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MD11Bob
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:54 pm

To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:02 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post here on airliners.net. I have been reading the forums for many years, especially the trip report section, but never managed to register... But after finishing this trip I thought its a good incentive to register and contribute to the forum... So, yeah, here I am   By the way, English is not my primary language so please be patient with me if some of my sentences do not make a lot of sense... Shortly about myself: I am 23, studying, but used to work for a big German airline before and also work part-time for a cargo airline right now.

About the trip:
Three friends of mine decided to go on a three week holiday to Toronto and asked me if I wanted to come along as three is a pretty bad number for traveling, considering there were two double rooms booked and there was a spot available in the rental car. So, yeah, why not? I had to do my own flying arrangements, because I couldnt stay as long as they did due to my university and working schedule. I initially wanted to go for the Air Canada 777-300ER FRA-YTZ, but then saw that KLM was flying the MD-11 to YUL. Their fares were a little bit higher, plus they were going to the wrong city, but I decided that it was worth it to go the detour. As my forum name indicates, I am a huge MD-11 fan, but never actually managed to fly one. So this was my chance! While my friends flew to YYZ by Air Canada 767-300 out of MUC, I was going alone to YUL, and decided that I would add a little bit of flying action to go from Montreal to Toronto: namely via New York, to visit some friends over there, and adding Porter Airlines (ironically going via Toronto´s city center airport) and back on Delta, to catch another airliner I was missing: the DC-9, via Detroit.

Okay, enough of the preparation, end of February I could finally start my trip. My friends were already in Canada at this time.

Flight 1
CGN-AMS
KLM Cityhopper
Fokker 50
Flying time: 51 minutes



During boarding, people were already commenting about this "can of coke from before world war one".



We departed straight out on rwy 14L and the small plane was really noisy, shaking and the windows were really low. Luckily, the only empty seat on that flight was next to me, so it was okay, but if someone would have been sitting there, it would have been horribly cramped. And it would have been difficult to look out of the window.



The flight attendants served orange juice in a tiny can and some cookies; there was no choice at all. But it was okay.

Soon, we were on approach into Amsterdam.



In Amsterdam, we took a bus tour around the ramp after deboading. My transfer time was only a little bit more than one hour, so I directly headed for the gate. AMS seems like a good transfer airport in Europe, but in my oppinion it is not comparable to transfer airports in the US, like Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit and others.
I approached my gate and found myself at the end of a huge queue which were lining up in front of it, as there was an additional security screening in front of the gate. Seeing the masses of people lining up, I thought that it was going to be a full flight...

Flight 2
AMS-YUL
KLM
MD-11 "Audrey Hepburn"
Flying time: 6:57 hours



And one more, I just love this bird...



The advantage of the additional screening was that people came to the gate one-by-one, and as boarding was already open, people went into the plane like this and there were no long lines, no people blocking the aisles and the usual boarding chaos.

View from the boarding bridge with the visitors place in the background



I directly headed for my seat. The whole row was empty, and in fact, although I was one of the last persons to board, the whole cabin was quite empty. I was very happy when the flight attendants started walking around and closing the overhead bins, always a sign for a completed boarding. Seems like I am pretty bad in guessing aircraft load factors from queue lenghts  

View to my right... ( note the reflection)



View to the front, lower angle....


A lot of space, very comfortable seats...

View to the front, upper angle...



Already now, I was quite impressed by the MD-11: the cabin was new, clean and the seats were comfortable with enough room. The windows seemed to be bigger than what I´m used to by other planes, can anyone confirm that? The whole aircraft felt very spaceous and roomy, probably due to the fact that it has a very high ceiling and you directly enter the cabin when boarding, not going through the galley... I hope you understand what I mean...

Cool effect over the wing, while taking off...



