Part 2 - The Return Trip on WestJet (YYJ-YYC-YWG)
For Part 1, you can read it here at
Go West (Part 1) On WestJet YWG-YYC-YYX (by canadianpylon Mar 15 2012 in Trip Reports)]
We spent 3 wonderful days exploring Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The weather was typical winter weather for BC, cool and wet. It didn’t slow us down from going to Prospect Point, Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver, Rogers Arena, downtown Victoria, and Witty’s Lagoon.
I’ve included some pics from the trip. A highlight of the trip was taking in the Winnipeg Jets – Vancouver Canucks hockey game. Neither team played very well, but Cory Schneider made some great saves to save the Canucks. The Canucks beat the Jets 3-2. All in all, everyone was very nice at Rogers Arena about us being Winnipeg fans in Vancouver’s building!
There were a lot of people cheering for the Jets, which was great to see! Apparently, there are a lot of transplanted Winnipeggers living in Vancouver.
Pictures from Rogers Arena
Prospect Point in Stanley Park…There are mountains behind those clouds
Boarding the ferry to Vancouver Island
Some pics from the ferry…It is a stunningly beautiful ferry crossing!
Downtown Victoria Harbour…in the rain
British Columbia Parliament…in the rain (is there a pattern here?)
Hatley Castle… It may look familiar as it was used in the X-Men movies as Professor X’s School
(It was NOT raining that day! You could see the Olympic Ranges across the Strait)
The trip came to end, and we had to head home on Sunday. 3 days wasn’t enough to see everything, but we got to see some great friends and wonderful locations.
I checked in Saturday night, and saw that the planes were fullFullFULL! Something about Spring Break somewhere. I picked my usual window seat near the rear, hoping that we may get one of empty middle seats.
For the flight to Winnipeg from Calgary, the plane was just as full. The only open window/middle seat was in row 10, which doesn’t recline due to the exit row behind us. Seatguru listed these seats ‘Yellows’. Uh oh….
Victoria (YYJ) – Calgary (YYC)
March 11, 2011
Estimated Load factor: 100%
ETD: 7:00 PDT ATD: 7:13 PDT
ETA: 9:03 MDT ATA: 9:16 MDT
Depart Gate: YYJ – Gate 2
Arrival Gate: YYC – D50
We woke up at 4:45AM to get out of the house for 5:15AM... My buddy offered to drive us to the airport which was about 30 minutes from his place. It was cool, but not raining when we left. The roads to the airport were very clear. Who else would be up at this ungodly hour? The airport parking lot was wide open when we showed up.
Outside the terminal (sorry for the blurry shot)
Despite the quiet outside the terminal, it was reasonably busy inside the terminal. We waited in queue to drop off our bags for about 10 minutes. Nobody to help us this time, we had to put on the luggage tags ourselves. (#firstworldpains)
After proceeding to get a coffee from Tim Horton’s, we sat in a nice viewing area that a great way of the tarmac. I saw a Horizon Q400 taxiing out and take off. There was an Air Canada A320 at the gate also (gate 1). It was going to Toronto. It pushed back and departed while we were enjoying our Timmy’s coffee and donut (aka breakfast.)
Yummmmy… Tim Horton’s
At about 6:15AM, I said good bye to my friend and went through security. The security line was fairly short, and we were through in about 3 minutes. Check that… I was through in 3 minutes. My wife got sent to another line which was dedicated for women, and her security check was longer. I stood at the end of the security area looking at her…then my watch…then her…then my watch… If looks could kill, I would have been dead right there as my wife looked like she was going to kill me.
There are two parts to Victoria airport for domestic travel. Once through security, you are at ground level gates which are mainly used for the flights to Vancouver. There are a few gates here, so you can guess that it is the most prominent departure point from Victoria.
At the Vancouver gates once past security
For my flight, and any flight using a plane bigger than a Dash 8, you take escalators up to a second level . It is about same size as the lower Vancouver gates. There are 2 gates here. At the time I was there, there was a flight for Air Canada and our WestJet flight to Calgary.
Looking down on the Vancouver Gates from Gate 1 and 2
The Gate 1 and 2 waiting areas. It does not provide a good view of the tarmac.
