FlyKev
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Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:45 pm



Foreword

There aren’t many Air Transat Trip Reports in the database, by the looks this is the first with the new cabin. Many people are in debate regarding Air Transat’s decision to put 3-3-3 seating in an aircraft usually fitted with 2-4-2; so can their onboard product and decent prices win me over despite the tighter seating?

Introduction

Air Transat is a large airline owned by Transat A.T inc and operate to over 25 destinations from hubs in YYZ, YVR and YUL and are this year celebrating their 25th year of service. Their main focus is holidaymaker traffic and they sell seats through various websites including UK tour operator Canadian Affair.

Previously operating aircraft such as the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar and the Boeing 757-200 they now operate an all Airbus widebody fleet, consisting of the A310-300, A330-200 and A330-300.
Each aircraft is fitted with high-density economy seating consisting of 3-3-3 economy on their A310-300 and A330-200 and a more standard 2-4-2 on the A330-300. They also offer a premium class for a reasonable price featuring more space and an enhanced service. Seat pitch varies depending on what website you visit, at 31-32 inches.

Recently, Air Transat announced that as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations they would begin to refurbish all of their fleet fitting in new mood lighting, a better seat pitch, new Italian leather seats and the new Rave IFE system offering all passengers AVOD. Notably, this refurbishment will only be happening to the A330s, with the A310s only receiving a more minor refresh and no AVOD.
This process is set to take 2 years and at some point near the end of April the first aircraft (former Thomas Cook Airlines A330) with the new seating C-GTSI entered service flying on selected flights between YYZ and LGW, FRA, CDG and YULCDG. These flights were given no special designation so it was potluck at getting this aircraft.

Booking

Having always wanted to see Toronto it seemed that it would make a great destination to visit this year for my holiday. Unfortunately at the time of booking, Air Canada, British Airways, KLM, and other US majors were all charging quite high prices (£600+) so this made booking a flight quite expensive.
However, Air Transat / Canadian Affair came up with a price of just £350 return for 10 nights and whilst I was aware of their 3-3-3 seating a line has to be drawn on price so we booked these flights post haste, paying a small amount to add seat reservation and then adding a hotel (The Westin Harbour Castle) for just £39 each a night, bringing our total bill for flights and hotel to just a little above what Air Canada wanted for flights alone.

At some point in April, I was informed that our flight time had changed. This was quite an annoying change moving our 11.45am flight back almost 5 hours to 16.30pm. This annoyance however was surpassed when I noticed that the seatmap for our flight had changed and now showed less premium and more economy seats. This change in configuration meant that we were now destined to have the new cabin on the outbound flight but not on the return flight, as this had now become the A330-300.

At the Airport

So eventually the 12th June arrived and everything was packed, I met my friends and we headed to Gatwick Airport by train.
The Gatwick Express wanted £12.50 one way for the 30 minute journey which I considered quite steep, particularly when alternative rail operator Southern was offering £2.20 for the same route taking 31 minutes. A saving of over £10 for an extra 1 minute was a good saving in my opinion and the train was comfortable and not too busy getting us to LGW at the reasonable time of 11.45 where we had to fight the crowds off the train and into the terminal which is being made worse by the current building works.

Air Transat’s check in is located at Zone B in the South Terminal, which is hidden away down a corridor and really gives a private feeling. We were the first to arrive however people soon started queuing behind us and they opened check in about 20 minutes early.


(Apologies for the blurred image here but I have heard stories about LGWs security not like photos so did it quite covertly)

Bags checked, boarding cards printed we headed back to the main terminal where we took a small diversion to the North Terminal to have a look at the improvements made there (I haven’t flown from the North Terminal in 7 or so years) and also to get a great view of the Apron from the free transit shuttle between the terminal.


(Plain boarding pass)


(A view of the planes)

The North Terminal was bustling and the changes so far looked great and its quite amazing to see how much Gatwick has improved itself over the past few years.

Back in the South Terminal we had lunch at the Wetherspoons before security, which is called The Beehive and is a throwback to the original Gatwick terminal and filled with historic photos of the airports history. Notably food here seemed to be higher quality than the usual Wetherspoons outlets and reasonably priced at £9 for a Pepsi and a portion of fish and chips.


(Good food)

Having eaten our food it was time to head through Gatwicks new security area. There were plenty of lanes open and the new barcode scanning access gates worked well at enabling a great number of people through fast.
Despite the crowds staff were very friendly to everyone and I was through security in about 10 minutes entering the giant shopping mall of the departure lounge.

Sadly, Gatwick Airport has joined the thought train of “no one wants to see outside at Airports” and thus spotting planes was impossible. The shops didn’t interest me that much and after a small amount of time laughing at some of the ludicrously high prices on sweets in the Duty Free shop and a few free alcohol samples our gate was announced and we headed to the gate area.

