Here's my trip report (very long) of a trip with AY and AC to New York and Ottawa taken in March.
Mar 10, 2001
I got to the airport at about 12.30 PM for my 2.10 PM departure. There were lots of people at the Finnair check-in and only 6 economy desks open. There were also 6 business class desks open with no people checking in. So I waited maybe half an hour to get my boarding passes. Seat 42A was assigned to me and 42C to my dad. After that we went directly to gate 25 and the boarding began shortly. OH-LGC was covered with snow and nothing was done to remove it yet.
The boarding process was done by rows and I was soon onboard the MD11. Row 42 is the second row of the rear economy class cabin, still with the old seats. The mid-cabin has the new ones with adlustable headrests etc. Anyway, the seat was very comfortable and legroom was good. At about 2.15 PM we were informed that we would be delayed because the snow had to be removed and a suitcase needed to be taken off the plane because a passenger didn't show up at the gate. I was a bit worried as we had a connecting flight from LaGuardia later that day. Finally at around 2.50 PM we pushed back and taxied to RWY22 for takeoff. Took off just before 3 PM and headed towards Trondheim, Norway where we would start our Atlantic crossing. The planned flight time was only around 7 hours and we were expected to land at Kennedy on time.
Soon the service onboard started and we got a snack mix and had to order all drinks (pre-meal, with the meal and after the meal). I didn't really like that idea since my traytable was more or less full with two cokes, a white wine and a Baileys. Shortly after that lunch was served, beef and macaroni, no other choices. It was pretty good and came with a salad, roll and cake for dessert.
After the meal service I asked for a cockpit visit and the F/A said that he'd ask. Some four hours later while approaching the coast of Newfoundland he came back and took me to the cockpit. I chatted with the pilots about Finnair's pilot training (the captain was a member of the selection board) and about Finnair's fleet changes and the MD11. The flight attendants also came to serve the pilots and me very delicious small sandwiches from business class. Right over Goose Bay there was some turbulence and Finnair 5 followed the decision of a Delta jet right in front of us to climb to FL370 to find smoother air. That's when I left the cockpit.
Soon after I got to my seat, an afternoon snack was served. It was a cold tortilla, actually very good. Shortly after that it was time to start our descent to JFK International. We landed on runway 31 at 3.50 PM, five minutes early, and taxied to AA's international terminal to park next to an Aerolineas A340. We made our way to the customs and immigration. Luckily we hurried up since two Iberia flights from MAD and BCN had just arrived and there was soon a huge lineup. Cleared the immigration in maybe 10 minutes and our bag was already waiting on the belt. At 4.20 PM we were in a cab on our way to LaGuardia.
Mar 10, 2001
LGA was more or less deserted by that time and there was nobody else checking in for AC3525 to Toronto. The check-in agent offered an earlier flight but we preferred to take the 7.10 PM one. Went to grab some burgers at the US Airways terminal Mc Donald's and then made our way back to the main terminal. As we went to the gate, boarding had already began. The gate agent was the only person in the concourse though. At 7.05 pm the door closed with 14 people on board. Me and my dad were the only people in the rear section of the aircraft. I chatted a while with the flight attendant about AC/CP and other things and found out that she had spend a year in France as exchange student like I have spent in Canada. I also asked for a cockpit visit. We pushed back on time and rocketed off runway 31. The weather was awesome and so were the NYC lights below us.
Soon the crew (3 F/As for the 14 pax) gave us the headphones and served the usual peanuts and soft drinks. After having enjoyed my diet coke, I was invited to the 737-200 flight deck. We were approaching BUF at that point with the first officer flying the aircraft. I spent some 20 minutes there and left as we were 25 miles out of Pearson with the toronto skyline with the CN tower etc. in front of us.
So, I made my way back to seat 16F for the final approach. We landed at YYZ 10 minutes early and taxied to one of the far end gates of T2 where Lufthansa 747s used to park when T2 was used for longhaul services. Immigration was a breeze and our bags were already waiting on the belt. So we took them through the customs and rechecked for AC470 to Ottawa.