Over Scotland



Over the atlantic



Okay, while over the north atlantic, this may be a good time to speak about the service. The flight was very comfortable, as the cabin was really empty. The crew was friendly, however, the service was rather limited; a very small lunch (beef) with only small sides, not a lot of drinks were served. The personal screen was good in its size and the offerings were acceptable, of course not comparable to the IFE of EK, SQ and so on, but it was okay. I didnt care so much, as the best inflight entertainment was on my right, where I could now see New Foundland.



Flying over the St. Lawrence



Unfortunately there were clouds over Quebec City...



We left the cruising altitude and went into the clouds... We didnt have any view for about 45 minutes, and we circled around for about 30 minutes before going in to land.



Pretty cool landing, with cool vortex effects over the wing and some reverser action  

In the customs hall, the screens which usually state something like "Canadian passport holders this way, other passports this way" were showing the olympic hockey results; Canada just killed Germany 8-2. Yep, my first impression: Canadians are definiately crazy for hockey!   

Hotel



Evidence for Canadian hockey crazyness number two: (There were pucks all over the room, build functionally into the room)



I only had one evening in Montreal, so althought the weather was really nasty, I went into the city.



Okay, I did some more pictures, but I am pretty sure there are better ones out there, so I won´t upload more. It was raining and people were watching the Canada-Russia hockey game in every restaurant and bar I could see, there was almost no one on the street. I decided not to watch it at an sports bar, but to head back to the hotel, I was getting tired and all my clothes were wet from the rain.

The next day, I took the shuttle to the airport as my time in Montreal was running out and I would go to NY.

Montreal airport



Funny Porter ads, I like this racoon



There was a big snow storm over New York and Continental had already cancelled all their flights into YUL, and a lot of other flights were indicated with delays and cancellations. The (very friendly) check in guy marked by second boarding pass with "CONX" for connection, however, I was afraid he wrote "CANX" for cancelled on there. Another (also very friendly) Porter staff at the gate however calmed me and said that my flights were going okay, just the first one was delayed by 45 minutes which is not so bad I guess, facing the risk of the cancellations...

Flight 3
YUL-YTZ
Porter
Bombardier Dash Q400 (I think^^)
Flight time: 1:20 hours



The seat next to me was empty again. The cabin was clean, the seats were good with a looooot of legroom, the flight crew was very nice (and pretty    ) and they served drinks and a cookie which was bigger than the lunch served at the KLM flight. (!!) What I liked was that the flight attendants asked everyone for their drinks and then went into the galley and brought everything personally on a tray. This is much more personal than going around with the trolleys. Later on, they distributed some water bottles. I have to say: I am very impressed by this. Excellent service.



Nice, but really bumpy approach into YTZ



The lounge, free for economy class passengers! With free computers with internet, sofas, free drinks, free food, free newspapers.... Unfortunately I couldnt use it long because the delay shrunk my layover time....




Flight 4
YTZ-EWR
Porter
Bombardier Dash Q400
Flight time: 1:15 hours



There were only a few passengers going to NY, and they all were screened very toughly in the jetbridge by some officers. I was assuming to go to that screening aswell, as they saw me taking the picture of the plane and I had my foreign passport visible in my hand. For any reason, they just waved me in front to the plane, I think I was the only one they didnt screen. Don´t know why, maybe my friendly face  

Indeed some bad weather in New York, but we made it. Again, Porter airlines delivered a perfect service. I´m truly impressed and I think that this could be a role model for so many other airlines..... That would make flying a lot better than it is nowadays.

Then, I had a nice talk with the immigration officer.

Officer: So, you are coming from Germany?
Robert: No, Sir, from Canada.
O: So you live in Canada?
R: No, I´m just there on holiday.
O: When did you arrive in Canada?
R: Yesterday.
O: Yesterday? *Looking sceptical, checking the pages of my passport.
So what are you doing here?
R: I´m visiting some friends.
O: When are you leaving?
R: I´m leaving on Saturday. (this was after three days)
O: You are only three days in NY? Why did you go via Canada?
R: I am making a Canada holiday, and in my Canada holiday, I decided to include a trip to NY.

....

