Saturday, December 5, 2009

Emirates - You've won my heart!
(Scroll over the main screen, select the four arrows pointing outwards at the bottom left and return cursor to the middle of the page. Enjoy!)

My flights with Emirates in November has truly allowed me to say that "Emirates - You've won my heart". The service on board has improved tremendously, the quality of the food quite literally is of a much higher quality, and flying on those magnificent Boeing 777 aircraft was a pleasure. For all the flights on the Boeing 777 I was in the last seat of the aircraft, 49A on the -300ER and 39A on the -200LR. I chose these seats as the last thing on a long haul such as the ones to and from New York to Dubai, you want to have some kicking you in the back of your seat. Even with the restricted recline in my own seat, and the person fully reclined in the seat in front I am happy to say I still had enough breathing space, and I found it to be even more on the Boeing 777-200LR. The seats at the back are in the 2-4-2 and not 3-4-3 configuration in front which I believe is quite tight. I had travelled on the Boeing 777-300 on another short haul sector and had found the seat pitch to be quite nice

I had a three hour wait or more after arriving on Air Canada from Toronto to La Guardia, and using the local shuttle to JFK. The Security line up was a nightmare, with a line long enough that it made me wonder when I would clear it. Final boarding calls were being made for Singapore Airlines and Air India while it's passengers were still left to be found in the line ups. A very smart Qatar Airways crew had to zip by through our lines, to make it to the front. They are to date the smartest looking Middle Eastern bunch I have seen, and an airline who's inflight service I have yet to savour! We finally made it to the front where many wheel chaired passengers were lined up hoping to make their flight on time. Once inside after passing security it was less chaotic and I used the time to photograph the airlines at their gates including the Air India 777-200LR and Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER. My Emirates jet had not yet arrived at our gate so I continued to wander around the terminal. In the distance one could see the jets climbing off Rwy 31L with a truly dramatic left turn made by a KLM 772 just moments after lifting off the runway. Others turned much higher up! Soon boarding commenced and were on board the Boeing 777-300ER.

We left New York using the 31L departure where we start to make that long left turn no sooner we were off the runway to head out towards the ocean. It was a clear night and the lights of the city of New York sparkled underneath. We momentarily crossed the stretch of Long Island, then flew alongside it for a bit before turning left again and heading North before turning north east out towards the Atlantic after crossing over most of Eastern Canada. Dinner service kicked in almost immediately and there was no run of the usual peanuts and drinks service. (I need to remember if this is what Emirates provided previously). The menu cards on board were distributed and they were of the Dubai-New York sector. Later while chatting with some of the FA's I brought that to their attention. I cannot remember the options available but I know I took the Roasted chicken with herbs which was the only thing good on the tray! The dessert of assorted dried fruits was well not quite a dessert at all. Dinner service was completed two hours after we took off, and soon the lights on the jet were turned off, to reveal the starry night sky on the ceiling above! That is a truly wonderful feature on board these jets, and I quite prefer it over the mood lighting. The starry ceiling on the sky remained on for the entire duration of the flight and the windows shades remain shut as well. We were about five hours into the flight when I was drifting in and out of slumber land, when I opened my eyes and saw this clothes hanger pass by my face! A petite FA saw my frightened look and giggled as she indicated the window shades needed shutting, as in the distance dawn began to break over the Atlantic! For some reason I am the type that annoyingly opens and closes the window shades to see the landscape below as indicated on the flight map on the large seat back videos in front of you, but for some reason on this flight I think I did that just once or twice, and only took a photo of the sunny skies outside as we were about to begin our crossing over Iraq! I think that starry night sky and the dark cabin made you want the night to never end! During the flight a few water runs were made and a mid flight snack of Chicken Tikka or Pepperoni sandwhiches were served. Those were really delicious and kept me going for another few hours. Just before landing in Dubai at 1930 (7:30pm) we were served breakfast, which I believe had to do more with the local time in New York, than the evening of Dubai. Delicious scrambled eggs made up the great breakfast.

