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Farnborough Airshow - AC, UA, LX and OS J

Farnborough Airshow - AC, UA, LX and OS J

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Old Jul 17, 18, 7:29 am
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Farnborough Airshow - AC, UA, LX and OS J



So I have wanted to write a trip report for a long time and never seem to get around to it. So this time I am going to write it while I am travelling.

I have been trying to get to the Farnborough Airshow for years after visiting the airshow in Paris in 2011. So this year was the year. I decided to use points through Aeroplan to get the maximum value and number of flights. A redemption of 110 000 Aeroplan points and $463 in taxes (the majority of which were for the fees going in and out of London) got me the following flights:

YUL - LGA AC J
LGA - ORD UA J
ORD - ZRH - LX J
ZRH - VCE - LX J
VCE - VIE - OS J
VIE - LHR - OS J
LHR - ZRH - LX J
ZRH - YUL - LX J

My plan was to check in super early to try and get on an earlier flight. My wife, not wanting to drive me to the airport at oh dark stupid suggested that I get a Airbnb near the airport. I ended up booking a room in a nice house which was a mere 20 minute walk to the airport.



The room was comfortable and there was air conditioning, which is the most important part with the heat and humidity we have been having here in Quebec for the last few weeks. At $56 taxes in I have zero complaints. I woke early and headed over to the airport to try and get on the 0855 flight to LGA. Sadly, due to weather the previous day there were no longer any business class seats available. A quick trip through customs and security (thank you NEXUS Card) and I I headed up to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge to get some food and wait the 3 hours until my flight.





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Old Jul 18, 18, 11:18 am
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First Flight

Air Canada ERJ 175 (Operated by Sky Regional)
YUL - LGA


We ended up boarding the plane ten minutes late and then waited at the the gate for another twenty minutes while they sorted out a problem with one of the cowlings on the engine. The pilot was great with letting us know what was going on.

Thirty five minutes later than planned we were up in the air and on our way to Laguardia. This was my first time flying to this New York airport, having previously gone through JFK and Newark several times.

The service onboard was pretty normal for AC. Bottle of water when we got on, drink of choice with the snack plate.

Diet Coke to start



And the meal of lentil salad with Feta and Cucumbers. It was actually pretty good.


We ended up landing only 20 minutes late and the sight on the ground was one I have never seen before. There was approximately 45 aircraft on the taxiways waiting to take off. So it turns out that there were massive storms coming through the New York area on this day and I managed to fly right into the center of it all. There was a hold in place and as I walked through the terminal it was pandamonium. The line up at the Rebooking counter for United was 300 people long. The Flight Status board was one of the most depressing things I had ever seen, and you could see people sitting all over the place with no idea when they would be leaving.

Strangely enough my flight to Chicago was showing as on time. A quick trip to the AC lounge for a snack and bathroom break and I was off to the gate. The aircraft ended up arriving about 15 minutes later than planned but everything was showing as on time. However this is when the pilot came out and said there was a hold in place and we would not start boarding for 2 hours. Being as my Swiss flight to Zurich was leaving from Chicago 3 hours after my arrival there this was a problem. Seeing the line up was still crazy long and as I had no cell service I figured the best place to go would be the United Club. When I walked in there was no one there, and the two lounge attendants were more than happy to help me. I was quickly booked on the direct United flight from Newark to Venice. All I had to do was get from Laguardia to Newark. A very long $120 cab ride later and I walked in to the premier checking counter at Newark. In the end, the flight from Laguardia that was supposed to take off at 1400 left at 1635 and landed at 1848. My swiss flight was at 1910 so in the end I made the right call.

So now my stopover in Zurich was gone, but I would have the full day in Venice now. As an added bonus, this meant I was now able to sample the Polaris lounge for the first time, and it was not to dissapoint!

My new Itinerary is:

YUL - LGA AC J
EWR - VCE UA J
VCE - VIE OS J
VIE - LHR OS J
LHR - ZRH LX J
ZRH - YUL LX J

I just wanted to take a minute and mention how great everyone I dealt with at United was. I know its easy to point out faults but everyone that dealt with my file did so quickly and efficiently with a smile on their face. Within 10 minutes of me walking into the lounge I was booked on the direct to Venice flight. Less than 15 minutes after that my bag came out on the conveyor belt and I was off to Newark. Sadly its not the end of the troubles for the day but that will be in the next part!!!

