Review of Air Canada flight Vancouver Los Angeles in Economy

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC 556
Class Economy
Seat 24E
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:55
Take-off 06 Nov 16, 18:35
Arrival at 06 Nov 16, 21:30
AC   #49 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 251 reviews
NGO85
By 992
Published on 11th November 2016
Background:

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.



Pre-flight:

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.

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YVR is nice on the inside with lots of open spaces and artwork.

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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.

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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.

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After clearing US immigration we are airside.

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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.

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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.

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We took a seat by the windows.

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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.

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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.

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Our plane arriving from LAX, so we got up to leave.

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The FIDS at YVR. You can see the DL flight to LAX on top leaving over 4.5 hours late.

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Off to our gate.

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————————-

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.

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Down the jetbridge.

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Entering the plane, an FA was on the phone so didn’t welcome passengers aboard.

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Our row.

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Seat pitch is very good on AC.

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The IFE.

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Some other cabin shots. This plane was a little bit less “yellow” than the other AC A320s I’ve been on.

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Seatback contents are the same as before.

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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?

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The safety video plays as we begin our push back and roll out.

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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).

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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.

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And that concludes this short series and a lull in travel until a trip to Asia later this month.





***BONUS***:

View from our room.

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Views from around downtown Vancouver.



Views from Steveston.



A fluffy seagull for Eminere.

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See more

Verdict

Air Canada

6.0/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment8.5
Meal/catering1.5

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Trans-Border

6.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment7.0
Services6.0

Vancouver - YVR

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Los Angeles - LAX

7.1/10
Efficiency7.5
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

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.

Informations on the route Vancouver (YVR) Los Angeles (LAX)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 5 airlines on the route Vancouver (YVR) → Los Angeles (LAX).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 2.0 hours and 42.0 minutes.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 373640 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice shots from the airport.

    Beautiful spotting shots at YVR!

    Pitch looks good, the actual seats look nice too but unfortunately that doesn't translate to good comfort all the time.

    Well, good they had water this time around. Improvement over the last flight.

    The IFE is nice, their major plus I presume.

    Absolutely wonderful bonus at the end, breathtaking!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 374260 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      "Pitch looks good, the actual seats look nice too but unfortunately that doesn't translate to good comfort all the time."
      - Being tall, pitch is more important than overall comfort. Comparing an AC direct flight to an UA LAX-SFO-YVR routing, the direct flight on AC is probably much better in overall comfort.

      "Well, good they had water this time around. Improvement over the last flight."
      - But still not pretzels! Only 1 out of 4 AC flights I've taken this year have had a snack served with the drink. It's very poor in-flight service.

      "Absolutely wonderful bonus at the end, breathtaking!"
      - Vancouver is a very grey place, but we were lucky to get some pockets of sunshine and only had a little bit of rain during our stay.

      Thanks for your comments!

  • Comment 373886 by
    jetsetpanda SILVER 2279 Comments

    Hi Michael and thanks for sharing another awesome FR, this time to one of my favorite cities.

    "YVR is nice on the inside with lots of open spaces and artwork."
    - It's really spacious and manageable. It actually feels relaxing which is contrary to so many other big airports.

    "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."
    - I missed it the first time that I tried to go inside. Maybe it wants to remain "hidden". ;)

    "Our offerings. Food is really lackluster so we left to grab a real dinner before boarding."
    - It seems that you took advantage of the beverage selection. :P

    "Again, no snack is handed out with drink service and the service is very slowly (we got served just east of the Bay Area)."
    - Talk about snail pace.

    "View from our room."
    - Did you stay at the Four Seasons in Pacific Centre?

    Great bonus. Glad that you had a good time in YVR.

    • Comment 374261 by
      NGO85 AUTHOR 1624 Comments

      "It's really spacious and manageable. It actually feels relaxing which is contrary to so many other big airports."
      - It's really a very different design from almost every airport that you come across that has the tendency of everything no public spaces outside of security other than the check-in counters.

      "Maybe it wants to remain "hidden". ;)"
      - I guess, as opposed to the Copa Club, that has hidden entrance because they are so embarrassed by it^^

      "It seems that you took advantage of the beverage selection. :P"
      - With no food on offer, I had to rely on my liquid bread ;)

      "Talk about snail pace."
      - It makes the BOB service almost pointless, why would I buy a sandwich 40-minutes from arrival instead of just waiting to get to my destination? I can't imagine that the back row was served too much before the cabin was cleaned for landing.

      "Did you stay at the Four Seasons in Pacific Centre?"
      - Nope. I think the Four Seasons is in my photo ;)

      Thanks for your comments Adan!

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