Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trip Report - Air Canada Jazz - Seattle to Vancouver (Dash 8-300)

I started a very long adventure from Seattle to Sydney, by first flying from SEA to Vancouver. Fares out of Vancouver to Sydney were $2000 less, compared to flying out Seattle -- even though both itineraries go via SFO.

I left on a Sunday and arrived at Sea-Tac to find the United Counter a total mess. Air Canada doesnt have personnel in Seattle and uses United ticket counters, gates and personnel.

The Premier Exec/1k line was full of trapped non-english speaking folks who were unwilling to use a kiosk -- and were very confused. This backed up the line into the very narrow lobby. A United rep was pretty clueless at clearing the situation and instead shooed folks out of the First Class line. It was a mass cluster and probably the worst Airport check-in I have ever had in recent years.

After dealing with checking my bag and switching my seat to an exit row, I headed to the gate. The flight to Vancouver is on Air Canada Jazz on a Dash-8 300 series. These planes are basically the same as the Horizons Dash8s -- but are a bit smaller, more worn and tired.

View from seat 10F:

The window is blocked by the wheel well and landing gear.

Here is a view of Seats 10A and 10B -- there is extra leg room at these seats:

The flight was fairly basic - one flight attendant handed out drinks on the very short 30mins flight. The plane lands at the International Terminal at YVR. At the time I landed, there were folks allowing International Connections to bypass customs and enter the International terminal. I didnt have a connecting ticket -- so I had to go into customs and re-check my bag with United. Vancouver is a good airport -- and all these flights and custom facilities are located in the same International Terminal.

Canadian customs was busy, but moved quickly. In Vancouver, like alot of Canadian airports there is a US customs and immigration at the terminal. So you clear US customs/immigration before departing Canada. There is a Alaska Airlines Board Room at Vancouver (I think this used to be the Red Carpet Room - but I could be wrong).

In addition, there is a Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge with Star Gold customers can use when traveling internationally. Its a very nice lounge and up above the concourse offering some nice views.


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