I believe our gate was number 23, which is pretty much a long windowless tunnel featuring a few flights at the time, mainly EasyJet and Ryanair ones. Annoyingly on the gates that were empty, what windows their were had been covered by thick black blinds so you couldn’t see out at all. This was not very pleasant and does make you wonder why they would want to make travelling through and airport such an in the dark experience.
What is funny however are the small references to the old owner of the airport BAA which still lurk around: in the photo below you can see where the BAA logo has been covered over and the old BAA colours, fonts and signage are visible:


(Old BAA remains)

On arriving at our gate our tickets were quickly taken and for the first time since before security I was able to look out a window.
Besides our plane, I also saw an Air Italy 737-800, a Monarch flight and a plain white mystery A330 parked in the distance.


(Our plane C-GTSI)

Boarding began shortly after we arrived with announcements telling us that the aircraft was the first with the new cabin and that they hoped we enjoyed the improvements.

The Flight

LGW-YYZ
TS123
dep 16:30 / 16:41
arr 19:30 / 19:01
C-GTSI


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Avcam Photo



Immediately on boarding the first thing you noticed was the cabin lights, which were currently set to a bright blue. This was pleasing on the eye and despite the 3-3-3 seating it was very open and spacious looking, with tropical style patterns printed on walls, there was however a lack of central toilets towards the front and back – so if you fly Air Transat void row 8 and 9 in the middle as the aisle seats are pretty much inside the toilets.


(Cabin with funky mood lighting)


(A little cramped in the middle)

On sitting down, the legroom was very good and my legs did not feel cramped – however the reduced seat width was noticeable with the arm rests being a little closer than preferred (this was however avoided as we put both central arm rests up during the flights so the 3 of us had more of a sofa like aircraft seat).
The Rave IFE screen was a good size and running a standard welcome aboard video and also provided a USB port for charging your portable gadgets should you need to during the flight.


(Good legroom)


(Rave IFE)

Doors closed almost dead on 16.30 and the safety video commenced. This was possibly one of the most boring videos I have sat through and it felt like it went on forever. This finished and it was announced that the flight would be a shorter than usual 7.30 hours and us being 2nd in the line for takeoff.
Soon we accelerated into the sky and we started to turn and head out west over Ireland.


(View from the window)


(Heading west)

The full IFE started soon after and I was able to have a play around with this. The crew then offered comfort kits, landing cards, headphones and drinks. The crew were very efficient and friendly, even making a few jokes with myself and other passengers. Notably drinks were poured from a can; however you could request the full can. Alongside drinks, the crew also offered out wet towels to freshen us up which was a nice gesture.


(Drinks and refreshing towels)

I decided to have a look at the IFE after this, which offered about 15 films (a mix of moderately recent ones and some classics), a reasonable selection of TV programs and fairly small jukebox library and also most importantly it offered a moving map view.


(Some TV choices and a nice easy to use touchscreen system)


(iPod charging available, even if it does look a bit silly)

I started by watching and Episode of The Simpsons (a good classic episode) and then followed with the movie Goon.
About halfway into my film meal service started and being near the front a full meal choice was offered. The choices were between Beef carbonara, Sweet Chilli Chicken and something Vegetarian.
I chose the Sweet Chilli chicken and it consisted of a nice but spicy sauce, some chicken, rice and some vegetables. Portion size was good, not fantastic and it was enjoyable – served along with a roll and a chocolate marble cake as well as a free glass of red or white wine also being offered. The meal was good, nothing amazing but appreciable and better than I have experienced on other airlines. The meal service was where I noticed the space issue caused by 3-3-3 seats the most, it was quite hard to eat with tables this narrow.


(Dinner – mood lighting does make taking photos of food akward)


(What a great view to eat dinner alongside)

This was then followed by a tea and coffee run, I had a cup of coffee to perk me up a bit and then sat back to watch the rest of my film. The mood lighting seemed to be changing more erratically with a new colour combination appearing every ten minutes or so and despite being neon pink and green at one point it still felt very relaxing on the eyes.

On taking a trip to the back I got a feel for how narrow the aisle felt in the middle however there was more space in the back seats where the plane narrows to 2-3-2. From my observations a lot of passengers seemed to be using the IFE and weirdly in seats where there were no seats behind dummy screens were still fitted which seemed like an odd thing to do.
Notably the galley at the back had been modernised with a nice faux wood style floor as well as the toilets which I must comment stayed clean throughout the flight, despite there being only 4 toilets for the 300+ economy passengers. I then returned to my seat, watched a few episodes of the Big Bang Theory, a program on a photographer taking photos underneath Paris, an episode of NHL 24/7 and the National Lampoons Family Vacation (was a tough call between this and the original Italian Job).


(Almost over Canada)


(Still weird to think of how many flights used to stop in Gander)


(Land!)

Nearer the final couple of hours the second meal service was distributed. This consisted of a pizza that whilst not looking anything special in presentation certainly tasted good and was very enjoyable, additionally to this another drinks service was offered and I also requested a bar of Caramilk chocolate ($2) which the crew got quickly for me and I was told someone would be with me soon to sort payment, however no one came to my seat so they pretty much forgot to charge me for it.


(mmmm pizza)


(yay, free chocolate)

Soon enough we began to begin our descent and Toronto’s iconic skyline was visible along with lake Ontario and thankfully being summer; it was still daylight despite being 19.00 local.


