Trip Report – Part 2 – 2010 Summer Trip (Starring EK and AC)
In case you missed part 1, here’s the link
Welcome to Part 2. So I last stopped after my trip to BLR on Indigo on 1st September 2010. After about 5 days, on 6th September 2010, it was time to head home to Ottawa via Dubai and Toronto respectively.
Fifth Leg – BLR- DXB on Emirates
06 September 2010
Emirates EK 569
BLR-DXB (Departure time- 0415)
After eating a late dinner at my relative’s place, I took a cab to the airport at around 1:00AM. My folks live near the old HAL Airport and it took a little over an hour to reach the new one, well not exactly new, the airport was almost 2 years old (in 2010).
I got to the airport, and there was a huge line at the check-in counters. I heard that a lot of people take this morning flight to DXB so that they can catch the connecting flights to the US, UK, Europe and Australia – all of which are morning or early afternoon flights from DXB. I joined the queue and I was standing behind an Indian man (with US citizenship) who was travelling with his mother to the US. He was explaining some of the rules and formalities she should be familiar with during her trip. I got to the counters and I check-in all the way up to Toronto (YYZ).
Normally DXB was either a start or an end to my trip but this time, I was pretty excited as I would be transiting through DXB for the first time. Once I checked in and got my boarding pass, I proceeded upstairs to the Immigration and security checks. I cleared them fairly quickly and proceeded to the waiting area by the gates. I couldn’t do much of spotting as it was dark, so I took a stroll around the duty free shops and then sat down to listen to my iPod. Soon enough EK’s A330-200 arrived from DXB and I promptly switched off my iPod, so that I could hear the boarding call.
Boarding was done zone wise; starting with First and Business Class passengers, followed by passengers at the back of the aircraft and finally everyone from all zones. I was in Zone C (Seat: 37A), which meant I could board the aircraft before ‘everyone’ from other zones could. I got to my seat and almost immediately I wanted to sleep. I had been up all night and I would be flying pretty much the whole of next day too. I normally hate sleeping on airplanes, I prefer enjoying the flight and the service but in this case I needed to prioritize my health before anything.
Descent and Landing
I woke up once during the flight to have breakfast and visit the washroom and then went back to sleep. I only woke up when the captain made the announcement that we would be descending into DXB soon. I opened my window and saw that the sun had risen, so I took out my camera and took a few photos during landing
Transit at DXB
We taxied to the remote bay and deplaned. At the tarmac, I got into a bus that took us to the terminal. There were two stops – the first one was for transit passengers and the second stop was for passengers whose final stop was DXB – since I was transiting through DXB, I got off the first stop. As soon as you enter the building, there was a security check and after that you take an elevator upstairs to the duty free stores and the gates. There was a huge line at the security check and it took me around 45mins to clear it. Once I did, I went upstairs and the first thing I did was grab a meal at Burger King.
Sixth Leg – DXB – YYZ on Emirates
06 September 2010
Emirates EK 241
DXB-YYZ (Departure time: 0955)
Airbus A380-800 (Reg: A6- EDA)
After a nice meal at Burger King, I proceeded to the gate where my ride was getting prepped for her trip to YYZ. Just before the boarding call was made, my mother met me at the gate to see me off and wish me luck for my studies at university.
This time I was flying Economy class and since my seat (73A) was at the back of the aircraft, my zone was one of the first zones invited for boarding. When I got to the aircraft, I was greeted by a two smiling flight attendants who directed me to my seat. When I got to my seat, 73B and 73C were already occupied by a couple, one of whom needed wheelchair assistance. The man stood up to let me pass but I had to literally jump over the woman (who needed the wheelchair assistance). I felt kind of weird doing this because I felt like I was disrespecting them but I guess there was no other way.
I settled down in my seat while the flight attendants started passing around the hot towels. I had my camera in hand and I thought of doing something different this time. Every time I have a conversation with anyone (friend or family), the question they always end up asking me is “Why do you like flying so much?” I end up saying the same thing “it symbolizes freedom…I like travelling…I was exposed to it to an early age…I like getting a bird’s eye view of places.” So this time, I decided that instead of writing another report on my flight on the A380 (I have already written three of them), I’ll take pictures that might just show people why I love flying so much. So without further ado, I present to you a photo essay;
*** Remember Click on the picture to enlarge ***
Taxi and Take-off
Views from the Sky – Why I Love Flying
Landing and Transit at YYZ
The descent and landing was smooth and I took this opportunity to take pictures of Downtown Toronto.
