I was going to Edmonton for curling (more on that later) for a few days, and being in Seattle, I decided to make my trip a little more interesting by flying with a Canadian Ultra-Low Cost Carrier out of Abbotsford (YXX), which was about 2 hours from home. It was then a choice between Swoop and Flair Air, and basing my decision only on price, I went with Flair.
I flew out of YXX on the 9th of August, which after booking the flight, I realized was the opening day of the Abbotsford Airshow. After Flair shifted my flight time to many hours later in the day, I figured I could take some time to check out the airshow. My flight was scheduled to depart at 4:45pm, so after a fantastic lunch in Abbotsford, we went to the perimeter of the airshow (it was not open until 3, so we were not able to actually go in). Here are a couple of the pictures I took of the airshow.
After looking at the ground displays at the Airshow, we went to go check in. After some confusion in the very full parking lot (largely due to the airshow), we made our way into the modern, newly renovated terminal at Abbotsford airport.
Check-in ended up being rather slow: we dropped our regular bags, but were left with our oversize bag containing our curling equipment. We were told to wait by a door at the end of the building (the one on the far right of the 3rd photo above). We waited for over 20 minutes with some other person with oversize bags before someone finally came through the door and took our bags. Passing through the rest of the airport heading to the single security checkpoint, we were airside in minutes.
Not sure what it is about Canadian airports, but there are always seems to be a bunch of tractors running around the ramp.
The entire terminal at YXX: Gate 1 is Flair's gate, 2 & 3 are used by Swoop, and 4 & 5 are used by WestJet.
Today's flight will be operated by Canadian North, on this 1998-built Boeing 737-300, C-GICN.
Boarding commenced, and I managed to score row 1 without having to pay for a seat upgrade. I think this is because the flight was operated by an aircraft with no economy plus seating, however the lady next to me said she paid C$15 for a seat upgrade and was expecting a blocked middle seat. Oh well.
(They are really strict about the "no phones on the ramp" rule, but I managed to get this picture without getting in trouble. No one saw.)
No complaints about the legroom here at the bulkhead.
Stunning departure out of YXX, with Mount Baker just off the wingtip.
(Note - the FAs said the airport was closing at 5:00 for the airshow, and they were kind of stressed as we were boarding: we departed at 4:56, just in time.)
After working for most of the flight (and after no more than 45 minutes in the cruise), we started our descent and approach into Edmonton's runway 02.
Parked on gate 66, on time. Then it was out of Edmonton's beautiful airport and into the cold, cloudy late summer Canadian weather.
This flight with Flair, operated by Canadian North, was surprisingly comfortable and did not feel like a low-cost airline at all. Of course, it was operated completely by the full service Canadian North Airlines, but I still only payed a base fare of $9.54. YXX and YEG are both amazing facilities, and I would happily travel through both airports again.