(First glimpses of Ontario)

A smooth landing was performed despite somewhat windy conditions at the airport and we taxied past a collection of planes (that I presume are being readied for delivery) from airlines such as SpiceJet and also unexpectedly a lot of Air Canada planes as well as a flight from KLM and British Airways.


(Parked next to another Air Transat aircraft)

The crew made the welcome to Toronto, hoped that we had enjoyed the new cabin with its “funky lighting” and this then followed with an announcement that this was the first flight for 2 members of the crew on board, followed by a well deserved round of applause from everyone on the aircraft. Customs and Immigration were pretty speedy at processing us all however the wait for our baggage was a long one, but that is the price to pay I guess for checking in first. The arranged pick up was waiting for us as we left the airport and we were quickly in the city and checked in to our hotel well before 9pm.

The Destination

I wont bore you with too much detail, but Toronto really is a great city with a load of attractions to see and do along with some of the friendliest people that I have met.

Our hotel room had a fantastic view of the lake and of the CN tower, which was spectacular when lit up at night and a view of the runway at YTZ – I could even sit in the swimming pool of the hotel and watch planes land!)
One of the first stops was the Hockey Hall of Fame, something that (being a huge Hockey fan myself is a don’t miss); however other attractions such as the Distillery District, Chinatown, various museums and a Tour of the Air Canada Centre were great attractions. For three of the days we rented a car (which got upgraded and was huge) to enable us to drive down to Niagara Falls that was an amazing site though the surrounding city did feel a bit tacky with a lot of tourist traps however the hilly nature of the city did make for some great photos. I was impressed overall with the Ontario region we saw for its green nature, its openness and how many wineries there are on the QEW road towards Niagara.


(View from our hotel room)


(Myself, attempting to play goalie at the HHOF)


(The lift at the CN tower has a glass floor...)


(The city from the top of the CN tower)


(The Distillery District)


(Its all going on at Yonge-Dundas Square)


(So much hockey history here. Now a supermarket…)


(A very empty Air Canada Centre)


(CN Tower at night)


(City at night)


(This car was way to big for the 3 of us…)


(One way to cool down when its hot)


(Journey into the mist)


The Airport

Sadly our 10 days went much too fast and it soon came time to leave. Air Transat offer online check in if you are flying out of any Canadian city so I was able to check in and confirm seats at the hotel. A car was arranged to pick us up at 17.30 for the 21:30 flight and we reached the airport at just after 18:15 where I noticed long Air Transat check in queues, however we got to skip these as I had checked in online.

The airport was quite busy with a mix of passengers heading on flights to Europe and off to the Caribbean however security took around 20 minutes to clear and was no hassle to deal with.

The gate areas were very busy due to their being a combination of a flight to Lisbon with SATA, a British Airways flight to London and an earlier Gatwick Air Transat flight all departing a short time within each other. Notably different from these however was the Condor flight, which was having a small party in the gate area to celebrate the inaugural Toronto flight. Despite not being on Condor, I was offered a piece of cake by the staff there along with a free drink and told to help myself to a plate of the hot items on offer; which certainly enhanced my experience there. YYZ also offers a some great-unhindered views outside which allowed me to take some pictures of the aircraft around the airport and they also offer free wifi and charging in case you need a last minute internet fix. The airports simple layout and amenities make YYZ (terminal 3) one of the best international airports I have flown from as far as comfort is concerned.


(Icelandair 757-300)


(Anyone got some info on this mystery plane?)


(Condor flight)


(Free cake!)


(BA to LHR)


(C-GTSO)

The Flight

YYZ-LGW
TS522
dep 21:30 / 22:00
arr 09:35 / 09:47
C-GTSO


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nino Buda



Boarding began later than expected and the gate staff made several announcements for the people queuing to sit down and wait, as it would make their job easier.
Today’s aircraft was the much older C-GTSO, a former Dragonair and Cathay Pacific plane and was configured with the more conventional 2-4-2 seating. Notably this cabin looked a lot shabbier, featuring flip down LCD screens every few rows, no individual air vents and tired looking cloth seats.

We sat at the back of this plane to allow for us to sit in the 3 central seats and to avoid having someone else sit with us and legroom here felt as good as the outbound however the much wider seat was noticeable and enjoyable.
Crew seemed a little brasher on this flight, however a few members were really friendly to talk to and one described the new cabin as the “phantom cabin” mainly due to the fact that most the crew were yet to see it.


(Good legroom)


(Less exciting IFE)


(The way back home)

The flight time was announced to be just 6 hours and 30 minutes and despite taking of from Toronto at 10pm we were still set to land at 9.45am in Gatwick. The flight was full and soon after take off a movie was started and refreshing towels were distributed. None of the films played interested me and two of the films were pretty old – Gulliver’s Travels and Mamma Mia however the in-between movie quiz was mildly entertaining and they did screen the moving map also.

