This is my trip for this year. This trip covers my itinerary YYZ
Last year, I decided to go with a friend to Bangkok for the 1st time and enjoyed it so much (see trip report [URL Wonderful Thailand YYZ-AMS-BKK-BOM-LHR-AMS-YYZ (by kq787 Sep 10 2010 in Trip Reports)
that I decided to do a return trip there again this year.
This time however, I decided to go by myself and but I wanted to try and see Vietnam for the first time. I went to the same travel agency that booked my trip last year. I explained that I wanted to go back to Thailand and stop in London as I always do every year. Initially she gave me an itinerary going via the USA and Tokyo with UA
). Looking at this itinerary I was baffled that going to LHR
was strange. But she stated that it may seem strange, but it is a popular route among travelers. Can anyone confirm this? I was willing to go with this itinerary until she sent me the schedule for the flights and the plane types. I immediately noticed that the SFO
segment was done on a UA
744. I told her that I cannot do any long haul international flight without PTV. Therefore I rejected this itinerary (and the chance to collect serious aero plan miles, stubborn I know). She found me another schedule on Air Canada that would route me through LHR
and go through Doha with Qatar Airways. I have never tried a 5 Star ranked airline, especially one that was ranked 5 stars by Skytrax. So I took this itinerary via Europe and the Middle East. I could only get aeroplan points on the Air Canada flight segments.
August 13 2011
Route: Toronto (YYZ
) –London (LHR
Flight #: AC856
Aircraft type: Airbus a330-300
scheduled departure: 6:15pm (actual 6:45pm)
Scheduled arrival: 6:25am +1 (actual 7:00am +1)
Seat assignment 37k
I arrived at Pearson at 1:45pmm on Saturday the 13th as I had check in online the night before and was able to print the 3 boarding passes (including for the Qatar Airways flights on the air Canada website) for this segment of the trip. When I went to the international flight point at 1:30pm, the check in agent told me that I was too early and asked me to return at 2:15pm as the baggage system only accepts baggage items 4 hours before a scheduled departure. I hanged out at the terminal for the next 30 minutes until and I went back to drop of my baggage at 2:15pm as she suggested. The line became long this time because there were several flights leaving for the Caribbean and only dropped of my baggage at 2:35pm.
As you can see, I have no pictures of my time from arriving at the airport until I was airside. The reason is because I made a mistake when trying to figure out a contraption about the video on my camera and for some reason I accidentally erased on the pictures I had taken until that time.
Sitting in terminal 1 waiting to board my flight
Gate 173 where my plane is expected to arrive
FIDS showing that the flight is on time
Etihad Airlines that has just land form Abu Dhabi
Preparing to the gate to board the flight
The airbus a330-300 arriving at its gate. I missed the registration
Flight 856 is being prepared for departure
The gate starting to crowd as passengers arrive
Passengers lining up to board
Suddenly the flight is delayed for 15 minutes. The reason? At the last moment, there is a problem with one of the wheels and they needed to jack the plane and replace it . All passengers that had already boarded were asked to disembark as the plane had to be as light as possible to replace the tire.
After 10 minutes, the flight is delayed another 15 minutes. At this time I was worried about missing my tight connection at LHR
We begin the boarding process again.
Seated at my window seat
We finally leave the gate
Lining onto runway 23
here is a video of the takeoff
8 minutes after takeoff
Starting to work the touch screen entertainment system
Decided to watch the movie "Limitless"
Oh great, Cineplex ads have invaded the in-flight system
Evening meal of the flight. I chose chicken. I forgot what the other option was
Flight attendant starting the drink service with meal. Chose coke as always
Pic of the cabin from the rear of the plane
Watching a film about the invasion of LA
by aliens. I am too lazy to Google the title
Somewhere over the Atlantic
First shots of daylight
Pre arrival snack
Preparing for our descent into LHR
. Captain mentioned that we would land at 6:50 am local time and be at the gate at terminal 3 by 7:00am. This would give me one hour to catch my connecting Qatar Airways flight at terminal 4
F/A landing out landing cards
While our plane was on hold, this was my poor attempt to shoot a VS
Finally some UK landscape not covered in clouds
We finally landing at 6:50am at terminal 3, and I was obsessed it getting out as soon as possible in order to catch my connecting flight in terminal 4 which leaved at 8:00am
Move it folks, I have a flight to catch.
Of course I have to catch a pic of my plane upon arrival
I dashed towards the area for connecting buses and lined up for the bus that was to take me to T4
. As soon as I arrived at T4
, I had to go through security. My bag was put aside as it had small toiletries in my hand luggage that had to be further inspected. It was 7:45am at this time and I believed that I had missed my connecting flight. I told the security agent that I will miss the flight as I was in a hurry but she told me that as long as I had a boarding pass, everything will be fine. Doesn’t she know that long haul flights close 15-20 minutes before their departure time? I thought to myself
August 14 2011
Route: London (LHR
) - Doha (DOH)
Flight #: QR018
Aircraft type: Airbus a330-200
scheduled departure: 8:00am
Scheduled arrival: 4:40pm
Seat assignment: 34A
I arrived 10 minutes before scheduled departure running to the gate at terminal 4. I barely got there in time for my departure and was the last passenger to board the flight. I realized that that when I boarded the aircraft, and not yet reached my seat, the purser went on the intercom and announced " cabin crew all passengers on board." I was worried that my bags, which were tagged all the way to Bangkok, would make on the flight with me as well.