Now regarding the FA's on this flight, and as Emirates has been termed "a bag of mixed nuts" well the good nuts seemed to outnumber the bad ones. One particular mention is an FA who had the most arduous task of handling an irate passenger who was separated by a few rows from his son due to the error of the check in staff. He kept on telling this poor FA "All I want is to sit with my son" and was starting to get louder as time passed as passengers continued to board the aircaft. We had now pulled out of the gate, and were getting closer to the take off roll. The FA pleaded with him to sit down in his assigned seat to make the change later, but he stubbornly refused and I thought if this carried on this might delay our take-off or have this guy taken off the flight. Fortunately just in time a rather large man was seen leaving his seat and moving to the front of the plane, to allow this father to sit with his son. Later on in the flight I commended the FA on how patiently she handled the situation all by herself, and she told me the person who moved out his seat to allow the father to sit with his son, was actually on the phone and she could disturb him, or else it might have been resolved faster. Then later during the middle of the flight there were these two guys who were between the galley and the last few seats and were yaking as loud as they would at home. Even with my headphones and ear plugs on I could hear their annoying drone! I signalled to one of the FAs who during the entire flight so far, was very friendly, actively performing her duty with the nicest and warmest smile to top it off, to have these two talk at a reasonable tone or return to their seats. She said she would talk to them and then in an instant I saw both men return to their seats!! Nice!! I later thanked her for it and she joked it was better to do that or else I would have been pressing the call button all the time. She had a sense of humor! Most of the crew on board this flight were really warm, friendly and quite literally smiled warmly at every passenger on board. Call bells were quickly attended to except for that one portion of the flight when most of the crew are hibernating in their bunks and the lone FA (or two) in the back choose not to attend the calls, that FA was also one of the few that quite literally never smiled. I guess you win some you lose some.

After a short transit in Dubai at the new Terminal 3, it was time to leave for Karachi! I don't really like the new terminal as compared to the old Shaikh Rashid which was narrow, smaller and the most chaotic at peak times, but had this cozy feeling to it. The new one is big, bright with lofty ceilings and feels cold and unfriendly in comparison. However there are tons of gates some of which are empty where you can take a short nap and are on the other side of the main flow of the shops, so you don't have people hustling and bustling right in front of you. Back to the flight to Karachi, this short hop was a tease compared to the super long haul I had just taken. The crew on this flight due to the 0130 (1:30am) departure had already set the tone for the flight. Who wants to be pulled out to do a turnaround at that part of the night. The excellent meal on board this flight made up for the lack of otherwise great service, I had gotten used to on the previous sector. The meal was really delicious and the Kheer dessert especially on this flight had me scrapping the bowl! I was tempted to ask for seconds but decided not to go ahead with it!! We had an uneventful flight in general and were soon landing in Karchi at 0430 local time.

The return flight from Karachi to Dubai at 2230 (10:30pm) was pleasantly head over shoulders far better than the inbound flight. The crew on this flight were quite literally the best bunch of EK FA's I have ever found on any flight. Particular attention to the two Middle Eastern and European lads who couldn't do enough to make sure you had a great flight. The latter got a little punch in the tummy on exit and was proudly told when I gave him the title "The most friendliest FA of the entire lot". He was actually quite surprised to know someone took the time out to say that, as he stared at me, and then broke into a smile as i turned back to look at him! !! And the food on this sector was on parallel with the inbound, absolutely delicious meals especially with that warm touch of two pieces of paratha to go with it, a standard and welcome feature on these sectors! And the Shahi Tukray dessert too was to die for! Well done Emirates, you completely bowled me over with the meals on the Dubai-Karachi-Dubai sectors! No detail was left undone including the condiments that accompany the meals. We landed in Dubai with the most glorious views of the Dubai skyline from the starboard side of the aircraft as we landed in from the sea! The Burj Dubai clearly the winner as it's lights reached highest up into the night sky! That building is truly awesome and when taking off from Dubai on another trip on board an LH 747-400 we passed directly over it, and it clearly seemed to reach out to us from the ground, while the other skyscapers were dwarfed around it and seemed so much closer to the ground. Looking forward to visiting the observation deck in the near future. Unfortunately it only opened or will be opening some weeks after I left Dubai.

After 48 hours in Dubai it was time to leave back for New York. It was going to be on board the Boeing 777-200LR! We were not gathered together in a waiting area before boarding and as soon as I checked in at the gate we were allowed to proceed to the aircraft, where passengers trailed in a less chaotic flow. (Unless I was late getting to the gate and the passengers had already boarded, which I doubt as I got there at the assigned time of 0115 (1:15am) or our 0200 (2:00am) departure). It would be nice if it could be this way always instead of the stampede that usually begins when boarding any flight! Two Indian FA's welcomed us on board and since there was no real rush I used it as an opportunity to photograph them. I am getting less notorious that way in being a paparazzi with the airline cabin crews as I have been in the past. Must be the age! I soon settled into the last seat once again, and was really happy that a compartment behind me separated me from the toilet. The swooshing of the flush would not be felt that much as as I did on the inbound flight, every time someone used it. I had no one at the side of me this time, as I think I cleverly indicated this to the check in agent when she checked me in, that I hoped no one would be seated next to me. It's surprising I could not check myself in online from my friend's computer in Dubai that evening, neither from the airport kiosks in Dubai but had to check in at the specially designated US check in desks at the airport. Probably due to security reasons. However fortunately I could select my seat when I had initially booked the ticket some two months earlier. The load was not much on this flight and the three last rows in the middle had it's sole occupants in each row sprawled out flat across the four seats. I enviously looked at them but remained content at the same time I had the little area all to myself. In front of me were two women of African descent who had such strong perfume on that I had the option to move to the last seat on the other side, but have the FA landing seats behind me and no real barrier between that seat and the galley, or stay in my seat and enjoy the almost private space. I stayed put where I was and instead used both air vents opened to the fullest to reduce the strong fragrance that had bombarded that section of the aircraft. Why someone would spray themselves so literally and cause someone else to faint from it, is beyond me.

