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YYZ-EWR-CDG (AC J/UA J) – Around The World: Part I

YYZ-EWR-CDG (AC J/UA J) – Around The World: Part I

Old Mar 17, 14, 9:10 pm
  #1  
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YYZ-EWR-CDG (AC J/UA J) – Around The World: Part I

Welcome to my inaugural trip report! Any comments are appreciated. This is part 1 of a series of trip reports on a trip taken in 2013.

Originally posted on another forum, hope you enjoy!

1. Introduction

A bit of background on this trip: I had planned to use my Aeroplan points to fly around the world from Canada to Europe to Asia to Australia to New Zealand and then back via the Pacific. The trickiest part is being able to book J cabins throughout the trip, and at beginning I was only able to book 7 of the 10 legs that were in my itinerary in J. The troublesome sectors were from Australia to New Zealand, and from New Zealand back to Canada.

The first booking I made was through the Aeroplan call center, and when booking a reward ticket, one is allowed to have 1 stop, the destination, and then 1 stop on the way back. The destination is the furthest point away from the start point, and in my case would be Australia. On top of this, you are able to have any number of 'stopovers/layovers' as long as they are less than 24 hours in length.

Here's what my booking looked like when I first made it:
DUS LH J
DUS-CDG LH J
CDG-ZRH LX J
ZRH-BKK LX J
BKK-SIN SQ J
SIN-MEL SQ J
MEL-AKL NZ Y
AKL-LAX NZ Y
LAX-AC J

After a couple of changes, the final itinerary was this:
EWR AC
EWR-CDG UA
CDG-ZRH LX J
ZRH-BKK LX J
BKK-SIN SQ J
SIN-SYD SQ J
SYD-AKL NZ J
AKL-HNL NZ J
HNL-ORD UA J
ORD-AC J



The first of trip reports to cover these segments will be for EWR-CDG.



2. Flight Details

Flight 1: EWR
Airline: Air Canada
Flight Number: AC7472
Aircraft: Embraer 175
Seat: 2A

Started my round the world trip on a bus ride to CDG. Headed towards US immigration/customs as Canadian clear that before entering the US, and proceeded into the Maple Leaf Lounge, it was a Sunday so it was relatively quiet. Had a few bites to eat and showered.


Latte from the coffee machine. Fruits, eggs and danish.


Shower in the

Walked around the terminal before heading to the gate for boarding.







Boarding was at 12:00pm, however the plane had suffered a flat tire and mechanics were working to fix it. Boarding was delayed by 45 minutes. Upon boarding, we found out that the flight was overbooked and flight attendants were looking for volunteers for compensation and being put on the next flight to Newark.


Waiting for ground grew to change tires

Gate F63 where flight was departing

We flew out and ascended for our quick flight. No meal was offered, just drinks and a selection of snacks from a basket. I opted for a cliff bar and some almonds.


On board, 9/9 J seats taken


Flying above Lake Ontario


Snacks taken from the basket


Flight map on entertainment system







Unfortunately once I arrived at Newark, I discovered that I needed to transfer terminals from A where we landed, to C where my next flight to Paris was. This meant taking the SkyTrain and then going through security again. There was a 'premium' lane for business/first class passengers, however the lady at the entrance didn't care what class you were in and just let everyone through. Both security lines were just as long, and took about 45 minutes to clear. Luckily I had 3 hours for my connection, but with the 1 hour delay from






Had a couple of more snacks, cheese and carrots before proceeding to the gate for boarding.








Flight 2: EWR-CDG
Airline: United Airlines
Flight Number: UA56
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER
Seat: 6D


Boarding

The aircraft was a Boeing 767-400ER with 2-1-2 configured pods. Since I was traveling alone, I selected the middle solo seat. On online check in, I noticed that there were about 8 seats left in the J cabin, and the seats around me were quite empty.

Aircraft at the gate


Seats to my left as I boarded. Occupied shortly after.

Boarding started at 5:30pm, and the flight departing at 6:00pm. By this time, the J cabin was filled to 100%, and there were 5 children in my immediate vicinity, which made the flight a bit of a nuisance due to all the noise. I'm guessing they were all upgrades. The seat behind mine was set aside for the pilot(s) for rest.

