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Ultra Long Haul YYZ-HKG Air Canada A345 Pics+vids  
User currently offlineMEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 13
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The purpose of this trip was to try Air Canada's A340-500 ultra-long-haul service from Toronto to Hong Kong in Business Class, then to fly a few short-haul trips in Asia, and return home, all in a few days.

This will be PART 1, as the trip report has far too many photos to adequately cramp into one report.

Routing was:

Winnipeg-Toronto Air Canada A320
Toronto-Hong Kong Air Canada A340-500
Hong Kong-Osaka JAL 747-400


Routing/Flight No: Winnipeg-Toronto AC262 Seat 14F
Aircraft: AIR CANADA A320 C-FTJR (hybrid colours)
Load Factor: 99 Percent
Cruise Level: FL350
Flight Duration: 2hours 5mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 15:19 / 15:31 / 18:24


This flight was packed, and travelling as staff, I was lucky to get on the airplane. The flight was relatively un-eventful. This sector has become so routing for me. It is probably the 50th time I have flown Winnipeg-Toronto, so really nothing to comment about the flight.


Routing/Flight No: Toronto-Hong Kong AC15 Seat 6K
Aircraft: AIR CANADA A340-500 C-GKOL (hybrid colours)
Load Factor: 85 Percent
Cruise Level: FL320-400
Flight Duration: 15hours 7mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 09:39 / 09:55 / 13:02


The gate agents gave me choice of seats in the Executive First Cabin. The forward cabin looked like it was crowded, so I chose the 2nd cabin, where there was 4 out of 12 seats filled. I chose 6K, and had the 2 seats to myself. With no storage space ahead of me, I left the camera under my seat.

We pushed back 1 early, and taxiied to RWY 05, where the Beijing flight (which was gated at the Infield Terminal) followed us, to the threshold. With nobody in front of us for takeoff, we took to the runway, and fired up for a long takeoff roll. The air was silk smooth. We departed, banked left, and headed straight north past Barrie, Ontario, and beyond. Initial cruise level was FL320. The In-Charge flight attend started her near 5 mins of announcements explaining all the service offerings for the flight (video and audio on demand, meal service...)

I was disappointed to find out that the "Interactive" Video features were not working on the flight. This meant, no moving map. Shit! And I wanted a photo of the map, as we were crossing the North Pole.

Among other shortcomings on the flight... the headset they gave to me was broken. The menus were all wrong... they looked like menus for the Tokyo, Beijing, or Seoul route.

My Toronto-Tokyo flight a few months back (I thought) had better service than this Hong Kong flight. Food was really good, but there were a lot of smaller issues that should have been "right" if you know what I mean.

Here are a whack load of photos:





































I slept well, for at least 8 hours. I woke up mid-flight for a snack (dim sum) then went back to sleep. I didn't find the angled lie-flat seat comfortable. I just can't sleep on an angle, even if it is flat. I can sleep better on the A343's J-class seats, or even UAL's Business Class seats, but never on angled lie-flat. That will change soon, with Air Canada, as new Suites will be introduced throughout the long-haul fleet soon.

We landed on RWY 25R and Hong Kong, and taxiied to the other side of the field for unloading. The international arrivals corridor (to customs) at CLK is nice, cause you can still take photos of aircraft as you walk down the corridor.






















Routing/Flight No: Hong Kong-Osaka Kansai JL702 Seat 47E (middle)
Aircraft: JAL 747-400 JA8077 (old colours)
Load Factor: 85 Percent
Cruise Level: FL390
Flight Duration: 3hours 7mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 15:01 / 15:15 / 19:22


I only spent a few hours in Hong Kong, as it was a transfer to JAL, to Osaka. I checked with the JAL transfer desk in the arrivals corridor, and the woman said "Flight full".... "oh shit".... i thought. So she said to return in an hour to re-check the loads, and maybe I might get a seat then.

So I walked around the arrivals corridor, taking photos of pretty much everything, with no hassles.