We left the gate on time and after a ten minute taxi from one end of the terminal to the other side we took off to the West from Dubai. The take off on these Boeing 777s are just wonderful, strong, powerful with a great climb! We passed the city lights of Dubai on the port side, with another view of the skyline though less dramatic than the one experienced when landing. Also clouds broke the view as the city danced in and out from underneath them until it disappeared completely from view momentarily, and then clear views again of a lone flame on an oil rig burning in the distance, the only light seen for a while in the dark night outside. Once again dinner service commenced as soon as we departed, and I forgot to mention that hot towels were distributed on all flights before take off. The FA serving me my meal did not have the option I wanted and said she would have to go to the back to get it. I then told her I was fine with the lamb option available in her cart and she gave me that. I was quite surprised when she came by later to collect my tray while I was still halfway through my meal. I had to indicate I was still eating, and was then appalled when she came by later again asking if she could clear my tray. I was not eating a snail's pace and neither was I going to eat fast enough just because she was in a hurry to clear my tray. I had to indicate once again I was still finishing my meal. I then noticed that the others around me had their trays cleared and I wondered if they too were forced to give up their meals halfway through or if I was really eating that slowly? She did not come by again and my tray actually lay there waiting to be picked up. Had they forgotten to take my tray? I used the traytable of the empty seat at the side of me to stack my tray on it, and it was picked up much later. I do not know why they were in such a hurry to get the trays collected. I think due to the fact it was going to be lights out soon and they were eager to get into the sleep bunks on board this aircraft, which were carefully guarded behind a door lock that came with numerous buttons and a code to open it.

We continued to cross the Middle Eastern corridor passing Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and then finally directly over Baghdad, while the name on board the flight map on the seat back video indicated Mesopotamia instead of the modern day name of Iraq. From there we crossed into Eastern Turkey, then over the Black sea close to Odessa then directly over Warsaw, onwards to the Scandinavian countries and city of Goteborg, then over the Norwegian Sea to Reykjavik, across the Northern Atlantic down to Goose Bay and finally New York. There were no starry ceilings on this flight and the jet remained in a somewhat pre-dusk like mode yet somewhat dark, but enough to see the occupants in their seats unlike other flights where there is a complete black out except for the lights from the seat back monitors or reading lights on if any. Halfway throught the flight we had a chicken tikka or Cheese and Spinach wrap distributed with the usual round of drinks of water or juice. I used the two seats I had to myself to raise the armrest in the middle, and tried to manage to lie flat with half the amount of space my neighbours across me had to themselves. I did manage to sleep a bit but my aching back woke me up as the fetal position I adopted was clearly not ergonomically feasible. I didn't do much in terms of using the renowned ICE system on board with it's many movie titles available at one's fingertips. I found I actually watched more movies on Qantas with the limited options available there. There were just too many options available that I was in a dilemma which one I should watch. I did however watch UP on this flight and Star Trek on the inbound. I had unfortunately checked my USB cord in my checked baggage or else I could have used my Ipod or Digital camera to view the photos and listen to the music on the seat back video, using the USB connectivity available. This was apart from the laptop option available, if my memory serves me right.

