Yvrsr From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 102 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6852 times:
Date: September 12, 2005
Origin: (SYD) Sydney, NSW, Australia
Destination: (YVR) Vancouver, BC, Canada
Departure Time: 10:00
Arrival Time: 10:45
Flight: AC 34
Reg Number: C-GHLQ
(Flight stops in HNL.)
I took the train to the airport from the Town Hall station in Sydney. The train is quite convenient. The only issue is that it is quite expensive AUD$12.80 for a relatively short trip. A trip of equal length on the train system is much cheaper. I believe that the airport line is not subsidized. People who know more about this can provide the precise details.
I arrived at the check-in desk at about 08:30 for the 10:00 flight. The desk is at the opposite end of the terminal from the train station so it is a relatively long walk. There were few people in line. The check-in agent said that the flight was not very full. I have taken this flight 4 times previously and was nearly full on those occasions. I had an cheap economy ticket and am an Aeroplan Elite member. I didn't ask for an upgrade because the check in process was so fast and I wasn't thinking about it.
I went through the security and the outbound immigration control relatively quickly. I made one circle around the departure area to look at the airplanes and then went to the departure lounge gate 51 for my flight. The room was much less crowded than on my previous trip in June. I went up to the desk, asked for an upgrade, and received it!
It took close to 45 minutes to take off because only 1 runway was being used for both departures and landings. I estimate that at 8-12 planes were ahead of us for take-off.
I have flown in AC Executive class on several different widebody airplanes -- B767, A330 & A340. The good points: lots of leg room, comfortable seats and enjoyable meals, and good service. The bad point: relatively poor in-flight entertainment. On my last SYD-YVR trip on the 767-300 the executive class cabin seats did not have built-in monitors. On that flight we were given the option of having DVD player to watch movies. In this flight as in others, there was a built-in monitor with a choice channels with movies that repeat every few hours -- not video-on-demand.
On the SYD-HNL leg (9.5 hours or so) there were problems with the audio for the movie "Fever Pitch", which I wanted to watch. The movie played for about 45 minutes and was restarted with the problem corrected. I also watched "Mr and Mrs Smith" and a movie about the last days of Hitler and the Nazis in WWII. I like history and found this movie to be interesting, but I found it odd that such a depressing movie was being shown on a plane. I read for the rest of the flight.
Meals I had on this flight:
Opener: Tandoori chicken and mango salso
Main: Pumpkin frittada
Dessert: Cheese plate with dried fruits
Main Course: Curried chicken with rice and chinese vegetable
Opener: kiwi, strawberries, and papaya
Main: Quiche with sausage, tomato, and potatoes
The pumpkin frittada was a bit too sweet for my taste, but the other dishes were good. I turned down the cheese cake course at lunch -- need to lose weight!
This flight stops in Honolulu around midnight, where every one gets off the plane, goes through immigration, then gets on the plane again. The stop lasts about 1.5 hours. This is quite painful, as one is just getting sleepy at that time. I was fortunate enought to fly SYD-YVR on AC34 when it was a nonstop during last winter. That was one of the best flights I have had.
The HNL-YVR leg (5.5 hours) was uneventful. I slept for most of the flight and read for the last part.
The flight arrived about 45 minutes late, due to the traffic jam during take-off at SYD. The immigration hall at YVR was full because flights from had also just arrived. I was in the line for about 30 minutes. My bag was waiting for me after I got through immigration. My father met me at the airport and dropped me at home.
Airbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 642 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 6230 times:
Hi Yvrsr ... interesting report, particularly as I might wind up doing it early next year. I was under the impression that the pax stayed on board in HNL. Trust the US authorities to make a bunch of tired travellers to jump thru' the hoops for no real (good) reason!! It would be great if they could manage the non-stop SYD-YVR again, but AC res'vns in Sydney told me that is not planned, 'coz they don't have a suitable a/c ... by this I take it they meant a spare A345.
You being more familiar with AC, are they scheduled to get delivery of more 345's between now and Jan./Feb. next year?
YVRSR From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 102 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 6143 times:
For the last 2 years at least, AC 33/34 (YVR-SYD/SYD-YVR) has been on the B767-300 in the northern summer and on the A340-300 for the northern winter. There is usually a second daily flight on the 767-300 during the peak northern winter period. In general these flights stop in HNL in both directions and people get off the plane. For SYD-YVR one must go through US immigration in HNL. For YVR-SYD, one pre-clears US immigration in YVR.
Last year for the first time, for about 4 months or so last winter AC33 YVR-SYD had a technical stop in HNL where all pax stayed on board -- there was a crew change. One did not have to go through US immigration in YVR. The return flight AC 34 SYD-YVR was nonstop. I did this trip in January 2005. (On A340-300).
Based on what I have read on this and other forums, this coming winter the switch to the A340-300 will not be made as this aircraft is being used on YYZ-South America and YYZ-Asia routes. During the peak period, there will be 2 daily flights between YVR and SYD, both stopping in HNL, on the 767-300.
AC has 2 A345 planes which are usually used on the YYZ-HKG routes. As far as I know, there are not any additional A345 on order.
CX777FAN From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 6089 times:
Yes, the train to Sydney airport is one of the greatest rip-offs in the world. The section of track to the airport was built by a private company, so they charge what they need to to re-coup losses. I noticed that the reliable government airport bus service was stopped a year or two after the train started running, because everyone preferred to take the bus for half the price and about the same time (plus the bus had a propper luggage area - unlike the train). I usually just get a cab into town - especially If I'm travelling with someone else. It's only about AUD30 (on a good day). For 2 pax, that's basically the same price!
Interesting that the food on your flight didn't sound much better than economy food? Is AC catering not very good??