This continued forever, he was asking about my job, my previous visits to the US,..... I can understand him, because of the lenght of the trip to the US, but I dont really understand what is so weird about someone going to NY from Toronto. I mean, its not so far, and both are touristic attractions. Anyhow, I am lucky he didnt notice I was coming from Montreal and then would go to Toronto, because already now he was very probable thinking if the should put me into one of these extra rooms for further examination. Which he, at the end, didnt do, and I could finally grab my bag and go to the train station.



USS Intrepid, one of the sights I wanted to go to, were of course closed. On this picture, you can also see the density of the snow that was falling on this day.... Luckily, I wasnt up for the normal sight seeing as I´ve been there a couple of times before. For someone doing the standart first-visit program, it would have been very bad timing, because most of the buildings were covered by low clouds and it was difficult to walk with all that snow pushed to the sidewalks.



Next day, I had to wake up very early to catch a very comfortable Coach USA bus to Newark.

Flight 5
EWR-DTW
Delta
DC-9-50 (?)
Flight time: 1:15 hours

Again, I was very lucky; the next flight to DTW, two hours later, which I initially intended to take, got cancelled. My flight was okay, however, with a change in equipment, from a DC-9-30 to a -50(?) Not sure here. But luckily it didnt change to an A320 or so   



(Note that US Airways Nevada logojet in the background)



The flight was standard. Due to the change of a/c, I was sitting more in front than I wanted to. But the flight was full, I had the only empty seat in the aircraft next to me. Again lucky. Standard Delta service, a drink and a cookie. To be honest, the DC-9 was far less exciting than I had expected. If I wouldnt be an aviation nerd, I guess I wouldnt even have noticed that it was an old aircraft. It also had a new cabin, with the Delta seats.

While disembarking I asked if it was possible to visit the flight deck, as I wanted to see the old styled cockpit. The pilots agreed and led me in. They were very nice and talked about how they love to fly the DC-9. "But you got a very new one", they said, "just rolled out of the factory" he said with a smile and showed me a registration plate, indicating that the plane was build 1979.



Now, I had about two hours layover in Detroit, so I used the time to walk around, passing at this fountain where people write their name and travel dates on the rocks. Very nice idea!  
DTW is a very good and modern airport, I liked it a lot. Sad, however, that most planes were in DL colours and only a few remaining in the red/grey colours.



Flight 6
DTW-YYZ
Delta (Comair)
CRJ 700
Flight time: 46 minutes

After boarding, apparently someone was on board who shouldnt be onboard. The gate staff came, talked to the FA, talked to the captain, they asked on the PA, no one reacted. Then the captain got really impatient. "Okay folks, we are all adults here. We are going to Toronto, so if there is anyone here who shouldnt go to Toronto, he or she should know!"
We waited around 30 minutes at the gate, I fell asleep so I dont know the outcome. However, we departed half an hour later, with an almost full flight, and for the first time in this trip, someone was sitting next to me, making it really cramped.



Uneventful flight, no service due to the short flying time, we landed in Toronto and stoped at the apron..... And waited for five minutes, ten minutes... Then the captain: "Folks, I just asked the ATC guy for an update. They said they have to clear the snow on the apron. But I dont see any snow here!" (In fact, the ramp was cleaned from any snow). Ten more minutes later: "Okay guys, please don´t shoot the messenger! They say they don´t have a gate available. But I see like what? Ten, fifteen empty gates here!? What a bunch of-" He didnt continue. I think the was pretty angry and that was good in the perception of the customers. They didnt feel like being treated bad, they liked his honesty. At least, this was my impression.

Well, after a total of 1:20 hours standing in Toronto, we finally docked at a gate and there I was again, in Canada!



Okay guys, I think this is enough writing for today. I will post the second part tomorrow, sorry about that, but I have to go sleep at some point   In the meantime, any comments or questions are welcome. And I promise: the hockey, that was mentioned in the title, will come. For sure!
 
MD11Bob
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:54 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:59 am

Ok, dang it, shouldn´t have been drinking so much Coke while writing the first part, I am all awake now in the middle of the night, so I´ll continue with part two....