Mar 10, 2001
There were lots of people at the Rapidair gates going to Dorval and Ottawa.Otherwise it was pretty quiet since it was about 10pm on a Saturday night. A DC9 was sitting at gate in front of us, so I knew that would be the one going to Ottawa. Boarding started at about 10.40 pm and at 11pm we were clear for an ontime departure with a full load. The 1968-model DC9 was very nice inside with pretty new seats and MD80 style overhead lockers. We had seats in the first row of economy with lots of legroom.
Soon after the steep climb to our cruising altitude the crew served chips and drinks. I didn't care to ask for a cockpit visit since it was almost midnight (7 am in Finland) and I was awfully tired by that time having been up for about 24 hours. Again the weather was clear but there wasn't really anything to see between Toronto and Ottawa.
We landed at YOW just before midnight and had a 10 minute wait until they found an available gate. That was rather strange since there were lots of empty gates at night. Anyway, I thanked the crew and made my way to the terminal to meet my friends.
Mar 13, 2001
Had to wake up at around six to take the airport bus from the Crowne Plaza to Ottawa International. There were two AC crews leaving at the same time too. The first thing to do at the airport was to find out what flight we were on from YYZ to LGA since the 11:00 AM flight had been cancelled. Bingo, they had rebooked us to the 9:30 PM flight, which made completely no sense. So a friendly AC agent rebooked us again for the noon DC9 service to La Guardia.
I then checked in quickly and noticed that instead of seat 38A that I had pre-reserved on a 767-300 I now had 18A. So, obviously there was a plane change for this flight and we turned out flying on a 100% full 737-200 to Toronto. All aircraft at Ottawa seemed to be 737-200s at that time of day. Lots of Canjet, Royal, Air Canada, Canadian North etc. Also American Fokker 100 and Continental Express ERJ were there.
We were pushed back on time and quickly taxied to runway 7 for takeoff. After a noisy and steep climb we were served a muffin and drinks as breakfast. A cockpit visit was unfortunately not possible due to the short flying time of about 40 minutes. CBC news was shown on the TVs.
Soon after finishing my muffin and coffee, we started our descent to Toronto L.B. Pearson International. We touched down on time and taxied next to a DC9. There were also two Canadian 747-400s at the domestic/transborder T2. I then collected my luggage and cleared the US customs/immigration with the usual nasty agents treating you like a criminal.
As soon as I had cleared security again, I found out that the noon flight to New York had been cancelled too! We were again rebooked, this time for the 1:00 PM service, so we had a 3-hour wait at Pearson.
Mar 13, 2001
Finally boarded the Airbus around twenty minutes before scheduled departure. The plane wasn't even close to full despite the fact that two flights had been cancelled. The interior was of course nice compared to the 737-200 with the dropdown screens etc. We were pushed back on time and took off for our turbulent ride to La Guardia.
I had no chance visiting the cockpit as the seatbelt sign was on for the whole journey. We were served a sandwich, salad and biscuits along with drinks. Excellent for such a short flight. The same CBC news were on for this flight and you could only listen to ch 1 or 2, no music was available.
We had a short hold before being cleared for final approach, but it was so cloudy that I couldn't see anything. We landed on time and I went to see the cockpit before deplaning. Our bag was already waiting on the belt as we made our way there.
Mar 17, 2001
After four days it was time to return to Finland… Trynig to take the Subway from the WTC station to JFK was no good, waited around twenty minutes before seeing the sign "No Brooklyn-bound trains from this station". Oops, now we were in a hurry no take a train back to Penn Station and the A to Far Rockaway from there. We ended up being the 6th and 7th last passengers to check in for AY 006 to Helsinki. Got the same seats as on the way to New York, 42A and C.
After security it was time to go directly to gate 8 where boarding had already begun. The AA terminal was rather old and not nearly as nice as T1 for example. I made my way to 42A and soon we were taxiing to the runway, 6th in line for takeoff. We took off on time and headed towards Boston and Halifax.
The service began shortly and again they served all drinks first, no other drink service. Then the dinner was served, beef and macaroni, no other choices. It was pretty good. The flight attendants served rolls and water again during the meal. After finishing my meal, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until we were close to Trondheim, Norway. At that point the breakfast was served; a danish pastry and coffee. That was ok but really nothing special.
We landed at Helsinki-Vantaa runway 22 about 5 minutes late and made our way to gate 25. Another nice trip was over.
Hope you enjoyed the report!