour.
As we approached Vancouver, the pilot announces that the temperature is 7C with some light rain in the area. There was some snow on the ground when we arrived and the pilot had mentioned that they were receiving snow at the time of our departure to Vancouver. As we were taxing to our gate, we were told that we had to wait, while the plane in our gate got on their way. They were delayed due to the weather today, which wasn’t too pleasant. The pilot told us that the wait should be no more than 10 minutes and once that time period passed by, there was another announced by the pilot stating that he really didn’t know how much longer it was going to take. We had waited for our gate close to an hour. At this time everyone was frustrated and really nervous about not making any flights. We finally got to the gate area at 2:15pm and the masses of people came running off the plane to see what was going on with their flights.
Several Air Canada ground agents were waiting at the end of the gate to greet us and to answer our questions concerning connecting flights. The agent I talked had told me that AC 899 to Seoul had already departed, which was what I had thought. She also mentioned that Air Canada had made arrangements for me to stay overnight in Vancouver at the Delta Pacific Hotel. I went to get re-ticketed at the international terminal and also tried to see if I could get put on the Singapore Airlines flight to SEL, but by the time I had arrived, SQ had already departed as did every flight to the Pacific. I had no choice but to stay the night in Vancouver. Air Canada took care of the hotel bill and offered 1-$23 dinner voucher and 1-$13 breakfast voucher. I was inquired about phone charges and the ticketing agent offered a complimentary phone card for $10. He had me booked on AC 899 departing at the same time on the 17th, unfortunately seat 3A was already taken, so he put me in seat 5A, which was still not bad considering it was the weekend. I was very pleased with how helpful this agent was and how he treated me and I give Air Canada * 2 thumbs up *.
I attempted to see if I would be able to get my checked luggage and have it re-checked the next morning, but was told that since I was to be connecting on an International flight my luggage was put into a secure area. The luggage worker offered me a toiletry bag, which consisted off all the necessary hygiene articles and I accepted this and he assured me that my luggage will be on the plane for my flight to Seoul the next morning.
Now, I was off to get something to eat and rest for the flight that was ahead of me the next morning.
December 16, 2000 - * missed connection *
D: 12:10pm A: 05:00pm
Duration: 11hr 50min
December 17, 2000 -
Scheduled - D: 12:10pm A: 05:00pm
Actual – D: 12:20pm A: 04:50pm
Duration: 11hr 50min
Boeing 767-333ER(Manufactured: 1995)
I ended up getting up earlier than I had originally planned and packed my bags up and was on my way to take the shuttle back to Vancouver International Airport. I didn’t have time to use the complimentary meal vouchers and decided to grab something to eat at the airport. I noticed about 5 others on the shuttle who were always going to Seoul, two of which were also on AC 3985 the other day and a few others who came in from various other cities. It took about 15 minutes to arrive at the airport, the driver dropped us off at the international terminal first and continued onto the domestic terminal.
The lines for Hospitality check in were very long this morning, but once you passed the massive crowds, then it was much more shorter at the “Executive First/Star Gold” check in area. I was second inline to be checked in this morning, where the check in agent had checked me in without any problems and I mentioned my situation to her and she understood what the label on my ticket was all about. She printed off my boarding pass and as I was about to go, she mentioned the location of the Maple Leaf Lounge, which I took full advantage of since I had over and hour to kill and nothing better to do. The lounge was pretty nice, and featured snacks, drinks and a business area consisting of computers, fax machines, photocopiers and telephones. I decided to get some snacks and something to drink and then made my way over to the computers and sent some email and checked up on a few things while I was online. The view from the lounge was excellent, and gave us a perfect view of a CX 747-400, bound for HKG. Once the time had passed I decided to leave and wait at the gate area for my flight.
Boarding for our flight began 45 minutes prior to our scheduled departure time. The boarding began with those needing special help, Executive First, Elite, Super Elite and Hospitality Class passengers. My complaint about the boarding has to do with the person who was calling off the boarding process, she called it all in Korean and didn’t translate it into English. This was a first, I would think that they would do it in English first, followed by French and Korean last. I understood most of what she was saying and knew that it was time for me to board and I was one of the first passengers who got to board on this flight.
The lead flight attendant was waiting at the front of the aircraft to show each passenger to their seats and to take the coats of Executive First passengers. I was seated in seat 5A and at this point there was no one sitting next to me and I hoped that the seat would remain empty. After many of the passengers had boarded, the FA came around and offered Champagne or Orange Juice for a pre-flight drink. Shortly after they came around and passed out amenities kits, which has the following in it: socks, comb, ear plugs, toothpaste/toothbrush, shaving kit, lip balm, nail filer, and blind folds. I got 2 sets of blind folds and earplugs. I found this kit to be much nicer than what was offered on US Airlines in J class. At this point most of the passengers were on this flight and my seat partner showed up and since this flight was light in J, he decided he would take advantage of the empty row in the middle and move there, which gave me 2 seats to myself, which was very nice and comfortable. The FA’s were back passing out our drinks that we requested and also offered either newspaper in English or Korean, I opted for the National Post, which I was a bit more familiar with it in Toronto. The FA’s came back to collect the glasses and any trash that we might have and another FA came around to pass out Menus and Wine list for this flight.