Well, I arrived in Canada and there were no immigration issues this time. My friends picked me up and the main part of the holiday could start.

The hotel we stayed at, the lovely HoJo Brampton    and our car, a Jeep Commander



We did some shopping, mostly for hockey stuff, as we three of our group of four, including myself, play hockey here in Germany. It is incredible how cheap it is to buy the hockey stuff in Canada, compared to Germany. After one day, we all had more bags then we had before and it seemed like we all already reached our amount allowed for import  

But after all the shopping and seeing olympic hockey in TV, we finally went to see our first live game, a home game of the Brampton Batallion, an OHL team that was playing in the nearby Powerade Center, against Owen Sound Attack.




It is impressive to see that a minor league team plays in a 5.000 seat stadium. Plus, they had a cool show, with a canon going off every home team goal and a military-styled siren as a goal horn. The level was pretty high, a lot of those guys are already drafted by NHL teams. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of people in the stadium as the olympic final was about to begin right after the game, but it was still a very entertaining game. Brampton won by 5-2

The Sarge taking care of his soldiers  


We drove back to our favorite sports bar and watched the finals of the olympic hockey, Canada vs Team USA.



I think most of you will recall that game. The best players in the world, making it a tough and close game, with that Parise equalizer seconds before the end... And later on, the Sydney Crosby goal in overtime. You can imagine the scenes: everybody in the bar singing the Canadian anthem, waving the flag, the cars outside honking...

We decided to drive to downtown Toronto to enjoy the celebration atmosphere



There was a huge party going on at Yonge Street, everybody, really everybody was honking, there were people running between the cars, shaking hands, waving the flag... Just amazing. I hope that the photos can at least provide an idea of the party going on there....



Haha, someone running around in his goalie stuff   Later, we even saw him on TV




Gretzky´s sportsbar, unfortunately too crowded to go in




The next day, another important hockey station: the biggest hockey shop worldwide. Impressive  

To test the skates



Tour to the CN Tower




Next stop: the Hockey Hall of Fame




The Wayne Gretzky corner



The holy grail



After leaving the HHOF, we headed for the Air Canada Center to watch our first NHL regular season game.


Well, now the night is over, the sun is already emerging outside, and I still haven´t slept. I will give it another try and will postpone the last part of my trip again. I hope you have enjoyed reading the first part so far. Again, any questions, etc. are welcome. See you tomorrow.

Robert
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:36 am

Excellent report and pics...terrible about the 1:20 wait when you got back to Toronto. A nice mixture of jets as your title indicates, and especially great to see that KL MD-11. That comes to Toronto too, and I think is in the summer schedules. Some nice pics of Toronto, and some places I have yet to see myself.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:14 am

Hi Robert,

welcome to the forum! Great first report with many nice pictures, really interesting choice of flights.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
I initially wanted to go for the Air Canada 777-300ER FRA-MD-11 to YUL. Their fares were a little bit higher, plus they were going to the wrong city, but I decided that it was worth it to go the detour. As my forum name indicates, I am a huge MD-11 fan, but never actually managed to fly one. So this was my chance!

Good decision, there will be many more chances to get the 77W. However, the MD-11's days are numbered.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
During boarding, people were already commenting about this "can of coke from before world war one".

Yes, I have heard similar comments, too. Some people should just stay at home.  
Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
KLM
MD-11 "Audrey Hepburn"

Exactly the same plane which operated my first MD-11 flight in 2004 (MSP-AMS). However, the bird is much more attractive today with its new livery and PTVs.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
The crew was friendly, however, the service was rather limited; a very small lunch (beef) with only small sides, not a lot of drinks were served.