Last edited by canforce; Jul 18, 18 at 12:21 pm
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Old Jul 18, 18, 12:43 pm
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So now I was lucky and had two and a half hours to go and explore the Polaris lounge. I didnt take a lot of pictures but what else can be said about this lounge than wow. Its open, airy and inviting. Everything the united club is not. Having heard rave reviews I headed straight for the dining room. I was quickly seated and had a drink of champagne within two minutes. Already the day was looking up.

Welcome glass of Champagne:



Mushroom Risotto:



Shots from the lounge:


I ordered the mushroom risotto on the recommendation of the waiter and it did not disappoint.

It turns out I was hungrier than I thought or maybe the lentil salad was not as filling as I thought. It was gone quickly and not wanting to hog a table i thanked and tipped my waiter and went to check out the buffet. Even here the choices were impressive. I had some vegetable curry over rice and a chicken parmigana. I took my food to the bar to be closer to the champagne.

After spending 30 minutes and 2 very full glasses of champagne i decided I had just enough time to grab a quick shower. Promising the attendant I would not be more than 10 minutes I did an express wash, thanked them and made my way down to C75 for the 1815 boarding of our flight to Venice for an 1855 departure.

However that departure time was not meant to be. Apparently while loading food into the aft galley a cart came iff the platform and dented the threshold of the door. The pikot came out to make an announcement and said it was a minor repair and the techs were working on it now. Sadly the minor repair turned out to not be minor and the plane needed to be taken to the hanger to be checked by engineering. At this point I was nearly convinced I would be spending the night in Newark. A new departure time of 2140 was announced so off I went back to the polaris lounge to drink some more of uniteds champagne.

Sight you never want to see, techs working on airplanes when you are supposed to be boarding:


So at 2100 I decided to head back to the gate to see if the plane had been towed back yet. And to my surprise they were already on boarding group 2. I hopped right in to the Group 1 line and was onboard the aircraft two minutes later settling in to seat 1A with the added bonus of no seatmate!

United Airlines Flight 170
EWR - VCE
767-300

Boarding did not take much longer as many people had found earlier flights or the loads just werent that strong to this leisure destination. In the end the business cabin went out with 8 empty seats.

I was quickly offered a glass of sparkling wine and started to get comfortable for the eight hour flight over to Venice.

The meal service started shortly after take off

Menus:




I will let the pictures do most of the talking on this one. The flight was uneventful which is all you can ask for on a flight to Venice. The food quality was excellent, the quality of the staff high and in the end my expectations were exceeded.

Yet even more champagne:

Starter and salad:


Pork Chop, it was delicious:


Blurry ice cream sundae:


Hot breakfast:




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Last edited by canforce; Jul 20, 18 at 3:12 pm
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Old Jul 19, 18, 12:34 am
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Nice start to your report.
Between the weather, the delay and then the damaged door, quite an eventful first day.
And a very creative "airport hotel" at YUL.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:53 pm
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The wait in the customs hall was mercifully short and as I exited my bag was the first off of the belt. Maybe things were starting to look up. I had booked the Venice Resort for my stay in Venice. Originally it was only supposed to be for 12 hours and I had booked it because of its proximity to the airport. I made the walk over on a very warm and humid day and was at the front desk in less than 15 minutes. Sadly the room was not quite ready yet so I went out to the patio and put my feet up with a nice bottle of water to relax. Before long the front desk agent came to get me and my room was ready. It was average size by European standards but the AC was working just fine, which is all that really mattered to me.







Not wanting to waste the day I figured the best plan was to head right into Venice to make best use of the day. If you take the bus from the Airport it is 12 Euros but if you catch the bus just outside the hotel it turns out that it only costs 3 Euros all the way into Venice. The Number 5 bus was rapid and within twenty minutes I was with everyone else in Venice. First stop was for a cold drink and some food.






And then got down to Touring around Venice.









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Old Jul 20, 18, 1:03 am
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Venice looks a nice place!
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Old Jul 20, 18, 7:25 am
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Nice trip report. BTW, the plane that took you to Venice is a 767-300, not a 737-300
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Old Jul 20, 18, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
Nice trip report. BTW, the plane that took you to Venice is a 767-300, not a 737-300
Thanks.

As if the picture where it says 767-300 wasnt a bit enough help for me. Fat fingers I guess.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 3:23 pm
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A new day, another flight and the only new airline and airport for me on this trip.

I woke up stupid early due to the time change and had time to shower and shave before I headed off to the airport for my 7 am flight. Turns out i got there way too early though as when I arrived the Austrian Airlines counter wasnt even open yet. I wandered for a bit but before long they appeared at the desk.

I was second in line and my bag was quickly checked in for the flight. I headed up to the contract lounelge at Venice Airport. What a lounge. The lounge had everything you could want.

