this is my first trip report and my first started topic on airliners.net. So forgive me any newbie mistakes.
I took this trip in April 2006 but since it was a special one I can remember it pretty well. It was the first time for me to take Air Canada and to fly to MSP via YYZ instead of ORD to visit my girl friend. The whole point was that Air Canada had a good deal and so I took. It was an one time experience to take that route and will explain later why I switched back to the FRA-ORD-MSP route on my following trips.
I was flying out on a Friday morning from FRA and first I had to get to the airport. Since the airport is a very good train connection I decided to take the train which would take me within one hour to the airport.
The train an ICE3 which took me to the Airport
Air Canada is like all the Star Alliance members located in terminal 1 but since the majority of hall A and B are taken by Lufthansa there is not much space left for the other members. Air Canada had I think 3 or 4 check-in counters and the line was quite long when I arrived. Anyway the check-in went smoothly and soon I was off to the security check which is always one of the most unpleasant experiences at an airport. Especially in FRA. The Air Canada flight AC873 to Toronto left out from area B of Terminal 1. The equipment was an Airbus 340 with the new livery which really looks great. Anyway the interior was the total opposite. The Airbus was worn out.
My flight to Toronto
While awaiting for the boarding to start I got a quick shot on a United 777 arriving
The boarding went really quick probably because the flights was only 80% booked. Anyway that didn't mean we would leave soon. After about one hour the Captain made an announcement. He thanked a very attentive passage who noticed something dripping of an engine. So they had some mechanics over to take a look at it and that took some time and by then our departing slot was gone and we had to wait one hour. I think it was a nice gesture of the Captain to say thank you and to give us passengers that he takes them serious. What I don't get is why the crew didn't see the dripping while they made their outside check of the plane.
The flight itself was not very interesting. The only really nice thing I love about North American airlines is the ice cream snack. I really miss that on LH.
We arrived in YYZ with one hour delay which meant I would need to hurry to get my connection to MSP and here is it where it gets complicated. To fly to the US via Canada is something I would never recommend someone. The whole process goes like this.
First you have to make it through Canadian Immigration which is not as strict as the US but still it takes time. After that you need to switch the terminal which you can only do by bus. Does Toronto build a train that connects the terminals because that shuttle bus is not really comfortable. At least you don't need to take your luggage with you. This one will be send to the departure terminal where you have to pick it up. After you picked it up you need to got through US-Immigration and Customs. Maybe that is practical if you start your trip in Toronto but for transit passengers that is not great. After US Immigration you can finally get you checked luggage back to the airline and after you made it through security you made it. At least I thought so. No came the sportive part of the whole transit. My gate was at the far end of the Terminal and a sign at the beginning of the corridor said "Walking Time 10-15 minutes". What a nice strawl especially when you need to hurry to catch your flight. The end of the story was that I had to wait 90 minutes a the gate because the flight AC7943 was delayed. Great after you ran down the hallway to get your flight because the airport or Air Canada forgot to tell you about the delay. The only courtesy they had at the gate were some vending machines which naturally only took Canadian dollars. Which I didn't have.
At least Air Canada was right with the 90 minutes and after a very unspectacular time at the get we could board the Canadair Jet. I only have a picture from the plane on the way back standing in Minneapolis.
The flight was pretty bumpy in the beginning but after 20 minutes very pleasant.
Air Canada is a standard airline with standard service. The idea to fly to the US via Canada was not the best but an experience.
Hope you enjoyed the report.