MEL From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 1109 posts, RR: 12 Posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 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.
Winnipeg-Toronto Air Canada A320
Toronto-Hong Kong Air Canada A340-500
Hong Kong-Osaka JAL 747-400
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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: 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
: Nice work Mel! Excellent pictures and videos, very well written.
: EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHY! Amazing mix of aircraft and airlines at HK. Lucky fellow!
: Very Good! Interesting too see that on the in-flight map from HKG-KIX, it shows Tokyo as the destination. -CXfirst
: 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