KLM should really improve its catering - even its partner AF is so much better in terms of catering.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
Bombardier Dash Q400 (I think^^)

No doubts about that, that's the one and only type in the fleet.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
Officer: So, you are coming from Germany?
Robert: No, Sir, from Canada.
O: So you live in Canada?
R: No, I´m just there on holiday.
O: When did you arrive in Canada?
R: Yesterday.
O: Yesterday? *Looking sceptical, checking the pages of my passport.
So what are you doing here?
R: I´m visiting some friends.
O: When are you leaving?
R: I´m leaving on Saturday. (this was after three days)
O: You are only three days in NY? Why did you go via Canada?
R: I am making a Canada holiday, and in my Canada holiday, I decided to include a trip to NY.

....

This continued forever, he was asking about my job, my previous visits to the US,..... I can understand him, because of the lenght of the trip to the US, but I dont really understand what is so weird about someone going to NY from Toronto.

Bad to hear. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with such an officer when I flew to the US for just one night...

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
To be honest, the DC-9 was far less exciting than I had expected. If I wouldnt be an aviation nerd, I guess I wouldnt even have noticed that it was an old aircraft. It also had a new cabin, with the Delta seats.

That's it, most passengers don't notice they fly on such an old plane. What I found most exciting is the take-off sound - simply awesome.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
They were very nice and talked about how they love to fly the DC-9. "But you got a very new one", they said, "just rolled out of the factory" he said with a smile and showed me a registration plate, indicating that the plane was build 1979.

Nice guys - and yes, it was a quite new DC-9. There are still some 1967 frames in the fleet (DC-9-30s).


As for the pictures in general - it took forever to load them. Some users may turn away because of that. You should try to downsize the pictures by using Paintshop or another software. You can do that without losing quality. You can have a look at my reports to get an impression.

Anyway, I hope to read more from you soon!


PH

[Edited 2010-03-26 23:16:31]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
B747forever
Posts: 13862
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:21 am

Welcome to A.net!

Really nice TR

Some interesting routes. You got to fly on a good number of different airplanes.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
tropical77W
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:18 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:10 pm

Excellent TR. PD is a great regional airline, I believe skytrax has given them four stars and awarded them best regional airline in North America.

I flew into YTZ the other day but forgot my camera and was in a rush. I will do a day trip to toronto soon and make a TR with the brand new terminal.
 
zonks
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:24 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:53 pm

Looks like a great trip but too bad you had to ruin it by going to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. 

Thanks for the post!
 
User avatar
CrimsonNL
Posts: 2177
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:00 pm

Welcome to Anet! Your sorta lucky to catch the KL F50, seeing that their last commercial flight is today   Your also lucky to catch the MD-11! I'm definitely catching one of those before they retire in a few years. Loved the pictures from the landing Dash 8 taken from the CN tower. I can remember that from my own visit!

Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
MD11Bob
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:54 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:44 pm

Hello again, here is part three of the report. Thanks for your comments so far, I will reply to them after posting the last part. Just regarding the size of the images: I have reduced the size of the ones that are coming now, however, they are still huge, I don´t have any adequate programs to reduce their size even more. I´ll work on that for the next trip report, I promise.

Well, after the tour through downtown Toronto it was time for us to head to the Air Canada Center to see the first of a total of three NHL games on our tour.

Carolina Hurricanes @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Well, last (Toronto) against the "next to last" (Carolina) in the Eastern Conference.... What could we expect? Well, I think that even the worst teams in the NHL still play at a rather high level which we do not see in Europe - so we were happily anticipating this game. We had damn expensive standing places in the most remote corner of the stadium, plus we had a stand build in blocking our views; you can see the dark shadow of it in the picture in the left hand side. To be honest, I think that the arena is a rather bad one. Bad we were still happy, as the atmosphere in the stadium seemed to be very good.


.

.

.


The atmosphere disappeared some minutes after the beginning of the game. J.S. Giguere, known as a top goalie, just traded in from Anaheim, made a terrible mistake and got a goal scored against him. That early mistake seemed to brake the back of the Maple Leafs, from now on, their game was horrible.



