Weekend in Toronto: Direct Transcontinental YYZ-YVR on Air Canada Economy

AC105 Toronto YYZ – Vancouver YVR
Wednesday 05 Sep 2012
STD-STA: 10:00-12:00
Actual: 10:16-11:56
Airbus A321-200 C-GJVX
Seat 36F

Air Canada Check-in
Air Canada Check-in

With my rental car returned before my departure from Toronto, I boarded the airport bus to Toronto Pearson, and it is advisable to leave earlier than usual as the traffic jam to Pearson Airport can be quite bad during the morning peak hour. I arrived at the Air Canada check-in desk about 90 minutes prior to departure and headed to a relatively empty check-in desk. There does not seem to be many people travelling on a Wednesday morning. This allowed me to explore Air Canada’s terminal at Toronto which was a pleasant space to be in, and even spotted the BMW advertisement for its ‘M Sports Division’.

A quite empty Air Canada Terminal
A quite empty Air Canada Terminal

There was not much to do before boarding since the quiet day for travelling meant there was no wait at all for security and I was travelling on economy which meant no airport lounges or anything for me either. So it was just browsing the shops for some snacks before I headed to board the plane. Being seated at the back of the plane and with not much carry-on with me, I took my time to board the airplane. There was an empty seat between me and my seat-mate thus even though the flight is supposed to be longer as it is a direct flight, it was comfortable just like intra-European business class.

Boarding Walkway
Boarding Walkway to the Airbus A321

After the usual safety video demonstration, the plane made its way to the runway, passing by much of the airport, and I got the chance to spot some interesting airline and planes like the TACA Airbus in Toronto that one does not get to see in Vancouver. There is also the UPS Airbus A300 Freighter, though some airlines still do operate this old Airbus as passenger jets. Another highlight of this flight was the commemorative poster on Air Canada’s inflight magazine to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the airline. The full size poster details all the airlines operated by the various Canadian airlines that forms to become Air Canada, and it was also one of the best supplements of any airline magazine I have ever seen.

TACA Airbus A319
TACA Airbus A319
UPS Freight Plane
UPS Airbus A300 Freight Plane

Take-off from Toronto was pleasant and while I did not manage to get a view of the city, there was still some good views of the suburbs and the highway intersections around the Greater Toronto Area. The fine weather made for a pleasant take-off though the plane experienced some heavy turbulence as it flew past Lake Superior.

Highway Intersection
Highway Intersection in Toronto

The turbulence delayed the commencement of inflight service until we have crossed Lake Superior. For the start of the flight, the crew conducted beverage service and I got myself a cup of ginger ale. The crew were generally pleasant though I have had much friendlier crews on Air Canada before.

Service Onboard Air Canada
Service Onboard Air Canada
Ginger Ale
Ginger Ale and Napkin

While enjoying my beverage I made use of the entertainment system and I found Air Canada’s entertainment system to be more than adequate for this flight. All else fails, the flight map made for a nice infotainment for passengers. In fact I used the screen in the middle seat to show the inflight map throughout the flight. My seat mate who is quite an elderly gentleman was fine with keeping to himself throughout the flight and he seems to enjoy procuring alcohol by the bottle from the inflight sales.

Air Canada Inflight Screen
Air Canada Inflight Screen

About halfway through the journey, the crew started another beverage service and I chose another glass of ginger ale and got a pack of Pringles but skipped on any choices for lunch as I figured I will just have lunch back when I arrived in Vancouver.

Thompson River Valley
Thompson River Valley

With around 20 minutes to go before our arrival into Vancouver, the views out of the plane was wonderful! Due to the clear sunny weather, the view of the British Columbian Rockies and the lakes shows the natural beauty of the province. As my flight out was obstructed by clouds, I could not help but keep my eyes out of the window all the time during the descent into Vancouver with such an amazing view.

Harrison Lake
Flying over Harrison Lake
Pitt Lake
Pitt Lake on descent

The various lakes and the remaining glaciers at the peak of the mountains is truly one of the reason why the license plate in BC reads Beautiful British Columbia. The cloudless scenery continued all the way as we passed by the lower mainland and this provided nice views of the suburb of Port Coquitlam and Burnaby. On the whole, this flight was amazing only because of the views during descent. Other than that it was just an average flight on Air Canada.

Port Mann Bridge
Port Mann Bridge in the Lower Mainland

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