HK to LA – August 2010

After two trips to the Hong Kong airport yesterday (trying to get to Vancouver) I decided that I would give up on the idea of flying directly to Vancouver and take the first available flight to North America.  It turned out to be a flight to LA.

I secured a business class seat on the Boeing 777 and departed on the early afternoon flight out of Hong Kong – all good!  The flight was smooth and reasonably quick (picked up some tail winds) however there was a family that included four obnoxious children that literally did not stay quiet the whole trip.  They used business class as a playground (jumping from one seat to the next) and their parents effectively ignored them for 14 hours.  Fortunately I was on the opposite side and didn’t have to contend with them jumping around me.  It was nice to arrive in LA!

I passed through customs quite quickly (based on previous experiences), picked up my suitcase and headed off in the direction of Terminal 2.  Fortunately, I was cornered by a “officially approved” charity collector that informed me that I was heading off in the wrong direction.  She earned her $US10 donation because I would more than likely not have made the next flight to Vancouver had I headed off in the direction I was going.  LAX is a big place and the signage is not that user friendly – it always pays to ask before you set out in the direction you “think” is right.

So, after heading the right direction for Terminal 2, (and not before being approached by several other collectors) I found the Air Canada check-in desk and asked for a listing for the next flight to Vancouver.  Because I hadn’t listed pre my departure for LA, I need to call Air Canada reservations (whilst waiting at the AC counter) and list.  Whilst I was doing this the duty supervisor came over to the desk and managed to access the back end of the system and get me listed for the flight – loved her work!!  Maybe this is one of the reasons Air Canada just won Best Airline In North America for 2010 (albeit that the staff were a bit puzzled about this when I congratulated them!).

Anyway, with the listing complete and a ticket in hand I proceeded through the lengthy but thorough scanning procedure and settled into my first North American Starbucks for the trip – ah coffee.

After a short wait at the gate “mustering” area I boarded one of Air Canada’s “E” jets (Embraer 190) and settled in for the flight to Vancouver.

I was a little “bushed” after the rather sleepless flight from Hong Kong so I dozed a little on the flight to Vancouver.  Unfortunately (a result of flying in business class) I didn’t have a blow up “pillow” and these days you have to pay for one when flying Air Canada (ah yes – the low cost model) and you can only pay with a credit card.  The joys of flying with a full service carrier that is trying to adopt a low cost model.  Did I tell you that they won Best Airline Of The Year for North America?

Anyway, fortunately I woke up as we were flying over the beautiful San Juan island area of Washington state and, with the perfect visibility, I was able to enjoy the bird’s eye view of this beautiful region.  A must visit on a future trip – mental note!

The flight arrived on time and, after a quick “welcome to Canada” customs process I was back on “Canada Eh” soil and ready for a feed of King Crab at Gary’s place.

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