The problem of sitting at the back however came with the meal service. This was a combined drinks and meal service so it took a long time to reach us, almost 2hrs 30. By this stage we were all hungry, thirsty and tired. Meal options were either Beef bourguignon or some vegetarian pasta dish – I chose the former that tasted good however severely lacked any meat. The cake and roll were virtually the same as the way out, not a bad thing and the crew were quite quick at removing the trays and dimming the lights so that passengers could sleep. The cabin was unfortunately quite hot, however I did manage to sleep for 3 or so hours and was woken up by the sunlight coming in from peoples windows ( no announcements made regarding windows on either flights, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing) and the announcement that we were just over an hour away from landing and that a continental breakfast would soon be served.


(Dinner was a so-so experience)

The breakfast consisted of a cinnamon bun, a yogurt (either strawberry or peach) and a cup of juice. I avoided the juice as it has a habit of making me feel ill on flights however the yogurt was enjoyable and the bun was ok if not a little dry.
Following this a final water run was made and then it was announced that we would be landing soon and the bar would now be closed. The pilot then announced to us that the weather in the UK was “average” with cloud and some rain expected and that we were pretty much set to fly straight in with no holding.


(The box of mystery?)


(Breakast)

We landed around 9.45am and the crew wished those on holiday a pleasant one, thanked those who were travelling home and the person in row 47 a happy birthday to which half the aircraft applauded.

Immigration was surprisingly fast (no queue at all for residents / EU), however once again baggage reclaim took a long time. We then jumped onto the train and headed home tired, but fulfilled and missing the friendliness of Toronto.


(Our plane after its journey through the night)

Conclusion

In conclusion this was a trip of firsts and I will admit I had my doubts about flying Air Transat.

However, the crew I experienced on the outbound were fantastic, both professional, friendly and they complimented the new cabin which was comfortable, pleasant and worked well with the new Rave IFE system which was not only reliable but a joy to use (if not in need of a little more content) and I really liked the new lighting.
The return product however was a little more “bog standard”. The flight was fine, the crew were ok and the seats were nothing to write home about. The food left something to be desired and the service could have been a little fast but overall it wasn’t a bad experience.

So, would I fly Air Transat again?
I think I would. The prices are generally reasonable to all their destinations and the new cabins (once on all planes) are an absolute treat. Air Transat make Canada much more affordable than some of the other airlines charge and whilst the seats are tighter, seat pitch remains good and the service onboard ticks all the boxes perhaps with the only real negatives here being the charge for pillows and blankets.

For all of you that have made it through my report this far, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my report and I would love to hear your opinions, comments or questions about my trip.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:05 pm

HI kev.

You pipped me to the post with your report on Transat. I also have one pending on the rather grotty A310.

Still - given their other N. American competitors are so poor - Transat puts on a great show from what I have seen. A thoroughly decent product at consistently the best price.

Your meals looked almost identical to the ones I had. Especially the breakfast box.

You'll get a backdated bill for that Caramilk no doubt.

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
debonair
Posts: 2666
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:18 pm

Great TR...

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(Anyone got some info on this mystery plane?)

A320 of AVION EXPRESS: http://www.avex.lt

Avion Express goes Canada!
23/12/2011 After the successful completion of extensive operational audits at Avion Express headquarters and their operational bases, Transport Canada has granted a Foreign Air Operator Certificate (FAOC) to Avion Express on 20th of December 2011. Following this approval Avion Express has operated its first commercial flight to Canada on 22nd of December.


Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Unfortunately at the time of booking, Air Canada, British Airways, KLM, and other US majors were all charging quite high prices (£600+) so this made booking a flight quite expensive.
However, Air Transat / Canadian Affair came up with a price of just £350 return

With these savings why haven't you up-graded to "OPTION PLUS"-service?!
http://www.airtransat.ca/en/info/opt...spx?ExitID=62&ContentType=voyageur
 
Carfield
Posts: 2025
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:52 pm

I am actually quite impressed with Air Transat offering, considered it is a LCC and tourist airline.
The main meal looks identical to most North American airlines' offering. The breakfast box looks better than the box served by BA. US Airways serves just a packaged pastry. But the pizza on the Canada bound flight looks a bit pathetic. Not sure why everyone wants to serve pizza... a simple sandwich and chocolate bar will be more appreciated.

Carfield
 
photoshooter
Posts: 410
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:26 pm

Hey Kevin

thank you for this great trip report. Air Transat sure is an interesting (and cheap) airline.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Notably food here seemed to be higher quality than the usual Wetherspoons outlets and reasonably priced at £9 for a Pepsi and a portion of fish and chips.

Ah, nothing beats some good old fish and chips  .

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(Dinner – mood lighting does make taking photos of food akward)

Hmm, they must have done that for a reason, perhaps the food looks better then. A pity it doesn't change the taste.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(The lift at the CN tower has a glass floor...)

Yikes, that would make me faint if I were there, I'm afraid of heights lol.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(The box of mystery?)

Or you could call it the box of misery.

Thanks again for this trip report, I hope you had a nice time in Toronto.