The pilot announced that our flying time would be 11 hours and explained our route that we were to take. We were going to fly over British Columbia, and start to make a left turn over the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, turn south before Russia, fly over half over Japan and then make our way into the southern part of Korea and then make our final approach into Seoul from the south. The flight was expected to be really smooth with clear visibility most of the way. The cruising altitude was going to be at 34,000ft.
We began to taxi from the gate at 12:20pm and they also began to play the safety video on the main screen. We had no one in front of us as we made our way to the runway and departed promptly. We flew over the strait and then made a left turn towards the north. The area was very scenic was lots of mountains and snow covered peaks. We were told that drink service would begin once the fasten seat belt sign was turned off and then a hot lunch service would be provided right after. They normally serve lunch an hour and a half after the drink service, but there was some expected turbulence an hour and a half out of Vancouver, which meant they would have to begin meal service earlier on this flight.
The menus are as follows:
Poached Salmon Fillet with Ginseng Appetizer
Seasonal Greens with Vinaigrette
Braised Short Ribs Bulgogi, Jasmine Rice, Stir-Friend Daikons
Braised Chicken Breast with Black Mushroom, Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce, Jasmine Rice
Veal Chop Osso Bucco, Gnocchi, Tomato Cup with Leaf Spinach and Pine Nuts
Selection of Cheese
Poire William Mousse Cake
Mixed Ice Cream with Raspberry Coulis
Meal – prior to arrival
Coconut Shrimp Appetizer
Seafood Stew with Cod, Prawns, Scallops, Cuttle Fish, Daikon, Zucchini, Shiitake Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Roasted Duck with Hoisin Sauce, Jasmine Rice, Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce, Carrots with Mirin.
Baked Filled of Salmon with Potato Crust, Leek and saffron Confit, Buttered Green Asparagus, Oven Roasted, Carrots, Red Cabbage and Pearl Potatoes
Premium “Second Cup” Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Ginger, Ginseng, Herbal and Green Tea
Hot Ramen is available any time during the flight.
The Wine and Champagne List:
Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne
Wines of Canada:
Hernder Estate Baco Noir 1996 VQA
Harrow Estates Cabernet Franc 1997 VQA Lake Erie, Ontario
Chateau de Cruzeau 1996, Pessac-Leognan
Pinot Blanc 1998 Leon Beyer
Pouilly-Vinzelles, Bouchard Pere et Fils
Vina Valdivieso 1997 Reserve Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay, Lontue Valley
Chateau Bonnet Reserve 1997 Andre Lurton
Chateau le Barrail 1997 Medoc
Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone 1995
Hardy’s Signature Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz 1997
Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port
The meals on this flight were very good. I had the short ribs and roasted duck, which was exceptional. The deserts on this flight were also tasty. The service and meal was far better what I’ve experienced on other international flights. The FA made sure they had got everything that you wanted, including drink re-fills, which were more than generous. A variety of fruit juices were offered throughout the flight for those awake. The attention we got was very exceptional, could be due to the fact that the J class cabin was less than half full.
A series of 8 channels of movies were shown on the PTV monitors in J class, which also included a channel to watch the entertainment shown in Y class and the air show. The movies were cycled through 3 times during the flight, which gave us a chance to view several movies. I didn’t grab a copy of the magazine showing the movies played on this flight, so I can’t provide the entire list. I will try to copy down the movie list on the return trip. Y class passengers were shown the following: Daily news, The Perfect Storm, Gone in 60 Seconds, ACTV, Seinfeld, Planet Rock, Profiles, Just for Laughs, Frequency, Urban Eclectic, Faces of History and Mr. Bean.
Within a few hours of our arrival, the cabin lights were turned on and FA’s came around and handed our hot towels. The drink service started shortly and followed by a meal. At this point we were experiencing heavy turbulence and the pilot descended to 26,000ft. The meal service ended and that’s when the FA’s came and handed our arrival/departure cards, customs forms and explained the procedures who people staying in Korea and those connecting onto other destinations.
Our final part of the flight had us flying north of Hiroshima, Japan and we made our way to Kyon Ju, South Korea, then headed in a Northwest direction into Seoul – Kimpo International Airport. We arrived at 4:50pm, about 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival, but too late, as SQ 016 from SIN beat us to the immigration lines. It took about 30 minutes to clear immigration, seemed like the workers had no regard to how many were in line and they took their time. I was happy to see that the “priority” tags on my bags worked this time. I found my bag right away and made my way to customs and was out of there in no time.
Thanks for reading my trip report.