The window shades on this flight remained up for the entire duration as we only hit dawn as we were over Canadian Airspace. No hangers in my face on this flight!! By now not only had the whole cabin woken up, but the first rays of sunlight started to fill the cabin. Some shades went down but I kept mine open. Breakfast service commenced and the "Welcome to the United States" videos rudely interrupted whatever video you were watching or audio you were listening to. Immigration forms were distributed and I was glad I had already taken two at the airport in Toronto, one to hand on the flight to New York on Air Canada, and one to hand on this flight! The last thing you want at the end of this super long haul is to pull out your passport, go scrambling for a pen and make sure you put in all the correct details. After all you were landing in the United States of America and you don't want to be sent back due to incorrect details!! The breakfast trays cleared with no real rush to have them removed this time, and in fact I was served by this really wonderful Spanish FA who carried herself professionally yet demurely attended to her passengers. She was truly the nicest one on this flight. By the end of every flight of whichever FAs have served in my zone, I mentally award one of them the title of "Nicest FA" and depending on my boldness and opportunity to do so, I let them know prior to deplaning of the auspicious title that had earned due to their dedication, warmth and charm. And yes, if a photographic opportunity should also arise, I seize the moment to capture my dream FA!! (To the FA's out there, believe me there are some that thank you for your dedicated service on the flight and might have some like me come and address you about it lol). Unfortunately this FA was nowhere to be found when deplaning. (Had she been a figment of my imagination lol)

We were soon over Long Island and were going down the length of it in preparation to turn out to sea and then head back to make an approach on Rwy 4R. It was Deja Vu all over again except the last one was on board the Emirates Airbus A340-500. The captain had announced the weather was cloudy and cold and no sooner had we broken through the clouds we were on finals to 4R with the gloomiest of weather I had since in three weeks of nothing but sunshine. I truly enjoy the approach to 4R you pass over the beach with it's long line of homes, buildings, then pass over marshlands if you can call them that, and then touchdown on 4R while enjoying excellent views of the aircraft lining up on 4L that make up the early morning rush of jets departing JFK. We landed exactly 14 hours and 15 minutes later and were soon approaching our gate while passing Virgin America jets, some Delta jets and finally parked alongside aircrafts of TAM Brazil Airbus A300-200 and Air India's Boeing 777-200LR. I love the views of the aircraft from inside the terminal and I took some photos from there, but once in the main Immigration area I put my camera and made my way to the lines trying to rush out of JFK and make my way to La Guardia where I yet had the return flight to Toronto.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blogging EK FA's..Will I meet one of you?

Well I'm off to another overseas trip in November, and will be flying with Emirates from New York. I know most of the EK FA's whose blogs I have been following fly the Boeing 777-300ER which is what I will be flying on. It was just too expensive to fly the Airbus A380 out of Toronto. (After I booked the special from New York, they go and reduce the fares out of Toronto...C'est la vie).

I've basically flown the very same route before, that is getting into New York via La Guardia on AC and then EK from JFK all they way across the pond. Except the flights on Emirates previously were on the Airbus A340-500, such a gorgeous plane to look at, but so tight with space when it came to the seat pitch. On the way into Dubai I was kicked in the back of my seat ever so often, during the +12 hour stretch, that on the way back I sat in the last seat, which had limited recline and was really cramped than the rest due to the curvature of the aircraft, both of which I was well aware of when I selected it online. Also had warned me about this before hand lol. However, that was the start of me booking these last seats on every flight if possible, and being a window person that is sometimes not possible, so i'm usually somewhere along the last few rows. I am not one to sleep on planes and not having somebody behind me makes it so less traumatic. I remember on an AC domestic flight I had this huge guy behind me who held the top of my seat with one hand, shaking it furiously as he laughed hysterically to the show he was watching on the seat back video. I had to call an FA to have him stop it, or I would have had to resort to stabbing the top of his hand with my fork!!

However this trip on Emirates is going to be the test of the EK FA's being called "a bag of mixed nuts", which has been repeated over and over again on Airline trip report sites like I know not all flights are perfect, but when you keep on seeing this inconsistency in the level of service, it's difficult not to be a bit more observant next time. Now it would make a world of a difference if one of the EK FA bloggers whose blogs I avidly follow is on board, as that might distract me from keeping an eye for the service; I will be chatting them up instead, perhaps do their interview while on the job!!

The service from New York is on the Boeing 777-300ER and the return is on the Boeing 777-200LR and what is quite exciting is unlike the last trips, these have the brand new uniforms out, which I quite like over the old ones, but I still need to get used to the male FA's uniforms. What is more I have come to understand that the seat back videos are huge, so it's going to be movie after movie on Emirates great and well known ICE system. I know on my flights on Qantas I watched a whopping eight movies on the sectors to and from Los Angeles to Sydney. I will be a bit anxious if we hit some severe turbulence, bringing to mind the Air France crash which was not purely due to turbulence but failed pitot tubes, nevertheless all that rocking to and fro will not put me to sleep this time like it used to in the past!!!