Take care

Niek   
'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:57 pm

Hi Kev,

Great to see a trip report on Air Transat and the new cabins. Not to forget the new corporate colours, a real welcome change from that all white aircraft they had temporarily adopted between this one and the old colours. The meals don't seem so bad. The Caramilk chocolate was definitely more pricier in the air than on the ground. Glad you got it for free lol. Glad you had a great time in Toronto. Never realised that the elevator up the CN tower had a glass floor...until I saw your pic.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(Rave IFE)

I noticed the Turkish greeting "Hos geldiniz" missing from the screen, which is on the tails of the aircraft with the new colours.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
such as SpiceJet

Did you perhaps mean Westjet? SpiceJet is an Indian carrier.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Notably different from these however was the Condor flight, which was having a small party in the gate area to celebrate the inaugural Toronto flight.

Wow, nice to know Condor is in now!! Glad you got a piece of the cake lol
 
JAGflyer
Posts: 3453
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:31 am

RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting debonair (Reply 2):

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
(Anyone got some info on this mystery plane?)

A320 of AVION EXPRESS: http://www.avex.lt

Avion Express goes Canada!
23/12/2011 After the successful completion of extensive operational audits at Avion Express headquarters and their operational bases, Transport Canada has granted a Foreign Air Operator Certificate (FAOC) to Avion Express on 20th of December 2011. Following this approval Avion Express has operated its first commercial flight to Canada on 22nd of December.

Avion Express doesn't operate into YYZ. I am going to speculate it was a sub-charter flight for Cubana or LACSA.
Support the beer and soda can industry, your recycle old airplanes!
 
Comeflywithme
Posts: 249
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:31 am

Hi...no pictures are showing for me.

Pictures now showing up. Air Transat seem to have a decent product there. Thanks for posting.

[Edited 2012-06-24 18:00:20]
 
767747
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:47 am

Interesting to read about Air Transat. You don't read too much about Air Transat very much in this forum, so it was good to get an insight into their service, etc.

Food looks better on the way from LGW-YYZ than on the return. Nice photos from Toronto - its a really fun city, I'd like to re-visit as its been a while!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
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ManuCH
Crew
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:08 am

Hi Kev,

thank you for this very nice trip report! Too bad Air Transat seems to still have planes without an individual IFE. But nowadays with iPads and the like, it should generate less complaints.
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
amsspot
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 9:47 pm

RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:18 am

Hey Kev,

Great to see a report about Air Transat's updated cabin so soon. It certainly looks good, especially if you consider the ticket fare!

Thanks for uploading,
Miles
 
jwhite9185
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:28 am

Nice report. Toronto seems to be popular destination round here lately. Although I've not seen any reports from Air Transat.
@mytripreport
 
FlyKev
Crew
Topic Author
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:38 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
You pipped me to the post with your report on Transat. I also have one pending on the rather grotty A310.

I shall look forward to reading that

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 1):
You'll get a backdated bill for that Caramilk no doubt.

And I will look forward to getting that  
Thanks for your comments

Quoting debonair (Reply 2):
With these savings why haven't you up-graded to "OPTION PLUS"-service?!

Wasn't made aware of this service until I had checked in - seems like a good deal.
Thanks for your comments and help identifying the unusual aircraft.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
I am actually quite impressed with Air Transat offering, considered it is a LCC and tourist airline.

Their product was close to what I experienced in AA a few years back
Thanks for reading

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 4):
Thanks again for this trip report, I hope you had a nice time in Toronto.

Glad you enjoyed my report, Toronto is a great city that I would recommend to anyone.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 5):

Great to see a trip report on Air Transat and the new cabins. Not to forget the new corporate colours, a real welcome change from that all white aircraft they had temporarily adopted between this one and the old colours.

I saw that aircraft in YYZ - was quite dull, but overall I quite like the colour scheme.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 5):
Did you perhaps mean Westjet? SpiceJet is an Indian carrier.

It confused me too, but there were several aircraft parked together away from the terminal - Wish I had got a picture, I think they were regional jets?
Thanks for reading.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 6):
Avion Express doesn't operate into YYZ. I am going to speculate it was a sub-charter flight for Cubana or LACSA.

Thinking about it there was a Cubana flight departing when I was at the airport...

Quoting comeflywithme (Reply 7):
Air Transat seem to have a decent product there. Thanks for posting.

No problems, glad you enjoyed my report!

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 9):
thank you for this very nice trip report! Too bad Air Transat seems to still have planes without an individual IFE. But nowadays with iPads and the like, it should generate less complaints.

I used my iPad pretty much all the way home, infact it was one of the reasons I didn't mind booking an airline (at the time) with no ptvs and I guess this is one reason why they opted for a system with USB charging. Thanks for reading!

Quoting amsspot (Reply 10):
Great to see a report about Air Transat's updated cabin so soon. It certainly looks good, especially if you consider the ticket fare!

Certainly makes them more competitive in my opinion across the Atlantic. Thanks for your comments.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 11):
Nice report. Toronto seems to be popular destination round here lately. Although I've not seen any reports from Air Transat.

