Hello ladies and gentlemen,
This is my first trip report. Before I begin, I would like to apologize if it’s too long, contains any spelling, grammatical, technical or any other errors. I am by no means a professional writer, photographer, nor have I noted every detail of my trip. However I hope you enjoy it, as I have put a lot of effort into this. Also I'm not sure how to "direct link" the pics from Photobucket to this site. I tried to use the [img] option, but I don't know if it will work. I also will include links to the photo.
A few months ago, I found out that one of my best friends is getting married. I wasn’t going to miss this occasion for the world. It was a good time to get together with all my high school and college friends, which I have not seen for a while, and party it up like in the old days. On top of that, my family also resides in Windsor and I have not seen them for quite a while. I had every reason to go there.
There are a number of ways to get to Windsor from Calgary. Westjet has direct service to Windsor (to be suspended later this year), but not every day. Air Canada flies there every day, but connecting through Toronto. Another way to get there is to fly to Detroit (DTW), which is about 45 min. drive from Windsor. Northwest offers service through Minneapolis, United through Chicago, Continental through Houston, etc.
In the end, the decision to purchase the ticket was based mostly on price; the cheaper the better. It turned out that Air Canada offered this fare. I booked it through their website www.aircanada.com. I must say I really like their online booking system. Those of you who book with them online know what I mean.
PART I – Calgary, Alberta to Windsor, Ontario
Date: Friday June 3, 2005
Origin: Calgary, Alberta, Canada (CYYC)
Destination: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (CYYZ)
Airline: Air Canada
Departure: 00:20am (Mountain Time)
Arrival: 06:14am (Eastern Time)
Aircraft: Airbus 321 (C-GITY)
My trip starts out on Thursday afternoon. Since my flight was to depart at 00:20 on Friday, I had to be at the airport 1.5 hours prior to departure. That would make it late Thursday night. To avoid paying the $40.00 taxi fare, I decided to bother my best friend to give me a ride to the airport. Because he had to work the next day, he couldn’t drive me too late, so I ended up being dropped off around 10:00pm.
At the airport, a very helpful and friendly customer representative, showed me how to use the express check-in machine. I was assigned my gate number and seat number.
The airport was quite empty this night. There weren’t many people. After obtaining both my boarding passes (YYC-YYZ & YYZ-YYC), I walked up to the counter and checked my luggage. I was 2nd in line, so the entire process took under 5 minutes.
I made my way toward the security check point, but I decided to stop at a little pub and have a bite to eat and perhaps a nice cold beer. The only two people in this place were the bartender and another guy who was quietly sipping on his beer. I ordered my food and a bottle of Alexander Keith’s, which I would recommend to everyone. The three of us started talking, or I should say the bartender and I talked. The other guy (Chris, from Newfoundland…) was pretty wasted by now, so he didn’t have much to offer in terms of conversation. I did find out, whether or not I wanted, that he was 20 years old, worked as a carpenter, loved the money he made, how fast he drives; how much he likes to drink and of course, last but not least, how many girls he’s been with. Great!
Four beers later and a bill of $30.00+ (CAD), my new-made friend and I made our way toward security, which was within a few meters of the pub. I don’t even want to speculate how many beers he had. The bartender was shaking his head and you could read it in his eyes. “Can this guy make it to the plane?” At this point, I also found out that Chris was on the same flight as me.
At the checkpoint, there were more security personnel than passengers. I expected to be searched to the bone, and Chris put in a cage and flown in a FedEx 727, but to our surprise, we were cleared in a heartbeat. Again, this place was pretty empty as well.
Until we started boarding our plane, I had a cup of coffee and listened to endless blabber about various subjects, some of which would include: beer, pot, women, parties, some more beer… and pot…
Boarding time! Gate A18.
“Miss, is there a chance I can get a seat away from him?” (ok I didn’t say that, but I did pray to God for it). I was in seat 30F, which is a window seat. To my relief, my prayers were answered. I quietly sat down. It began to rain.
In no time, we pushed back and before “buddy” could order another beer, our A321 lifted off runway 16. Because of the active weather around the Calgary area, there was very little to see, much less a decent photo opportunity. I opted to ”recline” (what a joke) my seat and sleep.
