I just came last tuesday from Toronto and as I promised here it goes my trip report:
Airline: America West Express
Aircraft: Canadair CRJ200
Photo © Saul Loeb
It was my first time in a CRJ200, I almost did it in 2001 with USAir from STL to PHL but in the end it was a ERJ145. We left FAT 2 hours latter than expected, the aircraft is wider than the Embraer but the windows are really lower compared to other small aircraft. I'm 6ft. tall and I could barely see anything outside, even trying to slide down the seat. The flight was good all the way to PHX, the F/A ( just one ) was nice and give the best attention she could to us after 2 hour delay.... we got the usual service, 2 bags of honey roasted peanuts and a cup of soda. We cruised FL330 untill we started to descend to PHX, we aproached via downtown and could see the airport on our left side, did a nice long turn to land right away. During the flight we barely had any turbulance so that was ok.
Because we left two hours late I lost my connection with YYZ with America West, but I was glad that they booked me in the next available flight and guess what..... it was an Air Canada flight. That was great, specially because it was my first time with them, also because I knew I would have free meal service on board and intertainment, so I was pleased with all that. PHX is a big airport, it was my first time but I never expected to see all that movement. Mainly we see a lot of America West traffic, Southwest too and then all the other US airlines, AA MD80's, CO 738's, DL 757's and MD80's, USAir 319's and Northwest 757's. That was mostly what I could see in the short time I was there. Also there is a USAF AFBase with at least 7/8 KC-135E's.
Airline: Air Canada
Aircraft: Airbus 321-211
Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr
After almost losing the flight I finnally maded it! I was quite curious to see how Air Canada service was and I must say that I was not disapointed, they handled the service perfectly and I had a great time during that flight. For some reason we flew only FL290 all way to Toronto, we had some turbulence from Chicago until we passed Detroit when our pilot decided to get to lower altitudes ( FL250 ) and then we went ok all way until we landed.
The Air Canada seats are interesting, all seat slides back and those head-resting functions were very confortable, it was the first time I saw something like that. We had dinner on board, the options were chicken and pasta, I got chicken, a breast with mushrooms, curry rice, a bean salad and a browny. Beverages non-alcoholic were free ( I got a tomato juice ) but beer/wine or other alcoholic stuff was $5 CAN or $4.00 US. We had cofee/tea also at the end of the meal.
The intertainment was excelent, first the news, then the film was "Le Divorce", with options of french and english and 10 music channels, from classic, to rock passing with blues, contemporary, etc.
I must say that it was excelent and an unexpected chance to fly Air Canada, thanks to America West!!!
On the way back we had to be at YYZ quite early, our flight back to PHX would leave at 7:40 AM, so I had some time to see the traffic. I saw one AC 744 already without titles, some 763's parked too. US airlines there were, NW 320 and DC-9 (!!!), AA MD80 and F100, USAir 319, I saw Jetsgo MD80's, CanJet 737NG's HMY 757 and surprisingly an EL AL 762ER that arrived at that moment! Then it was time to board our America West 319.
Airline: America West
Aircraft: Airbus 319-132
Photo © Scott Brandenburg
We left 1 minute earlier, the pushback was fast and we went all way to take-off from the runway close to that Super Constellation restaurant. There was no other airplane before us so it was a roller take-off very powerfull. I always felt that the IAE engines Airbuses looke more powerfull than the CFM ones and this one was no exception. It was my first time in a 319 with these engines ( I had precious experience in a Air Macau 320 and a GBAirways 321. It was quite foggy when we left YYZ so right away we passed this layer of cloulds, it was so low that we could actually see the top of CN Tower over the cloulds. The first part of our flight was quite turbulent, our flight level was FL390 but even there we were just barely over the coulds, it took us 2 hours to pass that turbulence and then like magic the coulds left us and we started to have blue sky and a great visibility on the ground, I think at one moment we passed over an USAF AFBase with some C-135's and using my binoculars it looked like those reconaissance ones, they were all white so I think we passed over Offut AFB in Nebraska. During almost 4:40 of flight I saw some airplanes passing by, one FedEX A300, another FedEX DC-10 or MD10 and during some minutes we flew side-by-side with a JetBlue A320. When we started to descend I still saw passing in the oposite direct an Airborne Express 767-200. We got some minor turbulence over the Rockies and I could see a little far from our flying path the Grand Canyon. Service on board was restricted to beverages and some biscuits.
Landing at PHX was good, again the visibility was good and we landed with downtown PHX close by. The movement again at PHX was mostly the same, the only exceptions were a America West 757 with Arizona special livery and an Hawaiian 767-300 flying to Honolulu.
Airline: America West Express
Aircraft: Canadair CRJ700
Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr
I was very curious again to fly in this new regional jet. I had already tasted the "older brother" the CRJ200, but this time I really had a great time in this brand new airplane. The plane is excelent, spacious, the seats are very confortable and the windows are in a nice position. Our flight was packed but the take-off was very powerfull. In the air the CRJ700 looks like a great steady airplane very confortable and our flight all way to FAT was very smooth. Beeing relatively short ( 1:20 minutes ) there was not a lot to tell, we had a drink during the flight but we had two F/A's. The descent to FAT was nice, because I think the slots in a plane give a great feeling of control the landing was very smooth and perfect at FAT.
And this is it. I had a great time and I'm glad I had 4 outstanding experiences in my 4 flights, I added 2 new models to my portfolio ( CRJ200 and CRJ700 ), 1 new airline ( Air Canada ) and 1 new engine model ( A319 with IAE engines ).
Regards and feel free to ask something else or make any comments.