Hi, everyone! Welcome to the Part 1 of the Summer 2018 travel series where I'll be flying to Vancouver for a mini-vacation! So, my parents had planned a trip to Vancouver sometime in June. I thought to myself that I could join them since I had nothing else better to do!
Since they were coming in from Hong Kong and I had a few things to take care of prior to departure, we came to the conclusion that I would meet them there a few days after them. I thought to myself that this would be yet another great trip since I've been wanting to explore Vancouver for years, and this was my first trip ever to Canada, so I was definitely quite excited!
Since there were only a few direct flights from New York to Vancouver, it was rather difficult to decide which airline to fly with. After careful planning, I came to the decision that I would use my Asia Miles to get myself a redemption ticket on Cathay Pacific. After all, it's about time I put it to use! To sum it all up, booking flights for this trip was absolutely smooth, and I was quite excited to try out CX on a 5th freedom flight like this one to YVR.
Anyways, back to the flight. I knew for a fact that there was going to be tons of traffic leading to the airport, especially at peak hour. So, I ended up leading at around 5:30 PM which would give me a good time span to check-in, go through security, explore the terminal, and chill at the lounge.
Terminal 8 Departures exterior
Terminal 8 Departures interior
It was a bit crowded. However, I was not surprised since it was the start of the summer peak travel period.
Cathay Pacific check-in counters. As always, the process of checking-in took 5 minutes.
Heading towards security
This time, security took quite a while as there was always the long line at the airport. I guess I was at there at a time where there were a lot of departing flights out of Terminal 8. Nevertheless, I made it out within 15 minutes.
The Big Apple
This amazes me every time!
I came to the airport at a time when all of the shops were open!
I even got a good opportunity to do some plane spotting!
American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, N724AN, which will serve as AA104 to LHR and a Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER right behind it, A7-BEP, preparing to depart for DOH as QR702
More airside pics
After my usual exploration of the terminal, I headed to the American Airlines Flagship lounge, where the elevators are located a few meters after security
Shots of the Flagship lounge
I have reviewed this lounge previously on another report back in December 2017. The only difference was that during this visit, the lounge was extremely crowded. In fact, I couldn't even find a single available seat! (Link to my previous trip report can be found here)
So, I ended up going to the Admirals Club, located just next door
There were hardly any people, but it was definitely a peaceful place to relax before the flight. Also, it was a better selection in regards to food and drinks, especially with à la carte choices.
Shots of the Admirals Club
I have to admit, I felt quite comfortable with a small lounge like this!
After taking a look at the menu (which I completely forgot to take a picture of), I decided to get a light bite before the flight.
My à la carte dish, flatbread margarita pizza
By around 9:00 PM, I decided to get ready to leave in order to board the plane since I knew it was going to be a long walk to the gate
The journey consisted of going through the usual walkaways and escalators
Plane to YVR & HKG: B-KPG
The underground tunnel with a lot of advertising for the new Incredibles 2 movie, which was something that I've been waiting for 14 years!
Heading towards gate 47
Gate 43-47 area
By the time I got to the gate, I eventually found out to my surprise that the flight was delayed due to the incoming aircraft arriving late. I initially thought it was going to be a 10-15 minute wait, but I was wrong. We ended up waiting at the gate for quite some time before the gate agents announced the new departure time, which was at 10:25 PM.
Since there was approximately an hour left, I ended up going back to the lounge!
It was a bit annoying to find out that our flight was delayed and we had to wait for a long time before boarding!
Heading back to the main concourse of the terminal
I ultimately went back to the Flagship Lounge, which was mostly empty at that point.
Portrait of the Empire State Building yet again
I guess most flights operating out of Terminal 8 have taken off already.
Some of the catering options, which I wasn't really a huge fan of
On the bright side, I could finally get my favourite seat facing the tarmac!
A small bottle of San Pellegrino
Shots of the Flagship lounge
I was there for about 15 minutes until the boarding call was made for our flight
Here we go again!
Heading towards gate 47
The boarding process was not that bad
Heading down the aerobridges
Some pre-flight information: Date: 11 June 2018 Airline: Cathay Pacific Flight Number: CX 889 Route: New York (JFK) - Vancouver (YVR) Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Registration: B-KPG Distance: 2443 miles Scheduled Departure Time: 9:50 PM (delayed to 10:25 PM) Actual Departure Time: 10:48 PM Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:50 AM Actual Arrival Time: 1:04 AM Flight Time: 6 hrs Departure Gate at JFK: 47 Arrival Gate at YVR: D65
Main business class cabin
My seat, 22K, along with the inflight controls
View from my seat
The comfortable legroom in J!