Toronto sure deserves to be a popular destination - it really is a great city.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Thanks to everyone so far for their comments,

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
ba319-131
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi Kev,

Good read, thanks for sharing.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Having always wanted to see Toronto it seemed that it would make a great destination to visit this year for my holiday. Unfortunately at the time of booking, Air Canada, British Airways, KLM, and other US majors were all charging quite high prices (£600+) so this made booking a flight quite expensive.
However, Air Transat / Canadian Affair came up with a price of just £350 return for 10 nights and whilst I was aware of their 3-3-3 seating a line has to be drawn on price so we booked these flights post haste, paying a small amount to add seat reservation and then adding a hotel (The Westin Harbour Castle) for just £39 each a night, bringing our total bill for flights and hotel to just a little above what Air Canada wanted for flights alone.

- At that price difference, TS are a real option if you don't have and loyalty to a particular airline or FF scheme.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Gatwick Express wanted £12.50 one way for the 30 minute journey which I considered quite steep, particularly when alternative rail operator Southern was offering £2.20 for the same route taking 31 minutes. A saving of over £10 for an extra 1 minute was a good saving in my opinion and the train was comfortable and not too busy getting us to LGW at the reasonable time of 11.45

- That's a big difference for a 1 minute saving in travel time.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
On arriving at our gate our tickets were quickly taken and for the first time since before security I was able to look out a window

- It's a shame some airport's seem to hide the outside operations, I don't think they understand people like to look outside and see what is going on, even those with no interest in aviation like to look at planes when they travel.

Cheers

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
starrymarkb
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
So eventually the 12th June arrived and everything was packed, I met my friends and we headed to Gatwick Airport by train.
The Gatwick Express wanted £12.50 one way for the 30 minute journey which I considered quite steep, particularly when alternative rail operator Southern was offering £2.20 for the same route taking 31 minutes. A saving of over £10 for an extra 1 minute was a good saving in my opinion and the train was comfortable

There is an interesting argument over the legal status of the Gatwick express. It's a sub-brand of Southern* and is technically obliged by their operating licence to accept the cheaper 'Southern Only' tickets. Needless to say they make every effort to claim they are are separate companies and that Southern Tickets will not be accepted on the 'premium' Express. It's not been pushed far enough to prove one way or the other though.

*Up until a couple of years ago the Express used to have a separate licence (and was run by a separate company), the government has since merged it with Southern

[Edited 2012-06-25 14:32:26]
 
visualapproach
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:11 pm

Thanks for sharing this report, I enjoyed it. I flew with TS last month too- same routing as yourself. Interestingly I had the sister Thomas Cook A330-200, C-GTSJ for both legs. Was holding out for the new style TS A330 but it wasn't meant to be.

Glad to see you enjoyed Ontario as much as I did- and agree with the comments about Niagara.
 
trintocan
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:11 am

Thanks for a great trip report FlyKev! Toronto is indeed a fabulous city and the pictures, especially the night-time ones remind me of my own trip there 2 years ago. And yes, Yonge and Dundas is lively all the time! I went to Niagara too (2nd time overall) on a tour. The surrounding area is lovely but yes the immediate Falls area is a tourist trap.

As for TS, it seems like a good airline all things told. I have seen their planes in LHR and LGW (at one point they served POS as well) but have yet to try them out.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
So eventually the 12th June arrived and everything was packed, I met my friends and we headed to Gatwick Airport by train.
The Gatwick Express wanted £12.50 one way for the 30 minute journey which I considered quite steep, particularly when alternative rail operator Southern was offering £2.20 for the same route taking 31 minutes. A saving of over £10 for an extra 1 minute was a good saving in my opinion and the train was comfortable and not too busy getting us to LGW at the reasonable time of 11.45 where we had to fight the crowds off the train and into the terminal which is being made worse by the current building works.

Therein, as Starrymarkkb has described, lies a bit of a dilemma far beyond merely deciding which train to choose. The trouble is the London to Brighton mainline is severely congested and Gatwick Express (nowadays branded as just "Express") have been threatened with shutdown on various occasions. This has been because their dedicated airport services use valuable pathways on the line (think of pathways as the railway equivalent of airport slots) but are often not full while the stopping services, which serve Brighton and other points are severely overcrowded. Lately a sort of compromise has been reached where some Express services continue to Brighton at peak times (and indeed some run nonstop between London and Brighton, thus flying through LGW!) and in part this is why "Gatwick" has been removed from the branding. The fun is that if you go to LGW station you're more likely to be met by agents for Express who would get you tickets for them if headed into London. On the plus side, though, when I was there earlier this year (though not flying) they pointed out their group ticket, which offers great savings (I was part of a party of 4).

I still think Express have a role because otherwise overcrowding could actually worsen - after all you would have trains crowded with commuters and airline pasengers with luggage - hardly a winning situation for anyone.

All in all a great report.
Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
canadiantree
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:42 am

Very nice report. I flew Air Transat for the last time in 2008, YVR CDG on a 332 and CDG YYZ on a 310.

My brother will be flying them this July on CDG YVR, I guess the chances he will get the new interior are pretty slim?

Thanks again, loved seeing this, brought back nice memories  
 
FlyKev
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:25 pm

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 13):
Good read, thanks for sharing.

