Flight No: 5G271
Equipment: Boeing 757-236/ER
Thought I would write my first trip report on my bargain flight to Toronto, which I paid £169 for return including tax. (Not bad if I say so myself for travelling in the peak of the summer season!)
I had a week booked off work and ideally wanted to go to NYC but no such bargains were available. So I saw an advertisement in the London Evening Standard for flights to Canada at this bargain price with IgluCanada.com, I was a little sceptical at first but it paid off!
The 27th June arrived... Left home at 6am from Northamptonshire and brave the morning rush hour on the M25 around Heathrow, parked at an off site car park (APH). Arrived at Gatwick about 9.20am and there had been some incident at the set down point and the airport parking bus took nearly 20mins to crawl around to drop us off.
Got to check-in to find four desks allocated for this flight, which I was very impressed with and was checked in within three mins. This raised my hopes that we maybe travelling on something larger than a 757, but was soon de-flated when they confirmed seating was six across, but they gave me a window seat!
Spent the next two hours killing some time with a McDonalds and went up to the viewing deck in the departure lounge near the sports bar and saw a couple of US flights take off and then wandered down to the gate. The amount of people waiting for the flight made it obvious it was packed!
Boarding was pretty painless, and upon entering the aircraft was very impressed with leg room and the neat looking blue leather seats. When I got to my seat I found out I was in 23E, right behind the middle toilets and the seat didn't recline much more than inch or two. I also had children sitting next to me for the flight AGHHHHH!!! Nothing more than having screaming kids for an 8hr flight but they were fine for the full duration.
Take Off or Push Back was supposed to be at 11.55am but upon all the passengers boarding with there hand luggage there was no room to store the cabin crews overnight luggage, as this waiting to be loaded by the entrance of the aircraft on the airbridge. So we had to wait for this to be loaded into the hold.
Push back finally took place at 12.20pm and was fourth in position for take off, behind a US Airways A330, Continental 777 and British Airways 777. We were airborne about 12.30pm, and took off on 26L.
As we took off, I could not feel power as we accelerated of been forced back in your seat as I have felt on other 757 trips, and seem to use most of the runway to get airborne.
After take off we did a sharp 180-degree turn to the Right over the airport and then 90 degree turn to the left. As we was climbing northwards a break in the clouds appeared and had some spectacular views over Central London and Thames.
About ten minutes later the pilot came over the tanoy to advise of our route and explained we had just passed over Manchester, and would be turning westerly over the Atlantic to begin our "Trans-Oceanic" journey just south of Glasgow. We was travelling at 32000ft and a speed of 534mph, also apologised about the delay and the computer advised him we should still be landing into YYZ on time and the total journey length was likely to be 7hrs 22mins.
Cabin Crew came around with complimentary soft drinks and alcoholic drinks were £2, so I opted for a JD and Coke! The IFE entertainment began on the overhead screens and the films were extremely second rate (in my humble opinion), and then after that they showed black and white TV programs - Little on Girl on the Prairie! You could buy headsets for £2 or plug in your own, which is what I did.
The meal came around and was of an extremely high quality, there was only one choice and this was meat balls with pasta, Salad, Chocolate Éclair and Crackers with Cheese. They came around offering free wine with the meal and tea and coffee.
After the meal the Pilot came on again advising we was flying over the southern tip of Greenland and would soon be making landfall into Canadian airspace over Newfoundland.
By this time I was getting very restless and sick and tired of people queering around my seat for the toilets at some points there was ten people queuing. Made it extremely difficult to get up and walk around and also to top things off the people next to me were asleep and would have to wake them up for me to move!
I listened to my CD Player and soon came around with some drinks and them "Afternoon Tea", which included Scone, Clotted Cream and Jam!
The pilot came on again to advise we coming over Montreal and about 1.5hrs away and he would begin the decent once over Ottawa and then explained they would soon be getting very busy in the Cockpit and thanked us for flying with Skyservice.
I enquired if I could purchase some duty free and was told due to the configuration on the aircraft they were unable to offer it (I think that means lack of space!).
About 40mins before landing we were asked to prepare for landing and the usual procedures, which I thought, seemed very early, considering most flights I have been on have usually been about 15mins before landing. Landing was pretty normal and some views over Lake Ontario and Toronto as we landed.
As I have wrote so much, will not report on the return journey. But very similar and exactly the same 757 on the route.
On the whole was very impressed with SkyService and the service they offer. Legroom was very good, cabin crew very professional and meals and in-flight service was excellent.
If I had a choice I would not fly on a 757 again on such a long route the single aisle makes it very difficult to move about and gives a feeling of claustrophobia. Much prefer the A330's I have flown on before on this sort of length of route.
Below pic of aircraft operating this route, looks like SkyService wasted no money putting the livery on this aircraft!
Photo © TERRY WADE
AS THIS IS MY FIRST REPORT LET ME KNOW IF I HAVE MISSED OUT ANYTHING OR HOW I COULD IMPROVE ON MY REVIEWS IN THE FUTURE
[Edited 2004-07-04 15:13:58]