Giguere not looking happy


If the team ranked 15 out of 15 (eastern conference) has any chance to win, it should be against number 14, isn´t it? But no, Carolina was smashing them really badly, the final score of 5-1 could have been even higher. People were boo-ing at their own team. Something which I usually do not support, but in this case, it was just right. Just too many mistakes, no passion in the game,....



Puck just went behind Giguere again



People leaving the stadium early



Shot of the CN Tower after leaving.



Next day, we went to Buffalo, NY, to see real hockey    and passed at Niagara on our way. Pretty nice with all the ice. It was nice to see the falls, especially as it was quite empty. But seeing all those huge amounts of stores and restaurants made for tourists, I can only imagine the crowds that siege the city in summer.


.

.


Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres

HSBC Arena in Buffalo


.


Ryan Miller, the goalie that played for the US during the olympics; no doubt, he was "everybodys darling", the fans were all cheering for him. After the anthem, the moderator welcomed him back (as it was the first game in Buffalo after the olympics) and the fans were giving standing ovations for about 5 minutes.


Mike Grier


Jochen Hecht


Fleischmann


....And Ovechkin, the super star


Jose Theodore



Interestingly, the Canadian anthem was played as well, although there were teams from Canada involved in this game. But there were a lot of fans coming from there. Maybe they had enough of the Maple Leafs? A nice move to welcome them like this anyway.



The game was completely different than the first one. Both teams were top teams and gave a hard fight for the game.
Miller was playing great, it´s a pleasure to watch him.
Ovechkin doesn´t do a lot during the game. Actually, he is pretty reserved and just observing, but when he sees his chance, he is damn fast and create good chances, like this one. He is the Number 8 on the left side that just gave the pass.



It was 2-1 for Washington when Buffalo pulled out the goalie for the extra men a minute prior to the end. Unfortunately, it didn´t give the expected advantage and Washington could score the empty netter to the 3-1 final result.

After the game, we fought our way through the traffic chaos lining up around the stadium. Felt like a JFK evening departure. After some 45 minutes, we were clear to go to our return to Toronto. On our way, we passed Niagara again.



Two days later, we went to Buffalo again to see another game, my last one for this trip. There were no problems at the border. I had expected them to be suspicious when we cross the border so many times in such a short period, but our hockey jerseys convinced them  

Phildelphia Flyers @ Buffalo

Another great game. Here, you can see Chris Pronger, a hockey legend



I really liked the HSBC arena, a very good and modern stadium. The live organ player was cool, although he only played one song again and again. "Let´s go Buffalo!"



The men in the middle with the suit is another legend; the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres Lindy Ruff. He was also the coach of the US olympic team.



Buffalo won 3-2 after OT.


The next day, my time in Canada was almost over and we drove to downtown Toronto. As my friends would stay a little bit longer, I was on my own again. My flight was leaving from Montreal, so I had to get there. This time, on the direct way, not via New York   I decided not to take a plane (Westjet would have been my favorite, or, after experiencing Porter, I´d take them again), but go by train to be able to see more of the landscape. I booked a ticket with VIA rail Canada.

Going to downtown again


Union Station


The train ride was pretty interesting. I checked in like at an airport, got a boarding pass, gave them my baggage and went to a lounge, as I had a business class ticket. The price difference wasn´t that huge and with a long ride (4,5 hours) I decided to go for the comfortable version. There was a lounge at the station, with free drinks and newspapers. It didn´t look modern, but it was okay for the purpose. Then, boarding was announced, and only then the staff opened the track. Business class passengers could board earlier and were guided to the train. Interesting procedure. Business class was half full, economy was completely full.



Pretty cool looking train, although the driving unit doesn´t look that fuel saving and modern like the trains in Germany. But cool anyway.

The train cabin. Not very modern, but comfortable.



The train ride was nice. There was lunch served, with free drinks that were distributed all the time. Lunch consisted of a pretty good salmon entry, and beef plus noodles as a main course, and a passion fruit cake as dessert. It was good and tasty. Definiately a good one as it was included in the price. The crew was very nice aswell. Definiately an enjoyable ride regarding the quality provided by VIA Rail.

