A couple of weeks ago I finally made up my mind and booked a very cheap fare to Montréal. For only 305 EUR including taxes I booked myself a 5 day trip to Montréal in Canada.
4 flights with 3 carriers
Segment 1) BRU - IAD:
Operator: United Airlines
A/C: Boeing B777-222
First flight: 04/1996
Date of flight: February 11th, 2009
Departure BRU: 12h10 (on time)
Arrival IAD: 14h21 (27min early)
Seat: 25C changed at gate to 17G (Y+)
Loadfactor: +/- 85% (average over F, C, Y+ & Y)
A couple of days before I left I needed to be on Brussels airport and when walking by the UA office I saw a sign for an upgrade to Y+. Since it was a cheap fee I went to upgrade myself, with my 2m04 tall extra legroom is something I can use. The friendly lady at the desk promissed me a aisle seat on the bulkhead row, this should give me plenty of room and although she couldn't make a seat assignment in her system she added a note to the system to be sure it was done correctly.
On the morning of departure I arrived quite early on the airport (traffic was more lighter then expected) and I was able to check in as first one when the check-in opened arround 9AM. Unfortunately it seemed that they did something wrong and apparently my bulkheat seat was gone, the only one available was the middle seat which I friendly declined to accept. Instead they offered me seat 25C, on the last row of Y+ and 25D would be blocked. SInce it was the best offer I accepted this deal. While waiting at the gate the lady who sold me the upgrade came to me and told me that she was looking for me. She learned from her collegue that they gave me a bad seat and wished to correct this issue. She asked if I still wanted the original seat and I was glad to accept it. After a few minutes she came back with a new boardingpass with 17G printed...
I flew a couple of airlines in the past but this was actually the first time they did such efforts to give me a goad seat. I certainly wouldn't complain about that! Nice gesture from UA!
Seat 17G seamed indeed a lovely seat although located next to the crew rest area. I had plenty of legroom available. Seat 17F was blocked and in the middle seat was a young lady with a baby of a couple months old. Fortunately the baby was extremely nice, she nearly didn't cry during the flight. Service commenced with the offering of a free newspaper in F, C and Y+. After being airborne the flightattendants came to ask if we need something to drink. Non alchoholic beverages were free of charge while alcoholic beverages did cost 4 EUR or 6 USD per piece. This was repeated several times during the flight. You could offcourse also call for another drink or just walk to the galley to ask another. The crew was very friendly and helpfull, I liked it since you could have a less pleasant crew
Unfortunately I can't say anything about the food since I personally don't like airline food and therefore I'm always declining the food offering. The obvious choice of the day was "chicken or pasta" and from what I heared from another passenger the food tasted quite well. Portions were like usual (very small). A small (and fresh) salad was offered with the meal and also a small piece of apple pie was offered.
IFE was based on the well known system of looped tapes. No AVOD (yet) on the B777 from UA. Only a few channels were offered on the very tiny screens in the back of the seats or the armrests. Also several musicstations were on offer. A nice touch is the so called "channel 9" which lets you listen to the voice transmissions of the plane and ATC.
UA is a good choice to travel from Brussels to the US. The crews are friendly and helpfull and the Y+ possibillity is a nice touch, certainly since it doesn't cost to much extra. I would reccomend UA based on this flight.
Segment 2) IAD - YUL:
Operator: Air Canada Jazz
A/C: Canadair CL-600-2B19 Regional Jet CRJ-200LR
Date of flight: February 11th, 2009
Departure IAD: 16h45 (on time)
Arrival IAD: 18h10 (13min early)
Loadfactor: +/- 30% (Y class, 1 class configuration)
Since I knew this was a one class only flight I couldn't upgrade to Y+ so I asked for a seat on the first row. This wasn't possible and they gave me 2A instead with the message that I could be a full flight. Later it seemed that the flight had a very light load.
One of my worst flights EVER...
When looking to the CRJ200 I like the small plane at first... At least until I entered the plane. It was my first time on the CRJ200 and hopefully the very last time on it to... The plane is so tiny that I couldn't walk straight in the plane without bumping my head. Seat 2A seemed to be a windowseat but due the shape of the plane there was no shoulderroom availabe and also headroom was very limited... I was crushed to the wall and the ceilling... When I asked the flight attendant to switch seats, she told me that it was a full flight and no switched could be made... With only a few pax on board it seemed to be a strange answer. Several other passengers arrived but no full plane... From the one second to another the flightattendant closed the door, took her seat and we were gone... When airborne the lady in the seat next to me got another seat so I finally could breath a little without being crushed to the wall... Fortunately it was only a very short flight. I love flying but I was never so happy to be on solid ground again when I stepped out of the plane... Never again...
Since it was only a very short flight no meals were included/offered. A complimentary beverage was offered and once again, alcoholic beverages needed to be paid for.
no IFE on board of the plane.
AC can be a good company but the CRJ planes of AC Jazz aren't sufficient for larger people like myself. They are absolutely uncomfortable, even for a short flight... I was never so happy then when I stepped out of the sardine can... Once but not twice...