This series covers another quick weekend trip; this time to Vancouver. As a reminder, the routing is:
Part 1 – LAX-YVR [AC 557, Airbus A320, Economy] – Here Part 2 – YVR-LAX [AC 556, Airbus A320, Economy] – You are here
This report will cover the flight from YVR to LAX and the AC Maple Leaf Lounge (trans-border). The bonus for this report will be of Vancouver.
We did OLCI the night before to pick our seats. The AC website was smart enough to recognize daylight savings time in determining the 24-hour window so we couldn’t check in until 19:35 for our 18:35 flight.
On the day of departure, we drove to the airport from Richmond and returned our rental car at the onsite garage. We followed the signage towards the trans-border check-in area.
YVR is nice on the inside with lots of open spaces and artwork.
Interesting that AC separates their priority lane to give their own elites special treatment. It worked out since we showed up first, but since there was no agent at the priority lane, the guy that came down the other side got preferential treatment and we had to wait 10 minutes for him to finish since none of the other agents offered to help us. We were finally helped and my bag was tagged to LAX and I was handed my boarding pass.
You have to walk your own bag down to customs to put it on a conveyer belt. Then you enter the security lines and passport control. Security was average in length and no one in line at immigration. The agent was a little rude, which is surprising since the Canadian based CPB officers are known to be friendlier. He was trying to ask me trick questions, which were more annoying than anything else.
After clearing US immigration we are airside.
We walked past the MLL twice before we finally found out where the entrance was. There is no signage marking it in the terminal so unless you know where to look, you can easily miss the small glass door between two restaurants. It reminds me of the hidden entrance to the Copa Club at PTY. You have to take the elevator upstairs. I hand over both boarding passes and we are scanned in with a smile.
The lounge feels large since it is very long, but seems quite small if you consider the number of seating areas. The bathroom was super small: 2 urinals and 1 stall for the men’s room.
We took a seat by the windows.
The buffet was the same food/drinks as the MLL at LAX.
Our offerings. Food is really lackluster so we left to grab a real dinner before boarding.
The lounge does give good views over the trans-border gates below. A trifecta of AC planes sit below.
Later, this DL ERJ-175 limped in from LAX running over 4 hours late.
Our plane arriving from LAX, so we got up to leave.
The FIDS at YVR. You can see the DL flight to LAX on top leaving over 4.5 hours late.
Off to our gate.
Air Canada, AC 556 Equipment: Airbus A320 [C-FTJO, delivered February 1991] Departure: 18:35 (ATD: 18:47) Arrival: 21:28 (ATA: 21:04) Flight time: 2:17
Boarding was started on time and then suddenly halted with the announcement, “we are missing a crew member…” By the time it restarted they immediately started calling Group 3 and skipped Groups 1/2. There was confusion and the boarding was disorderly.
Down the jetbridge.
Entering the plane, an FA was on the phone so didn’t welcome passengers aboard.
Seat pitch is very good on AC.
Some other cabin shots. This plane was a little bit less “yellow” than the other AC A320s I’ve been on.
Seatback contents are the same as before.
Safety card for this A320.
IFE is available immediately on ex-Canada flights, but has always been disabled until airborne on ex-USA flights. Any reason that people know of?
The safety video plays as we begin our push back and roll out.
We took off on time and service started upon leveling off. This time they had water on board so I got a glass of water and a cup of coffee. Again, no snack is handed out with drink service and the service is very slowly (we got served just east of the Bay Area).
The flight was uneventful and we did the standard approach into LAX touching down early. We had to wait 10 minutes on the taxiway for some planes to clear out of T2 before pulling into our gate. The priority bags were circulating by the time I got down to the baggage claim.
And that concludes this short series and a lull in travel until a trip to Asia later this month.
View from our room.
Views from around downtown Vancouver.
Views from Steveston.
A fluffy seagull for Eminere.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Trans-Border
Vancouver - YVR
Los Angeles - LAX
Yet another 'meh' experience aboard AC. I can't really complain too much, the pitch is fine and they were operating on-time so they did everything I needed them to do. It's just the lack of anything else that leaves a flyer longer for more...
Cabin comfort: AC's fleet of 25 year old A320s need to get replaced badly. The seat pitch is really good for Y, but the seats aren't as comfortable as they look.
Crew: They seem to lack any sort of personality. This crew was again robotic and didn't offer any smiles. They must have just wanted to get to LAX and go to bed (I saw them walking to their hotel while I was driving home).
Meal and catering: A drink and that's it. What happened to handing out the pretzel bags?
Entertainment: Standard seatback literature. The IFE screen had a good size and excellent variety. Only knock is the resolution of the IFE and the lack of responsiveness of the touch screen. 3 minutes of ads is excessive, but you can fastforward through it.
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