No problem, thanks for reading.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 13):

- It's a shame some airport's seem to hide the outside operations, I don't think they understand people like to look outside and see what is going on, even those with no interest in aviation like to look at planes when they travel.

Its a shame that many airport architects are going for shops over windows now.

Quoting starrymarkb (Reply 14):

There is an interesting argument over the legal status of the Gatwick express. It's a sub-brand of Southern* and is technically obliged by their operating licence to accept the cheaper 'Southern Only' tickets. Needless to say they make every effort to claim they are are separate companies and that Southern Tickets will not be accepted on the 'premium' Express. It's not been pushed far enough to prove one way or the other though.

Sounds like the usual sneaky tactics of UK rail operators  . My train ticket was however only valid on the booked service (advance ticket) which pretty much explains the cost saving.

Quoting visualapproach (Reply 15):
Thanks for sharing this report, I enjoyed it. I flew with TS last month too- same routing as yourself. Interestingly I had the sister Thomas Cook A330-200, C-GTSJ for both legs

Out of interest was the cabin fitted still with the old Thomas Cook PTV system, or was it mainscreen only?

Thanks for reading my report!

Quoting trintocan (Reply 16):

As for TS, it seems like a good airline all things told. I have seen their planes in LHR and LGW (at one point they served POS as well) but have yet to try them out.

They are a good airline, but I am pretty sure that if BA was only £50 more expensive they would be the better options.
Thanks for your comments.

Quoting canadiantree (Reply 17):
My brother will be flying them this July on CDG YVR, I guess the chances he will get the new interior are pretty slim?

Thanks for your comments. The chances are unfortunately quite slim as the new aircraft are pretty much only doing the YYZ flights, however these things can change (there's a 2nd one I believe being refurbished now)

Quoting canadiantree (Reply 17):
Thanks again, loved seeing this, brought back nice memories

Glad you enjoyed reading, thanks for commenting!

Thanks to all for your comments so far and for all who have read my report.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
visualapproach
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 18):

Still had the Thomas Cook PTV system. Bit slow but definitely better than nothing.  
 
signol
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Hi FlyKev,

nice report. Not too often we get Transat reports on here. Looks to be a good service, and good food. Shame that normally you have to pay for additional snacks, but good that you got lucky with the chocolate!

Toronto looks popular at the moment, you didn't see a hatted Finn whilst you were there?  

Thanks again

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
MSS658
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:37 am

Hi

Great trip report, nice to read about TS's new cabins.
The new cabins look pretty good despite the 9 abreast configuration.
Nice to see the Condor cake as well? did they start flying to YYZ?

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
adamspotter
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:05 pm

Hi there,

Great report on the new Air Transat cabin, thanks for sharing. The new cabin looks pretty good, quite a difference compared to your return flight! Great pictures of Toronto too!


Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Apologies for the blurred image here but I have heard stories about LGWs security not like photos so did it quite covertly

they sure don't

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Cabin with funky mood lighting

Looks pretty good

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
The lift at the CN tower has a glass floor

Didn't see that during my last visit luckily enough hehe

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
CN Tower at night

Great picture!

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Journey into the mist

Nice pictures of Niagara Falls

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
This was a combined drinks and meal service so it took a long time to reach us, almost 2hrs 30.

wow, that sure took a while then

cheers,
Brendan // adamspotter
 
shufflemoomin
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:16 am

Fantastic trip report. The trip out made me reconsider my refusal to use Air Transat again but the return flight brought it all screaming back. I'll give them a shot when the new cabin is the norm rather than the exception. Glad you enjoyed Toronto. I visit every few years just because I love the city.
 
lychemsa
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:52 pm

What was the name of the hotel?
 
fly2yyz
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:43 pm

Looks like he stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle... lol but we'll have to wait and see...
 
FlyKev
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:00 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 20):

nice report. Not too often we get Transat reports on here. Looks to be a good service, and good food. Shame that normally you have to pay for additional snacks, but good that you got lucky with the chocolate!

Id rank them almost on par with my AA experience a few years back. Thanks for reading.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 21):
Nice to see the Condor cake as well? did they start flying to YYZ?

Indeed, it was to celebrate their first flight from YYZ - they had cake, drinks and some german foods all of which I was offered despite not being on the flight which was really nice of the ground-staff.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):

Great report on the new Air Transat cabin, thanks for sharing.

Never a problem, thanks for taking the time to read.

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 23):
Fantastic trip report. The trip out made me reconsider my refusal to use Air Transat again but the return flight brought it all screaming back. I'll give them a shot when the new cabin is the norm rather than the exception. Glad you enjoyed Toronto. I visit every few years just because I love the city.

I took the cheapest price through necessity and not choice and got lucky with the new cabin on the outbound. I agree that the old cabin isn't great and can see why you wouldn't choose them with that, but it is nice to see an airline drastically improve their product. They are now up to 3 planes with the new cabin!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 24):
What was the name of the hotel?
Quoting Fly2yyz (Reply 25):
Looks like he stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle... lol but we'll have to wait and see...

