Hello, I have not been TR’ing for a while, as I have not flown for a while, but Here I am, giving you the first (I think) trip report for Westjet’s YYZ-SXM route. Although that flight is the star of the show, I am from YYC, so that is where the report will originate from. There are photos, however, they are linked to a Flickr URL.
My dad’s 50th birthday was coming up, and he decided that we needed to go somewhere, as a family. We decided on St. Maarten, home of the infamous Maho Beach. We did all of the flights on points, so in the end, our travel group got split up. My grandparents and my mother flew YYC-IAH-MIA on UA, then MIA-SXM on AA. My dad, brother and I flew WS YYC-YYZ-SXM. We booked our flights in early February of 2012, and it was set. The first flight, the one this TR is on, was WS122, and the following day’s flight was WS2652.
Aircraft Type: 737-7CT
Aircraft Registration: C-GUWJ
3rd flight on a 737-700
5th flight on a 737NG
7th flight on a 737
5th Flight on Westjet
1st flight on C-GUWJ
The day before, we did an online check in at www.westjet.com, and found the process to be a breeze, and they even let us check in for out YYZ-SXM leg at the same time, saving a ton of hassle later that day. We arrived at YYC at around 3:45, and made our way to the baggage check. The very nice lady who checked our bags accidentally printed tags to send our bags all the way to St. Maarten, but she noticed immediately and reprinted the correct tags, and we were on our way to security. There were virtually no people there, except for one lady ahead of us, who just so happened to bring an entire vanity’s worth of liquids in her carry-on, holding up security immensely. We finally got through, and rushed to gate D29 to board our aircraft, C-GUWJ, with some time to spare for planespotting! However, when I asked the gate agent for the registration for the aircraft, she replied as “I don’t know what on earth that is.” In the end, I got the registration by asking the captain at the end of the flight.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264663371/ Gate Info.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265739456/ BA 763 G-BNWO
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265742824/ Sister ship C-FJWS
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265735448/ My aircraft, at the gate
-Boarding/ Taxi/ Takeoff-
The general boarding call was at 4:20, and so we boarded. My seat was 20A, so I was right on the left wing. The load factor for this flight was between 75 and 80%.We settled in, and we pushed back, right on time, at 4:30. The captain made his announcement, and stated that our cruising altitude for the flight would be FL390, until we were over Michigan, in which we would climb to FL410. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to use my camera until we were in the air, so there are no photos of the taxi or takeoff section of the flight. We taxied to runway 28, and waited for a Sunwest Fairchild Metro III to land, and then began our powerful takeoff roll.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264697453/ Heading down the gate
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265769464/ About to board
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265772894/ Safety Card
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264683091/ Wing View, before the FA told me to put my camera away
After Takeoff, we made a sharp left-hand turn and took on a diagonal heading southeast. We continued the flight using takeoff power, until 37805ft at 571 mph, according to the IFE, in which cruise throttle was set. Shortly after that, the F/As came around with a drink service, so I had some water.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264686589/ Immediately after Takeoff
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264709843/ Drink Service
We reached our cruising altitude several minutes later, and the fasten seat belt sign was switched off, prompting the snack service to begin. I chose the Campbell’s Hearty Noodle soup, chicken flavour, at a price of $2.50CAD. As we passed over Swift Current, there was some minor turbulence, but nothing too bad. A few minutes later, the FA’s came around with free non- alcoholic beverages and my choice of either bits and bites, or Peek Freans banana chocolate cookies (I chose the latter, to go with water). I must say, that WS has a much better ‘free snack’ than AC, who’s only offering is extremely salty and buttery pretzels. There was some turbulence over North Dakota, which prompted the fasten seat belt sign to be illuminated at 6:01 PM, and it remained illuminated until 6:14, at which point we were just north of Fargo. Later on, at 6:47, the FA’s came around with a second drink service, and (unlike AC) they offered us a second snack to go with our drink, in which I opted for bits and bites, for some change, and some more water. The cruise continued uneventfully, until we descended
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264707271/ My dinner
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264712633/ 2nd drink service, and a complimentary cookie
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264715703/ Fasten seatbelt sign was switched off north of Fargo
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265787254/ Okay legroom, wouldn't want to do a TATL with it, though.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8265789866/ 3rd drink service and a free bag of bits&bites
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264729469/ Just some info about 737-700s
-Decent, Landing, Taxi to Gate-
At 9:42, we initiated our decent into a cloudy Toronto, with a scheduled arrival time of 10:14. During the descent, there were several layers of clouds, so the ground was not visible until roughly 1000 feet. The descent was not the smoothest in the world, but I have been through worse in Toronto. 2 years ago, I was on approach to YYZ in an AC 763, and I could not clearly see the screen of my iPod due to the vibrating, which was followed by a poirposed landing. The decent continued normally until 1000 feet, when we conducted a go- around. It took several of the passengers by surprise, as many of them did not know what a go- around was. I assumed that ATC had miscalculated the time it would take the aircraft ahead of us to land, but when I asked the pilot after the flight (who graciously let me view the cockpit and ask him some questions about the flight) he explained that they had encountered a tailwind, and were too fast to conduct a safe landing. However, the only way that I was given that knowledge was by asking, and several passengers did not receive this information, as there was no announcement explaining the situation, which I found odd. Once we came around to land again, we did it successfully, albeit being slightly rough. Once we had landed, the cabin got rather ‘steamy’ as the Air Conditioning was turned either down or off altogether. Once we arrived at the gate, I was the last one off, as I wanted to see the cockpit, and chat with the pilot. After that, it was a quick jaunt to the baggage claim, and then we were off to the Hilton Airport Hotel for the night, as we would leave for St. Maarten the next day.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264725423/ Empty plane, rear wall logo
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264690351/ Cockpit after landing.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/90989604@N03/8264693673/ My aircraft, C-GUWJ
-Overview and Rating-
Crew- Very friendly and helpful. You could see that they love their job, and you could see it because they were all smiles and jokes. 4 stars
Flight- Mostly smooth, except for some turbulence over the US and Saskatchewan. 3 stars.
Meal- no full meal was given, but the Soup I bought and the free cookies/bits and bites were pretty good. 4 stars
Overall- Excellent flight. It exceeded my expectations based on AC’s offerings.
Coming up- Westjetting to the Caribbean- Part 2/2 YYZ- SXM