I started planning for this trip using Lifemiles and after checking constantly for award space, the only seats that I found in J were out of YVR-SAW and returning from SAW-ORD. The SFO-YVR and ORD-SFO were purchased as separate tickets so I gave myself an overnight stay at YVR and ORD as a cushion in case of delays or cancellations.
When I booked my reservation on AC, I decided to include the combo meal online for CAD 7 which can represent a saving of up to 20%. This included a meal + snack which you can choose from their Onboard Cafe http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/onboard/dining/na/onboard/documents/bob_menu.pdfmenu. It seemed like a good idea at the time because I would be coming from work and I did not have time to eat a proper dinner on my way to the airport.
Since I purchased a low Tango fare for USD 146.00 one way, this meant that I could not pre-reserve a seat until check-in at 24 hrs before dept. I was not too worried about that because the E90 configuration was 2x2, so I will end up with either a window or aisle on a short flight. At 24 hrs I checked in and to my surprise I was allowed to select a seat in the Preferred section without any extra charge. This premium economy area features 20 seats from rows 12-16 with a seat pitch of 35 in. or 88.9 cm. according to seatguru.com.
I was dropped off at the airport at around 19:00 in the Intl. terminal which is always a joy to pass by and was on my way to the almost empty AC counter. An agent greeted me with a smile and proceeded to check me in by using the kiosk and handed me the boarding pass wishing me a good trip.
I passed by the PR counter behind the AC one and the difference between these two couldn't have been more opposite. While AC was quiet and relaxed, PR was a zoo with a long line of people rolling huge boxes on their carts.
A few counters ahead there was LH with their crew checking in for the MUC flight tonight.
Security was busy and while waiting in line, the LH crew went ahead of the rest of us. A lot of the passengers were from the MUC flight. Once on the other side, I proceeded directly to the gate. I passed by the Gucci store which was empty.
I took the opportunity to take pictures of my aircraft as well as the neighbor next to it.
The gate area did not look busy and felt relaxed. There were two agents working at the counter and I proceeded to ask one of them to reprint my boarding pass. Because I am a collector, I wanted to get a better quality one instead of the flimsy piece of paper that the kiosk spitted out. The agent was more than happy to reissue a new one and told me that he understood with a smile. Notice the meal logo under Remarks/Observations on the boarding pass. This is your proof that you pre-purchased a meal onboard.
Boarding started with families and passengers who needed extra assistance, followed by J and rows from back to front in succession in Y. As I approached the door, I was greeted with more smiles by the FA's. The seat felt comfortable and pitch was nice. The blue covers gave a relaxed ambiance to the cabin.
Leg room shot
FA's were proactive in helping passengers stow their belongings in the overhead bins and the captain welcomed us onboard advising that there will be a slight delay due to last minute bags being boarded. He proceeded to inform us about the weather in YVR which was 14 C.
Once the door was closed, we were welcomed by the purser and she advised that on today's flight there were FA's who were fluent in English, French and Spanish.
On our way to the runway.
Take off was smooth and once the service started, the purser offered newspapers that were leftover from the J cabin. This was followed by another FA offering earplugs for sale and lastly BOB with drink service. The FA in charge of the food sale greeted me by name with a smile and asked me for my choices as she confirmed my name from a list. I requested the tuna salad and a vegetarian wrap but unfortunately this was not available so I settled for the chicken wrap. The beverage cart followed immediately and I requested water and tea. When I opened the tuna salad I realized that the FA did not provide me with any utensils so I asked the FA doing the beverages for one. She went to the J cabin and gave me a set of silverware apologizing profusely for the oversight.
The tuna tasted fine but I did not like the corn oil used for its preparation, olive oil would have been far more desirable. The wrap was satisfying and consisted of roasted chicken strips, pesto mayonnaise, sundried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese rolled in a flatbread.
Right after the meal service, the FA did a water run throughout the cabin. The flight was uneventful and soon we landed in YVR.
My plane at the gate.
Immigration was getting crowded but the lines moved quickly. Once I exited I proceeded to book my hotel and chose the Westin Wall Center YVR for a restful stay.
San Francisco - SFO
Vancouver - YVR
I had a good flight with AC and was glad that I had an excellent crew.
Comfort was good and any extra legroom helps to make a trip comfortable. The 2x2 layout is a big plus.
Catering was fine and I received good value for my money. It would have been better if AC provisioned the vegetarian sandwich onboard, especially for a flight leaving out of SFO. The tuna salad is a hearty choice, but I would have preferred a more healthy oil in its preparation.
Flight was only delayed by less than 1/2 hour, which is not too bad.
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