Captain advised that there would be a 15 minute delay due to catering issues. Flight attendants offered the usual drinks, newspapers and magazines prior to the departure.

We were also given the ammenity kits on boarding as well. Came with toothbrush, floss, some lotion, lip balm, ear plugs and socks. Not bad at all.

Amenity kit


Cabin shot

After the doors had closed on the aircraft, the FA's came around to take our food orders. I opted for the beef ribs, and blue cheese dressing for the salad. They also asked if I would like to be waken for breakfast if sleeping, which I also said yes to.

The captain came on again and advised us that the flight time for today's flight would be 6h 15m, and that there may be a bit of turbulence 3h30 before landing. He also directed us to the map mode on the IFE consoles which allowed you to listen to ATC! Popped on the headphones and listened in...

We began taxiing toward the runway and stopped just a minute after we had started taxiing. By this time it was already 6:45pm (planned departure of 6:00pm), and to add to all the delays already that day, the captain came on the PA and advised us that UA56 was number 23 in line to takeoff, and to expect another 40 minutes before our turn.

Once in the air, dinner service began with a shrimp appetizer, some nuts, bread, and salad. Followed by the main, cheese and ice cream for desert (which I skipped due to being too full).



Warm assorted nuts and wine


Basket of breads, chose the garlic bread

Delicious shrimp appetizer with smoked salmon


Salad

Beef main


Assorted cheeses and port


Menu 1


Menu 2


Menu 3

Dozed off for a couple of hours and it was time for another meal service (breakfast) before landing in CDG. Fruits, yoghurt and assorted cold cuts and cheese were offered.


Once we landed at CDG, went on to pick up my 1 suitcase I had checked in at BR flight from TPE that had also just arrived. Waited about 15 minutes before mine showed up.

3. Overall Impressions

Would have been ideal to not need to transfer terminals and go through security a second time at EWR, but not much I can do about that. As for AC J service, it was as much as I had expected for the short hop and nothing to really complain or praise. With the second part of the journey to CDG on UA, I have to say that I was quite impressed with the aircraft. Service and food were good for a North American carrier. Wouldn't hesitate to fly this route again.

Thanks for reading part 1 of my trip report. Hope you enjoyed it!
cysnows is offline  
Old Mar 18, 14, 1:24 am
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This blog is great...very comprehensive.
It would be great to know how you got J on NZ. They are the only segments that I can't get J on. Using UA Miles, Asiana and NZ. Your answer could help in my travel arrangements.
Thanks

Last edited by TaurangaNZ; Mar 18, 14 at 1:28 am Reason: Add compliment
TaurangaNZ is offline  
Old Mar 18, 14, 5:29 am
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Thanks for the informative trip report. I await the next chapter.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 5:35 am
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Great trip report!

BTW, I believe Aeroplan allows two stopovers in addition to the destination. This is of course if there are no open jaws.
jeelele is offline  
Old Mar 18, 14, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by TaurangaNZ View Post
This blog is great...very comprehensive.
It would be great to know how you got J on NZ. They are the only segments that I can't get J on. Using UA Miles, Asiana and NZ. Your answer could help in my travel arrangements.
Thanks
Thanks!

It was extremely difficult to get J on NZ, especially from Aus->NZ. I basically had to check a few times every week up until my trip to check for availability. In the end, a few flight did open up for a 2 week window (ie: no availability except for 2 weeks that happened to be in the days I was travelling), so I changed up my flight. For NZ->Hawaii, same thing, very hard to get anything, just kept checking and something did eventually open up. Good luck, hope you can find some J space.


Originally Posted by airbus320 View Post
Thanks for the informative trip report. I await the next chapter.
Glad you enjoyed, will be posting shortly.

Originally Posted by jeelele View Post
Great trip report!