Seated in my seat, misplaced my boarding pass after and could not remember my seat assignment.
Greeting sweets, I would expect this on all my QR
Leaving the gate
After takeoff from Heathrow. I had filmed the take off but I deleted it by accident, #$%^@!
My best shot of Heathrow
The UK countryside
The personal TV
on the a330. I later realized that it does not compare to the PTV on the 77W, and was extremely frustrating to use
Breakfast onboard, chose the omelet option
Watching a bollywood film, I do not remember the title. About a millionaire on a Greek island who invites gusts to visit him and ends up being shot, a whodunit thriller. Do not remember the ending or killed him. I fell asleep by this time, as I could not sleep on my AC
The lights are dimmed
Where is the plane on the map?
Somewhere over turkey
First look at the desert
Pre arrival snack
View from the back of the plane. At this moment, a flight attendant scolded me for taking a picture, saying in her heavy eastern European accent that is was against company policy. Other flight attendant saw me flicking away and had no problem, just her.
Over the Persian sea
On our approach into Doha Airport
The PTV explaining how to transit at Doha depending on how your bags are colour- tagged. My carry on was not colour tagged at YYZ
here is a video of the landing at Doha
Waiting for the buses to arrive. We disembarked at the rear. It was frigging HOT
The buses are here. For some reason, when the buses took us to the terminal, we did not go through security when we got to the terminal, just straight into the terminal. I fought this strange.
Waiting in the terminal for my next connecting flight. I found Doha airport quite pleasant and spent my time plane spotting planes landing and taking off, although I was surprised to see the sun go down at 5-6pm in August.
August 14 2011
Route: Doha (DOH) - Bangkok (BKK
Flight #: QR612
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER
scheduled departure: 9:00pm
Scheduled arrival: 7:45am
seat assignment: 34k
FIDS at Doha Airport
Waiting to board the flight at Gate 11. I took a while to process my boarding pass as I used an AC
boarding pass with QR
Waiting for the bus to take us to the plane
My pathetic attempt at taking a pic of the plane. It was so humid, either that or the engine fumes steamed up my camera lens
Tried a 2nd time, and again the same thing
Finally at my seat, 34k
And very luckily, I had 2 extra seats free next to me; I could lie and get some sleep. The rear part of the plane was 1/2 empty
's excellent Oryx entertainment system on the 77w is far superior to the one on the a330, with more choices and easier to operate
Welcoming sweets and wet towel
Taxiing to the runway
here is a video of the takeoff
Watching a film, whose title escapes me now?
The film was suddenly interrupted by the Oryx welcome video
As stated, I had 2 free seats next to me, if only the hand bars went up all the way, it would have been more comfortable
Was given the menu and Thai arrival card
2 extra pillows and blankets to use
Dinner is served. Option of rice with chicken is taken, with no alcohol of course
View of the cabin from the rear of the plane, here flight attendants saw me take pics and no scolding was forthcoming
Pre arrival snack, I could only take the pineapple juice, having survived on airplane food since leaving Toronto, I could not digest the snack
Watching a documentary on Japan’s monarchy
My sleep would have been more comfortable if only those hand bars had gone up all the way
First light at dawn
With 1 hour left before landing, I only had time to watch the 1st episode of Downton Abbey
The weather turned out to be miserable
View of the Thai countryside
here is a video of the landing in Bangkok
Due to the morning rain, the window steamed up
Waiting to disembark
Getting off the plane, and retrieving my luggage was very quick, within 30 minutes I was in my taxi heading for my hotel
View from the hotel room.
August 18 2011
Route: Bangkok (BKK
)- Hanoi ( HAN
Flight #: VN830
Aircraft type: Airbus a320-300
Scheduled departure: 11:55am
Scheduled arrival: 1:20pm
As indicated above, my travel agent organized a side trip with Vietnam Airlines to Hanoi, Vietnam for 3 days. She managed to book an overnight stay in a ship in the halong bay. Here is the trip report. I left my BKK
hotel with just a suitcase and the taxi took me to the airport
Taxi to the airport
FIDS. The flight is on time
Checking gate. There was a large group of Vietnamese carrying kitchen appliances as check in luggage; maybe they are cheaper in Thailand. When it was my time to check in, the check in agent scanned my passport for my Vietnamese visa, asking "where is visa", I showed her a paper with name that I printed of from Myvietnamvisa.ca confirming entrance to Vietnam. I was to purchase my visa at the airport upon arrival for $25 US. With that, she checks in my one bag.
The gate is open for boarding