Finally I returned, and she said "seat available".... 47E, a nice middle seat in Y. I joined the long line (for transfer pax) to get through security, and eventually made it upstairs. I had minimal amount of time to take photos, so I took some terminal pics, and ran to the gate, where I was 1 of the last pax to board.

The door closed, we pushed ontime, and were airborne off 25L shortly thereafter. Initial cruise level was FL330, then we climbed further to FL390. We were offered a full meal, which surprised me, as I am now used to the buy-on-board standard of domestic North American travel. The food was good. I watched the moving map channel most of the flight.









We landed at Kansai in the dark. It was cool because the camera on the nose gear was displayed on all the TV screens throughout the cabin, as we were landing, and even departing at HKG... a really awesome feature.

I overnighted in Osaka, and the next day flew to Seoul.

PART 2 will follow shortly.

Matt
http://www.contrailsphotography.com


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32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWants2fly From United States of America, joined Oct 2002, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report.
Pictures are so clear and bright. Great videos too...

Wants2fly


User currently offlineVHVXB From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 5523 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another great trip report Mel I really enjoyed it. Well done.

User currently offline9V From China, joined Aug 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another first class report. Can't wait for part 2. One suggestion, I would like to see a video of the cabin interior if it's at all possible.  Smile

User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1915 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

MEL,

Another great report! The pictures are great! Air Canada "Executive Class" sounds pretty good for a long flight!

Looking forward to Part 2!

767747


User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent trip report! The A345 just looks beautiful in every way as always!

Great pictures and videos. The AC meal portions look huge! yummy.

One thing. I noticed a 'shot' of a CX A346 (the link to one of your HKG arrival videos). I didnt see the plane in the videos. Was it there? What time was that around?

Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineFly747 From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1497 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 32706 times:

Matt, excellent TR. Great documentation of the journey.

Ivan



Contrails Aviation Photography
User currently offlineBEYBOS From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 32632 times:

Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
the headset they gave to me was broken. The menus were all wrong... they looked like menus for the Tokyo, Beijing, or Seoul route.



Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
there were a lot of smaller issues that should have been "right"



Quoting MEL (Thread starter):
I didn't find the angled lie-flat seat comfortable.

I guess i got the image of AC Biz class  Wink
Great Report , Love the Pix. thanks
Elia



Fly with me today & forget me tomorrow
User currently offlineFlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 32573 times:

Great report! Love the A345s, although those green J class seats are just ew! I alos loved your pics, especially the line up of tails at HKG. That shot was just great!

flyingKangaroo



QANTAS-- The Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 32396 times:

Great stuff as always Mel Big grin



Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineAGD From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 204 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32245 times:

Really nice report Matt, I enjoyed reading it.

As many others, I really like the tails shot in HKG. And that view of the RR engines in-flight....woohoo!!!

Looking forward for part II.

Alex



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User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32244 times:

Air Canada sure does a good job with the food they offer!


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineChristeljs From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 533 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 32163 times:

Lovely, and I mean lovely photos! The dark green AC cabin is beautiful.


Christel Sinsen Photography
User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4627 posts, RR: 36
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 32111 times:

Hey MEL,

Great report! What do you do for AC in the 'peg? I'm a ramper for AC in YYC and know Chris Sands and Mark quite well.

Also did you use a Zed ticket between HKG and KIX?


Kris



Word
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3701 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 32088 times:

Superb and amazing pictures, the quality was incredible  thumbsup  Really liked the inlaid captions too!

AC's ultra longhaul offering doesn't seem too bad and the food looked pretty decent, well except the main course which looked like cat food  biggrin 



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 31945 times:

Great report and pics!
Lucky you got J to HKG... I flew that route last month and got stuck in the back  Sad

Hope you had fun in Asia!
YUL2010



"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineKLM685 From Mexico, joined May 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 31345 times:

WOOOOOW Great Trip report. I love it when they put tons of pictures and explain everything. Well done!

I'm waiting anxiously for your second part!



KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
User currently offlineSv2008 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 31129 times:

It was a great report, but using thumbnails for photos makes it easier to read, and much less time to load.

User currently offlineYooYoo From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 6057 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 31015 times:

Nice report and the pics are superb.