Once at the gate, I waited for everyone to deplane and more specifically I wanted the ground staff to bring in a wheel chair and help the passenger in 73B, as I didn’t want to jump over her again. On my way out, I thanked all the flight attendants for a wonderful flight and exited the aircraft.
At the terminal, I headed to the immigration where a huge line had formed (no surprise as an A380 had just landed). Luckily, there was a separate line for passengers who were taking a connecting flight from YYZ – since I had a connecting flight to Ottawa, I joined that line. I cleared the immigration and went downstairs to collect my bags. As usual it was a long wait. After almost about 30mins, my bags came along. Normally for passengers whose final stop was YYZ, they collect their bag and walk straight out. In my case, I had to turn left where there is another set of check-in counters. Once you get a boarding pass, you put the bags on one of the conveyer belts to the right of the counters and take the elevator upstairs for a security check and then to the gates.
Seventh Leg – YYZ – YOW on Air Canada
Air Canada AC 460
YYZ-YOW (Departure time: 1710)
There was a huge line at the security check and it took me almost 20mins to clear it. I reached the gate (Gate 133) just as the ground crew announced that the aircraft is ready for boarding. I got my passport out and approached the ground staff; she saw my passport and my boarding pass and wished me a good flight. I approached the aircraft and I was greeted by two female flight attendants who welcomed me and showed me to my seat.
As I got to my seat (Seat: 28F), I noticed that the aircraft was fairly empty. The seat pitch was pretty generous, it was a nice, refreshing change from EK’s crammed economy class. I looked outside – it was cloudy, it looked like it was going to rain. Soon, the aircraft pushed back and taxied to the runway. I looked out the window and spotted a few interesting airlines including Air Canada, WestJet, Fly Sun Wing, Air Transat, KLM, American Express, United Express and Air Jamaica to name a few.
Takeoff and In-Flight Service
The takeoff and flight were pretty uneventful. Being a short 1hr hop to Ottawa, there was no meal service, but they did serve drinks (non-alcoholic) and savory snacks. Throughout the flight I couldn’t help but notice the size of the A320…after flying in a twin aisle A380 for almost 14 hours, flying in the single aisle A320 felt weird. As soon as they collected the cups and snack wrappers, the captain announced that we will be starting our descent into Ottawa soon.
During our descent, I looked out the window and noticed there were a lot of fields and greenery. The landing was routine and pretty uneventful. As soon as we parked at the gate, I thanked the flight attendants on my way out and entered the terminal. The terminal was now familiar to me since I flew out of here just 2 months back. To my left, the passengers (heading to YYZ on the aircraft I just landed in) were waiting to board and ahead of me was a fountain that was turned off for maintenance.
Drama at Baggage Carousel
I made my way downstairs to collect my bags from the carousel, one of which sadly never flew with me. I spoke to the ground staff and they suggested that I wait for the next flight from YYZ (expected in one hour) as the bag might have been put on that flight. But no, I didn’t get my bag. As I was waiting, I spoke to a local elderly man who said this was common problem with Air Canada and he jokingly added “Welcome to Canada, buddy.” On the whole, I was pretty frustrated and I was getting annoyed and angry as firstly, I was tired- I had been travelling the whole day and secondly, it defied all logic. I had one large bag and one medium sized duffle. The large bag flew with me but the duffle didn’t. Furthermore, the bag made it to Canada all the way from BLR but it didn’t make it on a short domestic hop. So, I spoke to the person at the ‘baggage services’ counter and he said that he would mail the luggage to me. I gave him the address to my dorms and sure enough in 2 days I got my bag.
My experience with Air Canada wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be. It was my final leg after a journey from half way around the world. The inflight service was pretty good, again I don’t want to comment on their product as this was only a short hop, but as far as ground services go, if what the elderly person said to me was true, I would say it’s a shame for the airline. I did fly them again in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 I faced the same problem – my bag didn’t fly with me to YYZ and I was connecting onwards to BLR, India. In 2012, they seemed to have fixed this issue…but again more on this in the upcoming reports.
Overall, this trip was enjoyable. As an aviation nut, I managed to try three new airlines – WestJet, Indigo and Air Canada – all of which used Airbus with the exception of Westjet with their Boeing 737-700. I managed to take a lot of pictures on my DXB-YYZ leg and I hope my friends, family and even you can see why flying is so exciting to me.
I hope you enjoyed part 2 of my 2010 summer trip. As usual comments and questions are always welcome and until my next post… Happy landings!!!