However, I was a little bit disappointed by the ride, but not by the fault of VIA Rail. I had expected some nice landscapes, but there were only some boring forrests like this one below, so I was reading most of the time. But the service was on-time.



Arrival in Dorval. A complimentary shuttle took us to the nearby airport.



At Montreal airport, I checked in and went directly to the gate. The airport is pretty crowded and small in front of security, but the after-security area is very nice and spaceous. At my way to the gate, I could see this 777-300ER and the Air France A340-300 going to Paris. At the next gate, there was an Air Canada A340-300 that was going to Frankfurt, but I was happy to be able to go one gate further to my MD-11, again, Audrey Hepburn.




Flight 7
YUL-AMS
KLM
MD-11 "Audrey Hepburn"
Flying time: 6:26 hours

The flight was rather empty again, my row remained empty again. A nice takeoff around Montreal. After the seatbelt signs went off, another man took the aisle seat at my row of three, as he had a middle seat before. He used the free alcohol service of KLM and drunk a total of 6 bottles of 500ml red wine and then fell asleep, there was no way to wake him up to go to the toilet. But with a flying time of less than six and a half hours, it was not that bad.



The meal service was better this time, but the crew did not serve drinks that often.



We landed in the early morning in Amsterdam. During approach, I could see some spotters at the airport fence, and guess what, I found one of the pictures at a German spotter homepage. Here is the link to the photo. Great work.

http://www.flugzeugbilder.de/show.php?id=924035



The layover time in Amsterdam was around two hours. Usually, I always enjoy staying at airports, but this time, it was just annoying, as I was tired. Luckily, time passed and my last flight of the trip was called.

Flight 8
AMS-CGN
KLM Cityhopper
Fokker 50
Flying time: 41 minutes



The skyline of Cologne in the distance



Ironically, at the end, it was warm in Canada with about 15°C, and back in Germany, there was snow. What a surprise!



And back! That was my trip to Canada and to the US. I think that Canada is a really nice country where I think I have to go again   But maybe I should go to a Sens or a Canadians game and leave the Maple Leafs   
KLM is not a great airline compared to SQ, EK or even LH, but I think they offered a reasonable service for the price. As a low yield passenger, I don´t want to demand too much. Porter on the other hand convinced with a perfect product. And, as a note, it was the cheapest carrier to Newark on my travel dates. Delta was average, as I expected it, and VIA Rail was good aswell.

I think that in the next days, KLM Cityhopper will retire its Fokker 50, so I am also lucky to have "caught" them before.

As stated above, any questions, comments or criticism is welcome. Feel free to talk  

Thanks for reading

Robert
 
B747forever
Posts: 13862
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:02 pm

Nice continuation.

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
Usually, I always enjoy staying at airports, but this time, it was just annoying, as I was tired

That is the only thing I dislike with transatlantic flights, the overnight flights. One is just so tired when arriving in Europe.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
louA340
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 2:19 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:05 pm

That was a great trip report!! Awesome read. Thanks for sharing
 
MD11Bob
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:54 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:46 pm

Hello,

thanks for the replies!

Quoting zonks (Reply 6):
Looks like a great trip but too bad you had to ruin it by going to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. :D

Yeah, as I posted in the last part after your reply, the game was indeed horrible. I hope they get better in the next season. It´s a shame to have such a team in a city that loves hockey that much...

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 7):
Your sorta lucky to catch the KL F50, seeing that their last commercial flight is today  

I am really sad about the retirement. The F-50 in the blue colours were such a common sight in Cologne for so many years.

 
Quoting tropical77W (Reply 5):
Excellent TR. PD is a great regional airline, I believe skytrax has given them four stars and awarded them best regional airline in North America.

They indeed deserve it.

Quoting tropical77W (Reply 5):
I will do a day trip to toronto soon and make a TR with the brand new terminal.

Looking forward to read this one.

Robert
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 pm

Hi Robert,

just noticed you have added the second part! Another set of great pictures!

