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I was on tour with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in the Atlantic provinces of Canada (Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick).
Most of the tour we travelled on buses, and on the way to St. John's I flew commercial.
However, Air Canada was a sponsor of the tour, and this flight was a special charter for the orchestra.
It was operated by an Embraer 190, which means that the aircraft has two cabins (in the Air Canada configuration). A lottery took place for the nine business class seats, and I was one of the lucky winners!
Before the flight, there was an adventure (as always). A truck was carrying all the larger instruments, chairs, garments, etc. - it left a day earlier for the ferry, however the ferry was broken down and the next one wouldn't get there in time. So, the truck driver, whom I met later, a very nice man, drove back nine hours to St. John's so that we could put as much as possible on the chartered aircraft. In accordance with this, the flight was delayed from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
In St. John's, we were all staying at the Delta, as also we were for the rest of the tour, since Delta Hotels was a great sponsor. I have a friend at the St. John's Delta, and so I got a Senior Suite upgrade, with three rooms in total!
The suite room
We left to the airport in a rental car before the orchestra.
I was uncertain if I'd be allowed into the lounge, since this was a charter flight. However, upon our arrival at check-in, everything had already been prepared - baggage tags, lounge codes, and we were even asked for our Aeroplan numbers. The flight even had a special flight number, AC 7001! No miles were credited for the flight.
There was a special check-in desk for this flight, the one farthest right. A concierge was flown in from Ottawa to help with the flight and make sure that everything went smoothly.
The airport is quite impressive - looks very big because of the architecture
There was absolutely no line-up at security, and very quickly, I was through and going up to the lounge.
The lounge in St. John's is unique among Air Canada lounges, since it is one of only two that use codes for entry, the other one being Regina (YQR).
Lounge entry with pin pad
Our aircraft - C-FNAN - was already waiting for us. I had flown this exact aircraft before on a YYC-SFO leg in February of this year.
The lounge is very nice. Although there isn't a "dragon" letting people in, it is staffed, so your dishes will be cleared and food options replenished.
As usual, there was soup and snacks on offer.
My boarding pass - with the lounge access code (it's long expired), and interestingly, a note that "Coupon Required".
A lounge access by card guideline
A rare sight in YYT - there isn't a scheduled flight YYT-YYG
When we got on, I was pleasantly surprised with the headrest covers being specially made, with the National Arts Centre logo:
The IFE was operational.
There was a meal service on this short flight, service was, after all, (supposed to be) identical in both cabins. In the front, however, we were only offered three types of sandwiches + snacks, in the back, they were offered a pizza in addition. Payback, as some said...
The flight attendants were very nice, however one announcement was "Thank you for flying Air Canada Jazz", so maybe they were Jazz flight attendants, or ex-Jazz flight attendants?
Special napkins too!
Drinks were very generous
Ummm... We're only going to Charlottetown, here!
The Y cabin
From Row 19 forward
There were quite a few FFs on the flight - only two Super Elites (including me), a few Elites, a Prestige, and a CO*S.
First sight of PEI
Disembarkation was very relaxed, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I found out from the captain that the aircraft was routed YYZ-YYT-YYG-YYZ. There is usually slack in the shoulder season schedules, so I imagine that this aircraft wasn't needed for commercial service.
Only a few of the bags made it only the flight, only Priority tagged ones, among which was my one checked bag. All other bags were delivered to the hotel later in the evening, through YHZ on regular Air Canada flights.
That's me in the middle, in motion...
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