I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
User currently offlineHoncircle From Austria, joined Apr 2006, 62 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 31002 times:

great trip report, how you are able to take such clear pics out of a airplane window? Did you opened it Big grin  Big grin

regards maximilian


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7086 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 30899 times:

Excellent report and realy realy great pictures. Thanks.

User currently offlineMalmoaviation From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 385 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 30682 times:

That's how to travel with style!  Smile I like your laptop  Wink
Nice pictures, and text.

Rgds


User currently offlineFireFly From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 30476 times:

Thanks for the good report...I especially love the variety of carriers and schemes one sees in Hong Kong!

You found the seats in J class uncomfortable for sleeping. Long flights I always upgrade due to back pain...what were the seats like just for sitting?

The little things count. Broken headsets, incorrect menus, non-working maps, etc...Hope the service was good.

Thanks again for the great pics.



"Bury me at sea, boys; where no murdered ghosts can haunt me" MacGowan
User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 938 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 30365 times:

Very nice report and kudos on some really incredible pictures. I'm going to echo the sentiment of FlyingKangaroo regarding the dark green seats. That's just not a pretty colour.

HKG is such a great spotting airport - so many planes from so many different places.



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineMEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1098 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 30223 times:

Thanks for the awesome comments everyone.

Part 2 is now available for viewing here:
Ultra Long Haul (2) KIX-ICN-YVR-YYC-YWG (by MEL Sep 25 2006 in Trip Reports)

To answer some questions:

I don't usually take videos of the cabin, but instead take photos... so I have no videos of the cabin of the A345.

The Cathay A346 wasn't in any of the videos, but I did grab a quick shot of it, when I was in the departures area. I will attach that photo below. It didn't turn out that great, because of reflections.

I love the tail shots too... one of my favourite "compositions" behind cabin shots, and airport overviews. Part 2 has a great shots of multiple tails at Kansai.


Kris, I'll send you an email. Yeah, I used a ZED ticket, in fact, when travelling with any carrier other than Air Canada, it always on a ZED. They are usually cheap, with the exception of long haul departures out of Europe, destined for North America.

That meal did kind of look like cat food, but it was really good cat food!

The pics taken outside the windows... I usually don't take photos out the window if it is dirty, or frost-covered, as it is usually very difficult to edit out those discrepancies, and I hate spending lots of time editting photos.

The Business Class seat was very comfortable for sitting. I just don't like the angled-lie flat for sleeping. The service was really good, and I really like the dim sim offerings for the mid-flight snack.

The laptop is a Dell XPS, and I almost lost it for good a few days ago in Toronto. See this trip report (at the end) for that story.

Air Canada Jetz Winnipeg-Toronto-Ottawa Pics+vids (by MEL Sep 25 2006 in Trip Reports)

One other thing worth mentioning: for some reason, the moving map channel on JAL showed our destination as Tokyo instead of Osaka, which for a second, scared the crap out of me. "Did I board the correct aircraft?"

Here are a few more photos:


















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25 BA319-131 : Nice report, reallyed enjoyed it + loved the photo's, especially the ones in Hong Kong. Not too keen on the green seats AC have, pretty yuck! - Much p
26 JetMech : Nice work Mel! Excellent pictures and videos, very well written.
27 5YKQW : EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHY! Amazing mix of aircraft and airlines at HK. Lucky fellow!
28 CXfirst : Very Good! Interesting too see that on the in-flight map from HKG-KIX, it shows Tokyo as the destination. -CXfirst
29 Cedarjet : I'm not a fan of grey usually but JAL's interior, white and grey, is one of the classiest and most chilled-out interiors in the sky. I enjoyed a few
30 Bok269 : Very nice report. Great pics too.
31 Post contains links MEL : Thanks for the comments. Angled lie-flat is awful. I would much rather sleep in a more traditional Business Class seat. Luckily I had the opportunity
32 ACFA : Those broken headsets are not designed to last. Thats why we carry extras on the flight. I'm glad they're all gone with the new XM aircraft. The newer
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