Quoting MD11Bob (Thread starter):
After the seatbelt signs went off, another man took the aisle seat at my row of three, as he had a middle seat before. He used the free alcohol service of KLM and drunk a total of 6 bottles of 500ml red wine and then fell asleep, there was no way to wake him up to go to the toilet.

Sounds horrible...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
DLHFLYER
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:35 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:26 am

Nice trip report. If you want to see hockey at its finest in America, come to Minnesota some day! We are the STATE of hockey.
Duluth is a nice city, we even get 3 months without snow per year
 
FlyingFinn76
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:28 am

Hi Bob,

Great report with a good variety of plane types and airlines. Great idea to catch the mighty three-holer before they all are gone.

I love your pictures of Canada, reminds me of my trip to Toronto some years ago - Niagara Falls, Via Rail Canada, Toronto, CN Tower, Montreal Airport - did it all. It was in the middle of the summer and you are right, the Falls were so packed with tourists and tacky attractions that I quite disliked it. It was 39 degrees hot, though, which was of course very different from your icy pictures.

You could've skipped the hockey pictures, though (just my personal preference)  
Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 8):
drunk a total of 6 bottles of 500ml red wine and then fell asleep

Hmm, I'm never seen half a litre bottles of wine on any airline. I think these were the 175ml small bottles instead - even that amount of wine is quite a good sleeping medicine for most of us.
 
CanadianDC10
Posts: 316
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2001 10:33 am

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:51 am

What a nice report! I hope you enjoyed your visit to Canada.   I lived in Toronto once for a while, and didn't much like it. And I used to have a boyfriend who played on the Brampton Battalion team that you saw! Oh, and I am just DYING to fly on the MD11. I've looked into it, but the KLM flights are just so expensive out of Montreal. Any tips for finding a cheap fare?

[Edited 2010-04-08 01:52:42]
 
MD11Bob
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:54 pm

RE: To Canada (+NY) For Hockey! MD11, F50, DC9, YTZ,..

Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:10 pm

Hello everybody,

thanks for all the further comments!

Quoting DLHFLYER (Reply 13):
you want to see hockey at its finest in America, come to Minnesota some day! We are the STATE of hockey.

Hm, never heard of that before. However, I think that the whole area around there (Minnesota, Dakota, Montana and so on) looks like a great destination to go in the future (in two or three years) so I´ll for sure follow your advice and check out the local teams  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
You could've skipped the hockey pictures, though (just my personal preference)  

I have to admit that there really are a lot of them. For the next reports, I think I will pay more attention to reduce the number of pictures to a more senseful amount. It´s just that I wanted to include some more off-airport action.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Hmm, I'm never seen half a litre bottles of wine on any airline. I think these were the 175ml small bottles instead - even that amount of wine is quite a good sleeping medicine for most of us.

You are right, 500ml is too big, I think that was a result of writing a trip report in the middle of the night. What I meant to write is 350ml, but I don´t recall it with certainty anymore. I just remember the bottles being quite large (like those Coke bottles) and he was ordering them, always with different flight attendants, hiding the empty ones. Clever guy ^^.
By the way, isn´t it said that the influence of alcohol is trippled when flying due to the pressure in the cabin?


Quoting CanadianDC10 (Reply 15):
I lived in Toronto once for a while, and didn't much like it.

Where do you live now? I think Toronto looked quite nice, but of course there is always a difference when seeing a city some days as a tourist compared to really living there.

Quoting CanadianDC10 (Reply 15):
Any tips for finding a cheap fare?

I just booked it directly on the klm website. Fares were quite cheap and stable, they almost didn´t change over a couple of weeks until the flight date. Probably due to the winter season, I guess it is not a popular tourist destination at this time. Did you look for flights only to AMS? It might also be cheaper if you add a defeeder flight to a hub of a competitor, e.g. FRA. Anyway, good luck on your further search, the MD-11 is just a great a/c.

[Edited 2010-04-08 05:12:55]

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