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Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:06 am
by aluminumcity

For the fourth year in a row, our family took a week's vacation to somewhere hot to escape the bitter cold of Canadian winter. As always, we chose our favourite airline (good prices, nice vacation services), Air Canada. This year, we settled on the more affordable destination of Zihuatanejo, MX. Air Canada offers direct flights from Calgary to many southern destinations. These are interesting for me to do, as these planes are typically used on routes within Canada, not usually exceeding a few hours, but on these Southern destinations, flights can push 7 hours.

The evening prior, we printed our boarding passes and called our taxi which would be getting us at the airport a little less than 3 hours prior to boarding.

We checked in with ease. Priority tags were placed on our baggage, and it was done. After going to Tim's and breezishly passing security, we arrived into the Maple Leaf lounge where we would wait for the next couple of hours.

Here are some shots from the *A/Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

Very nice glasses

AC 763, getting ready to go somewhere

YYC's very pretty front fa├žade

Smokey E90 startup...probably scared a few nervous flyers

DL Embraer leaving

Getting busy with Embraers here!

AC definitely is my favourite tail... a symbol of home, arranged in a really pretty way

Gettin' a push

About a half an hour prior to my flight, we decided it was time to head down to gate A14, where we found our faithful Airbus A319, reg. C-GARG sitting at the gate.

As you can tell, this part of the airport pretty much belongs to AC

Amusing advert

Gate A14

Not too long after this, pre-boarding was called, and my family and I hopped aboard!

*Air Canada, a member of the Star Alliance*
AC 1870
Departing Calgary - YYC/CYYC
Arriving Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo - ZIH
Departs at 10:25 MST, 12 Feb 2011
Arrives at 16:45 CT
Aircraft Airbus Industrie A319-114
Registration C-GARG
Delivered to Air Canada in 1996

My seat for this flight was number 2A - the second row window seat, one of only 14 seats in the A319's J cabin.

Menus were distributed prior to takeoff. Takeoff was typical of the A319. Powerful, loud, and calming to my soul.

Ah, Alberta. Flat, snowy, and calming to my soul.

AC's fantastic entertainment system

More than sufficient legroom

The friendly flight attendant put down our tablecloths and took our breakfast orders. A tray, with fresh fruit, cutlery, a glass, and yogourt was delivered.

The options were a parsley omelette and pancakes, chicken sausage and cran-apple sauce. I opted for the pancakes.

The pancakes were EXCELLENT. Really, hot and delicious, and a nice portion. Snack and drink service was offered near constantly throughout the flight. Very impressive meal service on this flight.

Stunning scenery heading south


Cute little wingtip fence

Whilst enjoying the enRoute IFE system, looking out at spectacular views, and enjoying food and drink, the time absolutely flew by. Before I knew it, the captain came on in his "uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" voice, and informed us that we would be, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, landing shortly.

Sir, there's a crack in your ground.

Beautiful southwest Mexican scenery

A smooth, but rather quick-seeming landing brought us down into Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, approximately 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Other tails, WS and AS

ZIH tower

We got to deboard using airstairs. This is the best thing ever.

Thanks, C-GARG!

Customs was an absolute breeze, as was baggage collection.

I've got to give props to AC on this one - Fantastic meals, fantastic F/As, fantastic entertainment, fantastic everything. I'm going to give AC a 9/10 in total. Air Canada has once again provided my family and I with safe, comfortable, reliable, and overall excellent transportation. Thank you AC!

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:52 am
by KLM685
Great Trip Report!

I find it quite hard to imagine living under several feet of snow and suddenly landing at sunny ZIH. Never experienced that personally.

ZIH is a great destination, great weather and not as crowded as other Mexican resorts. I also like the airport, the approach is fantastic!

Hope you enjoyed your stay there!

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:58 am
by aluminumcity
Thanks for your compliments! It is a pretty incredible feeling...the air is so incredibly dry where I live, the humidity just HITS you when they open the door and you walk out! It's amazing :-P

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:18 am
by lychemsa
How was Ixtapa?

C on AC seems great. Thanks. Was it freezing cold in Calgary? Must be tough for those employees out in the cold.

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:18 pm
by aluminumcity
Ixtapa was just beautiful, wonderful trip.  

It was a nice day, only about -1C. It got down to -31C here the past couple days though!

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:37 pm
by JL418
Hi Aluminumcity,

thank you for sharing with us your trip! Canada has much to offer when it comes to airports and carriers, especially AC. It's incredible how good it seems to be, for hard/soft product and for customer service, I'm actually thinking about using it whenever I'll cross the Pond in the next year.

Enjoy your vacation if you're still baking under the Mexican sun and, if you can, could you please snap a picture of AC's J class on the A319? I suspect it isn't something like the normal, boring layout we've been offered here in Europe.

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:21 am
by aluminumcity
Thanks JL418! It was my pleasure.

I'm back in Canada. I'll be writing the part two in a little bit.

The A319 has a fairly standard J layout, the seats are quite nice though. Here's a shot of the Airbus A320, which is identical, it just has more seats.

AC is a pretty impressive airline as far as IFE goes - they offer full touchscreen seatback IFE in airplanes as small as their CRJs and as large as their 777s. Same system throughout the fleet.

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:56 am
by 767747
Really good report! Great photos too .. Looks like you had a nice flight with Air Canada. I agree with you; the livery looks really nice on some of their aircraft!

How long is a flight to Ixtapa? 4 hours from Calgary? Seems like an impressive flight with an A319. The food looked pretty good, and very reasonable for a flight of this length.

Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to the second installment.

Matthew (767747)

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:14 am
by aluminumcity
Thanks so much, Matthew! I did indeed enjoy my flights with AC. The flight is about 5-6 hours depending on winds, maybe a bit less. AC was excellent for this flight (obviously).  

RE: Air Canada YYC-ZIH A319 In J (Part 1)

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:32 pm
by JL418
Thanks AluminiumCity, I'll be looking forward to the second part!