Hello dear a.netters, and welcome to my first ever trip report!
Since I've always been an aviation enthusiast and having read he trip reports section on a.net for quite a few months, Ive finally decided to begin sharing my flying experiences with you all.
I hope you enjoy my first report, and all comments & suggestions are very much welcome!
My girlfriend and I had been wanting to go to New York for quite a while. I browsed the web for good deals for about a month or so, not wanting to spend too much money on the flight itself. In February Air Canada offered a very decent price, although being with 2 connecting stops going out and 1 stop coming back. Not that I'm particularly bothered about connections, as it is an opportunity to try multiple airframes and airports. We quickly booked the tickets, and immediately the three month wait for May to arrive began.There was an extra reason for excitement for me, because this would also be my first transatlantic flight. It had been 4 years since my last long-haul widebody flight, so I was very much looking forward to this trip indeed. Also worth noting is that all flights on this trip are flown by Star Alliance carriers, so these flights are the first steps toward my *G status, that I will hopefully reach later this year.
May 16th 2012
The first logistical problem of this trip is getting from Aarhus (where I live) to Copenhagen. this can either be done by car (which is an expensive solution due to both petrol, bridge/ferry tickets and parking fees at CPH Airport), train (which is usually equally expensive), or bus.
So, we got up early wednesday morning, to catch the bus directly from Aarhus to CPH Airport (called Linie 888) at 06:45:
The "logistical problem" mentioned above does, as you can probably figure, add a quite a bit to the price of flying from CPH for us Danes living in Jutland. However, the fares from BLL/AAR/AAL to New York were a lot more expensive than from CPH, so this time it worked out to be the cheapest solution overall.
After a 3½ hour bus-and-ferry ride, we arrived right outside the international terminal at CPH.
We printed our 3-flights-in-one boarding passes at the SAS Self Service-machine, and we then checked our bags in all the way to LGA at the SAS baggage drop, where there was a moderate queue due to May 16th being a fairly busy travel day in Denmark, because of May 17th being a public holiday (Ascension Day).Security was also rather busy, and having cleared it we had hot dog, before heading to our gate (D103) so that I could grab a shot of our ride to London Heathrow before boarding at 12 o'clock.Date: May 16th 2012
Flight # & Route: SK503 (AC9940) CPH-LHR
Seat & Class: 23B, M (T)
Aircraft: OY-KBT "Ragnvald Viking", Airbus A319-131 from 2007
We were forced to check-in physically at CPH, because apparently SAS and Air Canada doesn't support OLCI when they share an itienary. This late check-in and seat selection meant us getting sub-par seats, so on the CPH-LHR leg we didn't sit next to each other. However, "strangers" were not my primary concern, comfort-wise. I found the legroom to be sub-par, and the seatback was quite "upright" and thus the seating position wasn't all too relaxing, even when reclined. That being said, I think my girlfriend felt more cramped in her seat a few rows behind me, as she was sat next to a rather obese and sweaty man.
Anyway, enough whining - it is after all only a 2 hour flight!
The load factor was 100% confirmed by my girlfriend, clever as she is, listening in on a conversation between two of the FA's in the rear galley.
Being seated almost at the very back of the economy-cabin menat that I was served my cup of tea 45 mins in to the 1h 45m flight, so I barely had time to finish it before we started descending towards London.
We were actually supposed to meet up with one of my friends, who was going to SFO and also had a stopover at LHR. Unfortunately he was told to "Go to gate" just after we had left our aircraft, so we decided to drop the LHR meetup. My girlfriend and I then headed to the centre of a very busy T3, where we browsed a few shops before having a bite to eat at EAT.
Date: May 16th 2012
Flight # & Route: AC849 LHR-YYZ
Arrival: 17:40 +28 mins delay
Seat & Class: 62K, Y
Aircraft: C-FRAM, Boeing 777-333ER from 2008After finishing up our sandwiches we headed to the gate (Gate 27). I was quite disappointed by this gate, as there were absolutely no airside windows, so I couldn't get a picture of the 77W I was about to board. We were the first ones to board, apart from the families with children + first/business-class passangers, because our seats (row 62) were 1 row from being the last row of the plane. We picked these seats because the last 2 rows only have 2 seats, so you get both privacy and a window seat!
Load wasn't too bad, I saw a few people lying down spanning all 4 seats in the middle row.
I was very pleased with the whole experience onboard Air Canada's triple seven. The crew were very friendly and relaxed, and were joking around with each other almost during the entire flight. I was also pleasently surprised by the amount of service - all the free food, drinks and snacks that were served very frequently.
We actually shouldn't have been at the baggage reclaim, but we were misguided by the Canadian border guys. Upon finding out that we were standing at the wrong place, we rushed upstairs to the special US-customs & baggage reclaim, having to go through security again, and clear the US customs. Having to go the the "normal" baggage reclaim wasn't the only source of inconvenience, because we had to clear Canadian customs, and of course my girlfriend got picked (randomly I think?) for immigration. That meant she had to waste 5-10 minutes being interviewed (who are you, were were you born, are youa terrorist, do you like killing people, oh are you from Denmark - I was in Denmark once etc etc etc.)
Because of our flight into Toronto landing 28 minutes lates, and because of us going the wrong place initially + the Canadian border-fuckup, we were called up from the queue to customs and got first priority, since our connecting flight to New York was leaving shortly. It was very nice to see how they monitor the progress of connecting passengers to make sure they catch their flights.
Because of being in a rush, we didn't get to hang around at YYZ. By now we were looking forward to arriving in New York, and to lie down in a the comfortable king-size bed at our hotel, so a speedy transit through YYZ wasn't much of a problem for us.
Date: May 16th 2012
Flight # & Route: AC724 - YYZ-LGA
Seat & Class: 24A, Y
Aircraft: C-GBHM, Airbus A319-114, from 1998
I was actually supposed to be seated at seat 24C, but the woman who had the window seat (24A) much preferred my isle seat. It didn't take more than half a second for me to agree to that deal! Great!
We landed at LaGuardia on time, and got a NYC Airporter-bus to Grand Central station, where we took the subway (7 train) to our hotel in Queens.
I hope you enjoyed my first trip report, I definately enjoyed my first transatlantic crossing! Air Canada were great, especially the crew on the long-haul flight.Stay tuned for the return trip in part 2 - here is a teaser of what is to come!