BTW, I believe Aeroplan allows two stopovers in addition to the destination. This is of course if there are no open jaws.
Yes, you are allowed 2 stopovers, but 1 has to be before the destination and the other must be after the destination (where destination is furthest point from starting point)
cysnows is offline  
Old Mar 18, 14, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by cysnows View Post
Yes, you are allowed 2 stopovers, but 1 has to be before the destination and the other must be after the destination (where destination is furthest point from starting point)
This is actually not true, you are allowed two stopovers in addition to your destination (referred to as your point of turn) but they can both be before or after after the point of turn if you so desire.

Nice trip, also quite surprised to hear about the NZ J - did you book economy and just pray for the J seats?

I have scoured the entire year before without a single J seat available on most AKL routes...

Cheers,
Mark
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Old Mar 18, 14, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by lowside67 View Post
This is actually not true, you are allowed two stopovers in addition to your destination (referred to as your point of turn) but they can both be before or after after the point of turn if you so desire.

Nice trip, also quite surprised to hear about the NZ J - did you book economy and just pray for the J seats?

I have scoured the entire year before without a single J seat available on most AKL routes...

Cheers,
Mark
Ahh I see, didn't know that. Definitely will look into that next time!

NZ J AKL-HNL was surprisingly open for only 3 or 4 flights when I booked, so I snatched one right away. SYD-AKL, was Y all the way, until maybe a month or so before the flight. Thinking I got very lucky here, albeit I was checking availability ... a lot
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Old Mar 18, 14, 9:36 pm
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Unless something has changed isn't there a Terminal A to Terminal C airside bus service? The bus is rather rundown the last time I used it but it wasn't bad at all.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by cysnows View Post
Thanks!

It was extremely difficult to get J on NZ, especially from Aus->NZ. I basically had to check a few times every week up until my trip to check for availability. In the end, a few flight did open up for a 2 week window (ie: no availability except for 2 weeks that happened to be in the days I was travelling), so I changed up my flight. For NZ->Hawaii, same thing, very hard to get anything, just kept checking and something did eventually open up. Good luck, hope you can find some J space.
Most of NZ flights between AUS-NZ are operated A320s in a all Y config. As these routes are run like an LCC.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
Unless something has changed isn't there a Terminal A to Terminal C airside bus service? The bus is rather rundown the last time I used it but it wasn't bad at all.
That was my thought, too. But does AC use the same banjo in Terminal A as UA? If not, is there a common secured area or a separate one?
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Old Mar 19, 14, 8:14 am
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Looking forward ot the next part. You are a brave man for ordering the beef ribs on UA. They can either be great or exceedingly terrible.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 12:42 pm
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Looking forward to the next part - I have to say the more TR's I see of AC J shorthaul the more impressed I am - entertainment on Embraers, decent snacks etc - AC J seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of UA/AA F on domestic and Canada routes.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by avm2806 View Post
Looking forward to the next part - I have to say the more TR's I see of AC J shorthaul the more impressed I am - entertainment on Embraers, decent snacks etc - AC J seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of UA/AA F on domestic and Canada routes.
You are right - AC J is definitely LIGHTYEARS ahead of UA J in North America, I hope you have a nice flight! The seats are much better (though in the same ballpark) for the A319/320/321 on AC and much superior on the widebodies where you will get the pod. I also like the food better for sure. What type of plane are you on with AC?
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Old Mar 19, 14, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
Unless something has changed isn't there a Terminal A to Terminal C airside bus service? The bus is rather rundown the last time I used it but it wasn't bad at all.
The bus services is only available from the UA Express gates in A to the other terminals, not from AC gates. Similarly the United Club is only accessible from the UA Express gates. These are the two reasons I avoid flying AC to EWR.
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Old Mar 20, 14, 3:14 am
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I think I know what you're inferring but Terminal A is named A1-A3 http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont.../maps/ewr.aspx
And the bus from A to C goes from the A2 corridor you have to access it to go landside terminal A to C, but I have done this on airlines from A3 to A2 via bus to terminal C. Might have been a one off but or it might be standard. They did ask for why and when i showed the connecting boarding pass I was allowed past TSA.

Originally Posted by Far Siren View Post
The bus services is only available from the UA Express gates in A to the other terminals, not from AC gates. Similarly the United Club is only accessible from the UA Express gates. These are the two reasons I avoid flying AC to EWR.
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