This is the final leg of my trip to Winnipeg, and it will feature my American Eagle flight from YYZ to DCA, beginning with our connection at YYZ.
I thought it was annoying flying through YYZ on our way to YWG, but this was even more annoying. We took that seemingly never-ending walkway back to Terminal 3, and we came up in the B gates, which were separated from the A-gates with a glass partition. We didn’t have to pick up our checked bags at YYZ, but we were spit out into the landside area of YYZ, which was really busy. When we made it into the US customs area, we had to go through security again, which took forever just because of the sheer amount of people in line. There were a lot of US departures that afternoon, so the line was understandably clogged up. Once again, however, the CATSA officers were very professional about the whole situation, and we eventually made it through. My only big complaint about CATSA is that they adopted some practices from TSA, like making everyone take their shoes off. Otherwise, they got the job done. Next was the US preclearance, and they had the automated kiosks for US and Canadian passport holders. Thus, we didn’t have to fill out a paper declaration form, and it just made the process so much quicker. After a very brief passport check from an immigration officer, we were back airside, but on the other side of the glass partition. We had basically just walked around in one big circle to essentially go back where we came from. Oh well. We got a late lunch/early dinner at one of the terminal’s restaurants, and it had a great view of the apron, so I could see some of the action at the transborder terminal.
After we were done eating, we made our way down to gate A9 for our flight back home, and there were actually 3 gates down there, kind of similar to the setup at DCA. It was complete chaos down there. There were two other flights departing down there, and it was packed. The AA agents did their best to get the CLT flight boarded, but there were too many people down there, and to make things worse, they left the door open to the covered walkways, leaving us to freeze inside. Eventually, our flight was called, and we made our way outside, dropped our bags off, and ducked onto the CR2 to bring us home.
At the door, we were greeted by a middle-aged African-American woman as our lone FA for the flight. Several times during boarding, she was talking to the ground crew about baggage, and towards the end, she made an announcement regarding passengers that hadn’t boarded yet. I didn’t think that FAs had a big role in that type of stuff, but then again, I don’t fly very often anymore. When it became realized that we were not going to have a full flight, the FA told someone across the aisle from my dad and I that they could move up, and that person did. My dad then moved across the aisle, so we each had two seats to ourselves! The CR2 is small and cramped as it is, so I was happy to have room to stretch out. A few minutes later, the door was finally closed, the safety demo was performed, and we began our long taxi to the runway. As we taxied, I got a good look at the YYZ terminal, including the EK A380, which I’d never seen in person before. I tried to get some more pictures, but the FA came down the aisle and told people in front of me to turn their electronic devices off, so I stopped taking pictures for the moment. We took off behind schedule at 5:32, to the south.
The light in the cabin as we got above the clouds was amazing. My dad could see the sunset from his window, but my view wasn’t too shabby either. Just a few minutes later, the FA did her drink service. I had apple juice again, and she even gave me a refill when she came down the aisle a second time! I’d seen lots of negative reviews about AA and their flight attendants not being that nice, but I was impressed with the FAs on both of our flights. I passed the time by listening to music and looking out the window at the beautiful twilight. Before I knew it, we began approaching DCA.
We came in from the east, and actually flew right over downtown Baltimore, which was beautifully lit up, and I got out my iPhone camera to take a video of the landing, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures of that. We made a sharp turn over Charles County, MD, and came in from the south over Bolling Air Force Base, and at 6:41 PM, we landed at a very busy DCA. The FA then proceeded to make one of the most convoluted landing announcements I’ve ever heard. You can hear it on the video of the landing. Landing at DCA+super convoluted landing announcement
Wow. Good thing I didn’t have a connecting flight that evening, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to do, or where to get my bags. Nevertheless, I was happy to be back in the DMV, and I ducked my way off the plane and onto the bus to head back to the terminal. Those stairs that the FA was talking about were actually closed, so we all went up the escalator, and into a very busy Terminal C, despite it being late at night. We then went down to the baggage claim, where our bags came out rather quickly despite our flight not being listed on any of the monitors. After that, we caught a cab back home, where I was greeted by a handwritten note from an admissions officer from a college I had been accepted into congratulating me on my acceptance! It was a fitting end to a great trip, but I had to get ready for school the next day.