Bingo. I got a great rate (I think it was £79 a night) from Canadian Affair and the room came with a lake view despite not paying for it. I would certainly stay at the hotel again, it might not be located in the center; but there's something calming about being besides the lake. That, and the room came with a runway view of YTZ.

Thanks all for reading, I'm glad you have enjoyed my report.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:39 am

Hi Kev,

great report with many nice pictures! Air Transat reports are very rare, so I read with special interest. I'm positively surprised, wouldn't mind to try it on a transatlantic flight, too. Btw - you were lucky to get both the A332 and A333.

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Immediately on boarding the first thing you noticed was the cabin lights, which were currently set to a bright blue. This was pleasing on the eye

Very nice!

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
I chose the Sweet Chilli chicken and it consisted of a nice but spicy sauce, some chicken, rice and some vegetables. Portion size was good, not fantastic and it was enjoyable – served along with a roll and a chocolate marble cake as well as a free glass of red or white wine also being offered. The meal was good, nothing amazing but appreciable and better than I have experienced on other airlines.

Well, the presentation is nothing to write home about...

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
Today’s aircraft was the much older C-GTSO, a former Dragonair and Cathay Pacific plane and was configured with the more conventional 2-4-2 seating. Notably this cabin looked a lot shabbier, featuring flip down LCD screens every few rows, no individual air vents and tired looking cloth seats.

This is former B-HYD which flew me from HKG to PEK in 2010 - the cabin didn't look shabby back then.

Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK On Dragonair A330 (by PlaneHunter May 21 2010 in Trip Reports)


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:14 pm

I have always been interested in Air Transat and it seems like your experience was rather good - frankly, I like their new cabin - as uncomfortable as it is, no real difference between them and say NZ or EK no? I don't get their service delivery - meals are complimentary, but they charge for the chocolate?

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 12):
It confused me too, but there were several aircraft parked together away from the terminal - Wish I had got a picture, I think they were regional jets?

= I think the OP is right though. It was probably the spiceJet Q400 which was painted in some Canadian colors for the WestJet demo before being repainted and shipped via Malta to India.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
FlyKev
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:42 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 27):
Air Transat reports are very rare, so I read with special interest. I'm positively surprised, wouldn't mind to try it on a transatlantic flight, too.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading my report. Air Transat are not that bad of an airline, nothing special either but their new cabins are quite refreshing and if you can get hold of some of their cheap fares to Canada I would say go for it (infact Premium can be had for $99 more sometimes though with 12 seats its hard to get on some flights)

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 28):
frankly, I like their new cabin - as uncomfortable as it is, no real difference between them and say NZ or EK no? I don't get their service delivery - meals are complimentary, but they charge for the chocolate?

I think there is about an inch more width wise per seat on those airlines but I don't think its much.
As for the chocolate charge, its sold as an extra item if your hungry along with alcohol and comfort kits - an extra revenue stream I suppose.

Thanks for your comments, I am glad you enjoyed reading my report.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:15 pm

Hi Kev,

great report and good pics. The new cabin at least looks sure OK to me, no problem to fly them when the pricetag is alright. Meals are OK too, you won't get better on most other airlines. Thanks for sharing about TS since I often see them at AMS also. Would love to catch their A310 though.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Fantastic trip report with great attention to detail, it's not often you read a Air Transat report. And to be honest the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of TS is the Azores Glider incident!

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
However, Air Transat / Canadian Affair came up with a price of just £350 return for 10 nights and whilst I was aware of their 3-3-3 seating a line has to be drawn on price so we booked these flights post haste, paying a small amount to add seat reservation and then adding a hotel (The Westin Harbour Castle) for just £39 each a night, bringing our total bill for flights and hotel to just a little above what Air Canada wanted for flights alone.

That's a steal, Canada isn't a cheap destination whatever way you look at it. London-Canada fares are very high end.
To go to Toronto for 10 nights for that money is a real bargain. I agree with your views on Toronto, it's a beautiful/wonderful city with some of the friendliest local you'll find anywhere. I went there last summer, (drove from Detroit) and was thoroughly impressed.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
brilondon
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting Fly2yyz (Reply 25):
Looks like he stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle... lol but we'll have to wait and see...
Quoting Arsenal@LHR (Reply 31):

Quoting FlyKev (Thread starter):
However, Air Transat / Canadian Affair came up with a price of just £350 return for 10 nights and whilst I was aware of their 3-3-3 seating a line has to be drawn on price so we booked these flights post haste, paying a small amount to add seat reservation and then adding a hotel (The Westin Harbour Castle) for just £39 each a night, bringing our total bill for flights and hotel to just a little above what Air Canada wanted for flights alone.

You can see where I use to live when I was located in Toronto.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Air Transat -New Cabin (LGW-YYZ-LGW) + Photos

Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:04 am

Quoting flykev (Reply 29):
Air Transat are not that bad of an airline, nothing special either but their new cabins are quite refreshing and if you can get hold of some of their cheap fares to Canada I would say go for it (infact Premium can be had for $99 more sometimes though with 12 seats its hard to get on some flights)

Yes, I may have a look at their fares next year - probably I'll find an A310 flight for a good price.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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