Our flight started boarding a little late. The Gate agent announced that the plane was 100% full, and asked for our assistance to get out on time by having our boarding pass and ID ready. Needless to say, people didn’t, and fumbled for it when they got to the gate. Really? Come on, they even asked us BEFORE they started boarding.
About 10 minutes before departure, we presented out boarding pass and took the walk to the plane. We had to walk about 50 meters down the terminal before going down the jet bridge to the plane. There was a huge lineup in jet bridge, for reasons unbeknownst to us. By the time we got to door, I overheard an FA mutter, ‘It’s going to be one of those days…’ I don’t know what happened, but it was turning out to be a rotten start to her day.
View from my seat
We pushed back a few minutes late, which concerned me. We only had a 30 minute connection window in Calgary, and we we’re pushing back almost 15 minutes late. I hope the pilot pushes the gas pedal a little harder to make up for some time.
Taxi and Take off from Victoria Airport
The taxi was interesting because the 737 back tracked on runway 27 and used it to take off. The sun was just starting to rise when we took off, which cast the airport and island in a beautiful glow. After we took off, the plane circled over the airport to fly east. It is hard to see in the video but, you could see the airport and ferry port.
Swartz Bay Ferry Dock
As the sun continued to rise, it lit up the mountains and airplane. I snapped some pics and proceeded to sleep for most of the flight.
The sun warming us up
Moving map…being annoying
Descending into Calgary
The descent was a little bouncy, but overall pretty good. We flew on the outside of the western side Calgary, which provided for wonderful views of the Calgary skyline for those sitting on the right side of the aircraft. Those of us on the left (me), we saw mountains and farmer’s fields.
Landing in Calgary Airport
Taxiing back to terminal with the Calgary skyline just beyond the wing
The plane arrived a few minutes late, but we made good time crossing the Rockies. I think we’re going to make our connection!
Calgary (YYC) – Winnipeg (YWG)
March 11, 2011
Estimated Load factor: 100%
ETD: 9:50 MDT ATD: 10:12 MDT
ETA: 12:22 CDT ATA: 12:47 CDT
Depart Gate: YYC – Gate D45
Arrival Gate: YWG – Gate 5
My wife and I got off the plane, and immediately looked for a FIDS to tell us where the Winnipeg flight was. Thankfully, it was a couple gates from us, and it was boarding when we got there.
Calgary Airport in the morning…
As we went down the jet bridge, there was a person having a major panic attack trying to get on the airplane. He was NOT getting on the airplane, saying he was too scared. I really felt bad for him. I think he wanted to go to Winnipeg or Thunder Bay (the other stop for the flight after Winnipeg), but he couldn’t bring himself to get on the plane. Eventually, the plane left without him.
The plane pushed back and made a VERY short taxi to runway 16. We waited for a company 737 to depart in front of us, lined up on the runway, and take off for the heavens!
Takeoff from Calgary
As soon as the plane was climbing and flying eastward, snack service was started. The quick connection in Calgary did not allow us a chance to get something to eat, so I was REALLY hungry at this point. I bought myself a bag on Cadbury mini-eggs to share with my wife in an effort to stave off the hunger headache. Surprisingly, it worked.
Flying over the praries
The annoying, glared out moving map while descending into Winnipeg
Soon, we were lining up for a landing on runway 18. Most of the time, the winds in winter don’t allow for runway 18 landing (predominantly north/northwestern winds).
Landing in Winnipeg
Home again, tired and hungry. I was glad to be home! As it turned out the weather turned summer like as soon as we got home! I will take some responsibility for that…somehow.
All 4 of the WestJet flights were decent. There offering of service was consistent across each flight. The corny sayings got annoying after a while (‘This plane is FABULOUSLY equipped with…’, and ‘Will the beautiful and smart flight attendants prepare for landing…’)
Overall, I would have like a little more time in Calgary to get a snack and walk around the airport. But the trip was definitely about the destination, and these flights were a means to an end.
I hope that you have enjoyed this Trip report. Please leave me some feedback in terms of what you thought about it.
Go Jets Go