Okay guys and gals, I try myself on a first trip report. So apologies that it's probably not among the better ones on a.net!
Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pics during the trip, so it's an all-text report!
So my first ever long haul trip taking me to western Canada was about to start the morning of June 4th, 2008. My alarm clock called me out of sleep at 6 am, shortly followed by my cell phone alarm, as I always make double sure I won't oversleep on travel days. After I had a light breakfast of a croissant and OJ in my apartment in northwestern Zurich, I headed to the next bus stop where I met with my girlfriend who accompanied me on that trip. Bus No 80 and the S2 train service took me to ZRH in no time and we headed to AC's counters in check-in 2. The line at the counter wouldn't have been that long, if the agents had actually been working, but they were much too preoccupied to chat with each other and tell some jokes, so we waited almost 20 min with only two pax in front of us . After having checked in for both the ZRH-YYZ and the YYZ-YYC legs, and having our frequent flier numbers attached to our itinerary, I proceeded to the AC ticket counter to get a printout of my e-ticket as my (very stupid and incompetent SBB-) travel agent didn't send me a itinerary with my travel documents. This resulted in being a good idea, as I then saw that my return flight has changed (I had already guessed that as the AC website didn't show my originally confirmed flight number any more)!
The downstairs emigration counters were almost empty and so we were roaming the airport shopping as we had another hour to kill before boarding time. Finally, we made our way to the skymetro to the E gates, where our flight was departing. About 10 min wait at security and we were in the lounge at the gate.
Boeing 767-300ER, new colours
June 4th, 2008
STD: 1000 CET // ATD: 0955 CET
STA: 1255 EST // ATA: 1250 EST
Boarding started on-time, and we were off-block 5 minutes early. After a short wait at runway 14, we were off to our transatlantic journey. Routing took us north to LUX-BRU, then a to the west to LON, again north to Glasgow were we finally turned west to our transoceanic routing which led about 150 mi S of KEF, over the southernmost tip of Greenland and Goose Bay to Toronto. Soon we recieved our first drink service, followed by lunch about two hours into the flight. There was a choice between chicken and lamb, and both my girlfriend and me took the chicken, as I'm not confident enough with airline catering to take lamb there... It was accompanied by spaetzle, some veggies, a bread roll, a salad of green beans, and a cherry cake as dessert. While the dessert and the salad were rather good, the chicken with spaetzle were tasteless. However, it was filling which was good as I already got very hungry at the time lunch was served.
Shortly afterwards, I started to watch "There Will Be Blood" on the enRoute IFE system, which worked fine during that flight. However, the AC headsets are rubbish, even my own 4,50-Euro-Headphones work better there (unfortunately, I only figured that out on the return when one side of my AC-headphones ceased operation). As my second movie of choice, I watched "Charlie Wilson's War". As the second movie ended, I switched to the moving map and waited for the pre-landing snack.
During the flight, the F/A's made two rounds with water which could have been one or two more to my liking, with the last one handing out the Canadian immigration forms to fill out. The pre-landing snack consisted of a wrap filled with spinach/cheese or bacon and was again a bit tasteless. Shortly afterwards we were descending into Toronto and landed on 15R and had a very short taxi to our gate.
At immigration, I met the rudest officer ever, some blonde woman in her thirties. After making the mistake of saying "We're doing a roundtrip" she started to snap at me who "we" are as my girlfriend was at the counter next to me. Two mins of explanation of our travel route and insuring twice that the girl next counter really IS my girlfriend obviously seemed enough as she grunted at me and stamped my passport. Whatever... Finally on Canadian soil, I collected my luggage and put it on the connection bag drop-off belt. After clearing security again with no wait, but having to show two officers where the 75 ml sign on my toothpaste was, we were looking through the shops in the national terminal a bit before taking a seat in the waiting area at gate 145.
Airbus A320-200, new colours
June 4th, 2008
STD: 1500 EST // ATD 1505 EST
STA: 1718 MTN // ATA 1705 MTN
After boarding and having settled into my seat (the middle seat stayes empty, yeah), we soon took off, can't remember the runway. There was only one service round on this flight with soft drinks and buy-on-board offer. I had a diet coke and bought a prime-rib sandwich, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, as I didn't like its taste very much. Alas, watched "The Chronicles of Narnia" on the again well-working AVOD system as I was in a rather tired and childish mood on that second flight. The F/A's did one round with water supply, however, which I gladly accepted.
Landing in Calgary was very smooth, proceeded to the domestic baggage claim, where one of the monitors which show the flights distributed on the belt was not working. As our flight didn't show up on any other belt however, we figured out which belt it was and claimed our suitcases under the supervision of two velociraptors ripping apart a sleeping bag...
Finally, we exited the terminal and in an adventureous mood as we were, took public transportation into the city center (Bus 75, I think, and the CTrain). However, it worked out well and we arrived happily though tired in our hotel in 209, 4th Ave SE.
The service on AC was acceptable with a nice IFE, though rather tasteless food. What I missed was some friendliness from the flight attendants, who never had a trace of a smile in their faces.
Any comments are welcome, if you like it, I will do another report on the return flight!