Pre-departure beverage: Orange juice
This was my first 5th freedom flight on CX, and it honestly felt a little strange not flying directly to Hong Kong.
It was quite a light load in business class
Settling into my seat!
As always, once boarding was complete, the captain came on with the rather quick pre-flight welcome along with an apology for the late departure due to the inbound flight being delayed. He did state that time was going to be made up by the time we arrived into Vancouver with the flight time of approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes.
Approximately 20 minutes later, we were cleared for pushback!
Views from pushback
Cabin lights were dimmed in preparation for takeoff
View during the taxi, with a slight view of the Manhattan skyline
After the many delays which lasted for more than an hour, we finally took off!
I'll be back soon, America!
After 15 minutes, the crew came around to distribute menus, water bottles, and amenity kits.
West Coast bound!
Surprisingly, I ended up chatting with the ISM since she noticed me taking photos earlier on. We ended up having a fun and interesting conversation about various topics ranging from Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, and our never-ending interest in flying, even on such a short flight like this one to YVR!
Menu for today's flight
Time to discover the inflight entertainment!
To my shock, I was able to find episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which I ended up watching
Before I knew it, the crew came around to start the dinner service as well as taking drink orders.
Perrier, my standard drink!
I ultimately decided to skip the dinner service since I already ate at the lounge and I wasn't feeling too hungry in general.
Hot towel to conclude the dinner service
The cabin lights changed a couple of minutes later
I then thought this would be the perfect time to switch to the inflight map to find out our current location
Making it in good time over Michigan
I then resumed to watching The Big Bang Theory.
After a couple of episodes, I headed to the bathroom with the standard J sink (which was nothing special)
It wasn't long before I decided to call it a night while above Minnesota
A dark cabin, perfect for passengers to rest
Within less than 5 minutes, I set the seat in the fully flat position, lay the duvet all nicely spread out, and I was ready for bed!
I was able to get about 2.5 hours of sleep until the captain woke us up with his pre-arrival announcement saying that they are now starting the descent into Vancouver and we had 30 minutes till we landed. I thought to myself "Wow, this flight really flew by so fast!"
From my perspective, I found the time frame of this flight similar to flights going from Hong Kong to India, as they depart in the evening only to arrive past midnight.
Pre-arrival drink: Orange juice again! I think this is a new concept on CX, but I really don't know.
Suddenly, the seat belt sign came back on giving the indication that we had to prepare for landing, which didn't take long.
Final shots before landing
Time flies when you have fun!
Mood lighting in preparation for landing
The lights of Vancouver during the descent
We landed approximately 15 minutes behind of schedule at 1:04 AM due to the late departure. However, the taxi to the gate was quite short.
Mood lighting change yet again
Actual flight route
Docking at gate D65, next to a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-200, B-5926, which will serve as MU598 back to PVG
Most of us (including myself) got off in YVR whereas there were only a few passengers who were travelling onwards to HKG, and had to remain onboard. It was definitely going to be a long journey for them
Apparently, there were agents who were checking whether or not we were actually getting off in YVR
Arrival into YVR
Air Canada Boeing 787-900, C-FRSA, which will serve as AC44 to DEL
Right off the bat, I was amazed with the terminal! I've heard a lot about YVR prior to arrival, and it didn't disappoint me one bit!
Departure area viewed from arrivals
Heading towards immigration
An amazing fountain display!
Immigration took about 5 minutes, since it was a late arrival
Baggage claim area
As always, I was able to get my bag within 5 minutes
Making my way towards the arrival hall
By the time I got there, my parents spotted me within seconds, which eventually led to a short but well-lived reunion!
We were able to get a cab since there was no line and we were on our way to our hotel where I was ready for a fun-filled vacation in Vancouver!!!
American Airlines Flagship Lounge
New York - JFK
Vancouver - YVR
Like I've said on most of my flight reports, Cathay Pacific always has an outstanding seat onboard business class along with the crew service, which I found impressive. However, the inflight entertainment selection was somewhat average, and I didn't really get a chance to try out the catering options since I wasn't in the mood. Also, one downside about this flight was the annoying fact that my flight was delayed for an hour and arriving late into YVR. However, this was nonetheless a decent fifth freedom flight on one of my favourite airlines, even if it was a short one! Overall, this was yet an average flight on an airline that I've known and loved for so long. It was worth the miles!
Anyways, thanks for reading this trip report. I hope you enjoyed it. Tune in next time for the return flight which I'll be posting soon!
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