I woke up just as daylight was breaking out. I snapped a few pictures and glanced out the window for the remainder of the flight.
We landed a few minutes early on 06R (please correct me if I’m wrong), which runs West to East, parallel to the 401 Highway.
We taxied to the new terminal and I was the last passenger to de-board; reason being, I wanted to take a few shots of the flight deck.
Once off the aircraft, I took another photo of its exterior and made my way downstairs, to catch my flight to Windsor.
Date: Friday June 3, 2005
Origin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (CYYZ)
Destination: Windsor, Ontario, Canada (CYQG)
Airline: Air Canada Jazz
Departure: 07:17am (Eastern Time)
Arrival: 08:25am (Eastern Time)
Aircraft: De Havilland Dash 8 - 300 (C-GUON)
I didn’t have much time to waste around YYZ. I bought another coffee and walked to gate 109, where my flight to Windsor would board. I really like flying in prop planes. So far, nothing beats flying my little DV20, but, as a passenger, the Dash 8 is pretty fun.
The weather was beautiful, but I really felt the humidity as a Air Labrador Captain made his way through the sliding doors. He looked quite young and I looked at him with envy that he had such an amazing job. “Soon I would be doing the same thing,” I thought to myself. Good for him though. I know how much hard work, dedication, and sacrifices, not to mention money, one must put in to get where he is.
We boarded C-GUON. I was in seat 2A. Myself included, there were only nine passengers on today’s flight. You’d think they would use a –100 or even that Air Labrador 1900 that was heading to London (CYXU).
The pilots started the engines and the F/A performed the mandatory safety demo, that nobody, except myself, paid attention to, and I have to admit, after seeing it countless times before, I did it only out of politeness. YYZ was starting to get busy, but then again, is it ever not busy?
Moments later, we were climbing to our assigned cruising altitude. It was a little turbulent, but nothing that would inconvenience me. After passing Hamilton, the ground became obscured due to a thick layer of clouds.
In-flight I asked the F/A if I could move to another seat toward the back of the aircraft. She agreed. I wanted to sit on the right side of the aircraft, just in case we would land on runway 25, at YQG. This would bring our approach directly above my parent’s house. I remember, growing up, I would never get bored of watching the Air Ontario Dash-8s or Canadian 1900s fly above our house.
In no time, we started to descend into Windsor. The humidity really reduced the visibility, but I didn’t have a problem recognizing the area around my hometown. We descended over Lake St. Clair, St. Clair Beach, Tecumseh, Forrest Glade and eventually touched down on runway 25. It felt good to be back home, even though it was to be a rather short vacation.
As we were taxing to the terminal building, I had a pleasant surprise, which I was probably the only one to notice or care. The Canadian Snowbirds (parked near Windsor Flying Club) were in town, for an air show in Leamington (which I missed because of the wedding I had to attend).
The humidity in Windsor was unbelievable. Living in dry Calgary for the past three and a half years, it really hit me. I asked the F/A to take a pic of the flight deck, but I was rudely denied. “No, our policy is not to allow that anymore”. I was not aware of that. Does anyone know this as fact?
Windsor Airport does not have any air bridges. You have to walk from the aircraft to the terminal. As you can imagine, unloading 8 passengers` luggage, doesn’t take that much time. I guess small airports have their advantage.
Not to worry, I had to wait for my parents to come though. They forgot about me, with the busy schedule they had at work. Actually, it was my fault. I did tell my mom I’d call her before I’d depart Toronto, but I forgot to do so. Maybe it was those beers I had in Calgary, or the three-hour sleep on Air Canada’s super “comfy” economy seat, or maybe I was too busy daydreaming of how it would be like to fly that 1900.
While I waited for them to come, I walked around the airport a few times, took some pics and chatted with a guy who just came back from a vacation in Alaska…
So this would be the end of the outbound flight. I have the return flight to Calgary in the works, but that won’t be done for a few days. I didn’t realize how much work is required to make a report like this. I forgot to mentionI really enjoy reading everyone’s reports, be it short or long, and I tried to make it as accurate and as descriptive as possible, without making it too long. I did note some facts, like cruising altitude, etc, but my laptop is no longer working, so you’ll just have to do without.
I hope you enjoyed it and please, any comments, criticism or suggestions are very much welcomed.