I had been considering this flight for 2 or days, but didn't commit myself until C-FITL, fin 731 was safely on the ground in YYZ late on the previous evening. By then I figured that it was safe enough to book a Tango seat with the no change, no cancellation option. I got a pretty good price for the round trip - $241.22. The only drawback was the departure time from YYZ - 07:00, meaning getting up at 5:30.
I had asked for aisle seats (booking online) so that I could get up to take pictures easily. They gave me window seats - 50A and 34K and I decided it wasn't worth making a fuss about it..
I got lost in the parking garage at T1 and the plane was at gate 141, right at the end of pier E, so everyone had boarded when I got there. I had emptied my pockets before going through security, and there were virtually no line-ups at 06:30 so there was no hold-up there. However, there was some kind of security problem which delayed us, and Rapidair flight AC 400 pushed back nearly 15 minutes late.
There was more delay to come. The plane had to be de-iced and it was early morning rush hour for departures. Consequently it was about 08:00 when we turned on to 24R, one hour before we were due to push back at YUL for the return flight. It was almost 09:00 when we reached the gate at YUL.
The crew had announced that this was the inaugural flight of a new plane type for AC, and that we were the first passengers to sit in its seats. I was a bit disappointed that there were no balloons or party hats .
The return flight - AC 405 was much fuller. I would guess at a 70-75% LF. They didn't gain any time back during the turnaround. In fact were were delayed even more because the baggage of a no-show passenger had to b located and removed. This meant that we were about an hour late by the time we pushed back when we arrived at T1 after a rather bumpy landing on YYZ's Runway 23
My impressions of the experience? Spending so much time on the ground spoiled it for me a little, and I found that the seats were not completely satisfactory. Legroom was adequate for my 6 foot frame, but I couldn't get really comfortable. I found that I had to tilt my head back to use the headrest, and that was uncomfortable for my neck.The cabin crew were unfailingly cheerful and helpful, but the food was skimpy- Corn Chips one way and a couple of cookies the other. With coffee, tea, juice, and soft drinks.
The IFE was good except that not all the features were working - the Map feature for example. There are several channels of satellite radio. The sound volume could be higher. The decor - mostly blue and grey, can be described as restful, which is the way I like it
I only took photos out of the window. If any are good I'll post them.