Mack8994 From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 59 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4348 times:
Hi there, well after reading so many great trip reports (TR), I've decided to write one up. This is my first time (i.e., submitting a TR) so please be gentle he he he . Oh yeah, I did not bring my camera, so no pictures... sorry... I promise them for next time since I travel every month.
I arrived at Terminal 1 at YYZ with plenty of time to check-in for my morning flight to MEX. I was hoping this morning's flight would not be out of the In-field Terminal (IFT). But with my luck, the moment I was told my gate was 525 I knew it was. For those of you who are not familiar with YYZ, some of AC's international flights depart from a remote terminal. Passengers are shuttled from the main terminal to the IFT. It's a great way to see AC's entire fleet, but it is a pain to get there.
After checking in I proceeded to the security area and after removing some articles of clothing and going through x-rays/metal detector, I was told my laptop computer and briefcase needed to be hand-searched. I wondered why and realized that I had left a small travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer in my briefcase. I ended up discarding it because of the 'no liquids' rule in effect at the time.
Since I had plenty of time, I went to AC's Maple Leaf Lounge...which is a great place to relax, eat something and check e-mails before proceeding to your gate. At around 0800 I proceeded to the shuttle area and boarded the bus to IFT. On our way to IFT, I saw several 767s, 320s, 340-300, 340-500 (on its way to HKG) and a few Embraers and regional jets (I know... you all want pics... I promise...next time).
The flight to MEX was uneventful. The service was OK and breakfast was your standard AC omelette or waffles, fruit bowl, bread, coffee and juices. Prior to landing, we were offered drinks again and a flight attendant went by with a basket full of snacks and gave passengers the option to take whatever they wanted (chocolate bars, Doritos, potato chips, sesame sticks, etc). I thought that was a nice touch.
We landed at MEX right on time. We taxied and parked on a remote stand. All passengers were then shuttled to the main terminal and I proceeded to customs and immigration. My bag came out fairly quickly and I was out of the airport in less than an hour after landing. The next week and half was going to be busy...
AC 990 (MEX -- YYZ)
A319-100, Reg. C-GBHM, FIN 274
Load Factor: 5 passengers in Executive / 27 in Hospitality
My flight was at 0730 so I need to be up early to check out and get to the airport. Because I had made a change to my ticket, I needed to pay the change fee (C$115.00) at the airport. I got to MEX and it was busy (and it was not even 0500). In Mexico City, check-in is at the UAL counter (Star Alliance). Once I made it to the front I was told I needed to pay the change fee in the ticket office and they didn't open until 0530. I was not a happy camper because I was never advised of that when I made the change in Mexico City. I was told to send a letter and complain... that was it... no apologies, no nothing.
I could not check in so I had to go to the ticket office and wait until they opened. At 0530 a UAL person showed up and asked me if I need help. Once I told her what I needed, she indicated that because I was flying AC, someone from AC needed to charge me the fee... and that the AC person does not show up until 0600. Of course, by this time I was furious!
The UAL agent took pity on me and asked me if I knew how much the charge was... once I told her, she told me she would help me -- Thanks Norma...you are wonderful!
I then went back to the United counter, formed the queue again and was finally allowed to check in. Again, no apologies for the inconvenience. I did manage to get a good seat (exit row), so I was happy. It was 0615 now so I proceeded to clear security and walked around the airport killing time.
At 0645, I was at the gate. Once again, the plane was at a remote stand so we had to be shuttled there. It was still a bit dark so I could not get a good view of the Reg. and Fin of the plane that would fly us back to YYZ. Once on board I asked the flight attendant for this information and she was very cool about it and got it for me.
The flight was great because it was empty... I had plenty of space to spread out and since I was on the exit row, I had more leg room. Service was good with the standard breakfast (same as the flight down). Nothing fancy. Prior to landing, we were also offered more drinks and snacks.
We landed at YYZ a few minutes late and I was happy when I realized we were parking at the main terminal as opposed to IFT. I cleared immigration is less than 5 minutes and my bag was the first one to come out on the baggage claim belt (a first for me). I was out of the airport and heading home 20 minutes after parking at the gate.
Well, that my TR. A bit boring, but I welcome your feedback. My next report will have pics. Hope everyone is doing well.
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7633 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4235 times:
Hey Mack8994. I spent the last weekend of September in Toronto and I really wanted to fly AC because I have never been on an AC flight. I think the YYZ-MEX-YYZ schedules are quite good (although the afternoon MEX-YYZ flight could be a tad later to be ideal!). In the end, I chose to fly with CO via IAH because the fare was U.S.$127 cheaper, SkyTeam miles are more valuable to me than Star Alliance ones, and because I could leave MEX later that way (I had a lot of things to get done the day of my departure). Anyway, I kept wondering what it would have been to fly with AC and that is why I found your trip report interesting, so thanks a lot for posting it.
Quoting Mack8994 (Thread starter): breakfast was your standard AC omelette or waffles, fruit bowl, bread, coffee and juices.
This is, in fact, more than most U.S. carriers will serve you on a flight of comparable length (like MEX-DTW or MEX-ORD). I think my last morning flight in coach to the U.S. over 4 hours long with a U.S. carrier was to EWR with CO in December of last year and we got for breakfast a warmed-over bolillo stuffed with ham and cheese.
I am glad you had okay flights (except for the fee payment issue at MEX... it has happened to me with MX and it is indeed annoying). I see from your profile that you have been on MX flights in the past, and I wonder if you have done YYZ-MEX-YYZ with MX. If you have, I'd like to know how you feel both carriers compare on this route.
Mack8994 From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4032 times:
Quoting EddieDude (Reply 1): I see from your profile that you have been on MX flights in the past, and I wonder if you have done YYZ-MEX-YYZ with MX. If you have, I'd like to know how you feel both carriers compare on this route
I have flown MX on the MEX - YYZ route. That was last year... I was lucky because I ended up flying business class on the 'baby' bus (A318). The service between MX and AC was fairly comparable. I did notice that the service at MX felt more personalized. All and all, I could not say one is better than the other.