A great view of the apron:



A good selection of food with someone making fresh coffee:





And lots of room:




The time passed quickly and before long it was time to head down to the gate for my first flight on Austrian Airlines and my first trip through Vienna.

Austrian Airlines
VCE - VIE
ERJ 195


As i arrived at the gate we were already boarding through a bus gate. The bus wS about three quarters full and that would be it for todays flight. There was probably not more than 50 people on the plane. I had row 4 to myself for this one hour and five minute ate to gate flight.

Our Plane:




Once we were airborne the service started quickly. The breakfast served on this short flight was impressive

Seats and Breakfast:







It seemed like as soon as she was clearing the trays away we were coming in to land on a windy day in Vienna. The views however were amazing.

What followed was kind of a dissapointment. As i was transfering out of the schengen I had to clear out customs. The lineup could only be described as monsterous. 40 minutes later and I turned right out of customs into the Austrian Airlines lounge. What a dump. People everywgere due to massive overcrowding. No real food options except for some scrambled egg soup and stale bread.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 8:00 am
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Ordering pizza in Venice? :-(
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Old Jul 21, 18, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by NeedstoFly View Post
Ordering pizza in Venice? :-(
I was going to comment on the same! LOL It did look enjoyable though, which is a surprise.

Great TR and thanks for sharing! Nice to read a positive review of UA for a change, rather than the usual "UA is total garbage" rants. You didn't miss much with LX J IMHO.

Very bold choice of routing too; connecting in both LGA and ORD But, I'm very glad it worked out, more or less. And have to agree with you regarding OS, I think they have excellent inflight service.

Thank you again for sharing!
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Old Jul 22, 18, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by CHOPCHOP767 View Post
I was going to comment on the same! LOL It did look enjoyable though, which is a surprise.

Great TR and thanks for sharing! Nice to read a positive review of UA for a change, rather than the usual "UA is total garbage" rants. You didn't miss much with LX J IMHO.

Very bold choice of routing too; connecting in both LGA and ORD But, I'm very glad it worked out, more or less. And have to agree with you regarding OS, I think they have excellent inflight service.

Thank you again for sharing!
No problem. What can I say, I have a love of pizza in all its forms. And in th eend it was absolutely delicious.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 1:43 am
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I wont even talk about the Austrian Airlines lounge in Vienna. It just plain sucked. No seats, crappy food, grumpy agents and an odd odour. I was happy to leave.

Austrian Airlines
VIE - LHR
Airbus A320


The plane was very very full. The boarding gate was a bit of a nightmare and there was no call for business class passengers first, thus the mad rush for the gate. In addition there were 6 unaccomanied minors travelling and the gate agents attention seemed to be on them, which as a dad I cant really fault. We were once again boarding from a bus gate.

All in all it was a completely uneventful flight and twenty minutes faster than stated, though as we took off about twenty minutes late we pretty much landed right on time.

Again, I will let the pics do the talking.

Aircraft:




Meal, it was absolutely delicious. It was a panna cotta and a fried pork spring roll:



Beverage:


I had prebooked the Heathrow Express and within 30 minutes I was at Paddington station and on my way to the hotel. I had booked a room for three nights at the Victory Service Club. Active members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces (I am in the Canadian Army) can become members for free. They offer a single room with ensuite (albeit small) at Hyde Park for 60 pounds per night. The rate is very hard to beat.

They have a full service restaurant and bar onsite and I will not hesitate to stay there again next time I go back to London. It was excellent.

I think the travelling had caught up with me though (and the early mornings) and I found the bed to be far too comfortable and settled in for a nice two hour nap. I woke up feeling like a million bucks and made my way out for some Fish and Chips. I spent that night, and the next day touring around my favourite spots in London. Here are a few of the pics I took.






Imperial War Museum

Trafalgar Square looking at Canada House (The Canadian Embassy)

Imperial War museum:

Big Ben, sadly covered up for restoration work














A photo at Victory Service Club of Lt Gray VC, RCNVR (Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve) taking off from a carrier in the pacific. He would win the Victoria cross Posthumously for this mission.

My bar is modeled on Spitfire beer from Shepherd Neame. This was excellent.


Next Stop, Farnborough!
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Last edited by canforce; Jul 22, 18 at 1:56 am
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Old Jul 22, 18, 5:10 am
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Great story and pictures so far, and your 'scenic routing' adds an extra dimension. Looking forward to the rest, Canuck!

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Old Jul 22, 18, 8:20 am
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Great TR so far! Thanks!
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