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
Routing/Flight No: Winnipeg-Toronto AC262 Seat 14F
Aircraft: AIR CANADA A320 C-FTJR (hybrid colours)
Load Factor: 99 Percent
Cruise Level: FL350
Flight Duration: 2hours 5mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 15:19 / 15:31 / 18:24
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.
Routing/Flight No: Toronto-Hong Kong AC15 Seat 6K
Aircraft: AIR CANADA A340-500 C-GKOL (hybrid colours)
Load Factor: 85 Percent
Cruise Level: FL320-400
Flight Duration: 15hours 7mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 09:39 / 09:55 / 13:02
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.
Routing/Flight No: Hong Kong-Osaka Kansai JL702 Seat 47E (middle)
Aircraft: JAL 747-400 JA8077 (old colours)
Load Factor: 85 Percent
Cruise Level: FL390
Flight Duration: 3hours 7mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 15:01 / 15:15 / 19:22
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.
PART 2 will follow shortly.