I was hoping to fly Qatar, as that would have definitely added to my list of carriers, and added another Middle Eastern carrier to my list, Emirates and Etihad being the other two. However Emirates' fare won my heart over lol. It was a not that much cheaper but when you are already flying on a budget every dollar counts, and especially when you had no plans to fly in the first place. Well it will be a delight to take to 39000ft and watch the clouds go by!! Well for most of the flights it's night flights, so at least if there are clouds there should be a nice full moon to go with them to blanket them nicely with the soothing moonlight!!

Here is the slideshow from the last trip on Emirates.

And I also flew Emirates DXB-KHI-DXB when I flew on Lufthansa from Toronto to Dubai en route to Karachi.

Sorry adding both the slideshows here which include the Emirates/Lufthansa portions

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A couple of firsts!!

Just a quick blog about some of the new airlines, colour schemes and new landings during the past few days spotting at Pearson. Included are the following

  • Inaugural flight of Turkish Airlines Airbus A340-300 service to Toronto!
  • The Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER sporting the Vancouver 2010 games sticker!
  • Austrian Boeing 767-300 with winglets in the Star Alliance colours.
  • British Airways Boeing 747-400s both in corporate & One World colours
  • British Airways Boeing 777-200.
  • Carribean Airlines & Canjet Boeing 737-800 with winglets.
  • Thomas Cook-Scandanavia Airbus A330-300!
  • Luthansa Airbus A340-300 from Dusseldorf!
  • Finnair Boeing 757-300 with winglets.
  • CSA Airbus A310 with the new corporate colours.
  • Air France Boeing 747-400 and
  • PIA Boeing 777-200LR and some others.

Friday, July 3, 2009

You win some, You lose some!!

July 1, 2009 was Canada Day and a statutory holiday! It was a Wednesday and one of the three days in the week that Emirates flies to Toronto, the other days being Mondays and Fridays. It's difficult to go spot the Airbus A380 during the week, so any statutory holiday falling on these days is definitely to be used to go see this bird! Runway 23 was in use and the weather was just great! Thunderstorms were supposed to past through the area, but fortunately the weather did not deteriorate. Got some usual arrivals like KLM, and some never seen before like the Transaero, before the beast arrived.

The Emirates Airbus A380 has drawn tons of non-spotters to the airport. Nowadays it almost feels like a celebrity is arriving at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International airport. Airport Road (yes that is the name of the road bordering the airport perimeter) is lined up with cars and tons of people, most of whom disperse no sooner the jet lands. And then with the warm summer nights there are line ups again at night when it departs at 2140, and then too the crowds disperse ever so equally once she takes to the skies. I can now say I have seen all three A380s flying in the world, the SQ and QF jets in Sydney and the EK whale jet here in Toronto!!!

Here is the beast arriving. I finally nailed it!! Not a very gorgeous plane though :(

The afternoon progressed with the other usual arrivals like Air India and Lufthansa. I finally, yes finally managed to get a fairly decent picture of one of the longest birds in the sky, the Airbus A340-600!! It's hard to sometimes fit it in your viewfinder but I guess that day I got lucky. I was there for over 8 hours (see reason why below) that I actually saw it arrive around 4:30pm and then leave some two hours later. I hope you like the pics too :)

Air India Boeing 777-200

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600. Now that is a gorgeous bird!!

And here she is departing back to Frankfurt from Rwy 23, where it landed some two hours earlier.

It was followed by the equally long and gorgeous Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER! I think this bird was going to London Heathrow!

A very unfortunate accident happened that day. From the last few arrivals around 4:30pm to almost 6:00pm Rwy 23 went "dead". Every single jet was landing and taking off on the far side on Rwy 24R and 24L. So when I saw the transit bus approaching, I decided there was no point waiting at this spot so I ran to get it. In a hurry I sat on the bus and removed my sunglasses, turned my head and saw a jet heading to the Rwy23 where I was just at, lining up to take off. It looked like the runway was going to go back into operation!!!. I pulled the cord immediately and ran off the bus to get a shot of it, and in all that hurry left my "Prescription sunglasses" on the seat of the bus! It is only after I had taken the photos, I went to put my sunglasses on, that I realised what had happened!

During the 45 minute wait between the next bus I photographed the LH A346 and AC 773ER above and some others. When the next bus arrived, I got on and frantically asked the driver if he could contact the driver of the earlier bus. He said he could not by any transit means, but happened to have his cell phone number. He got in touch with him and asked if anyone had handed him sunglasses when he finished the Southern route about 25 minutes ago, to which his response was "No". I was devastated. However he suggested I wait at the Airport terminal (where the bus makes a loop) and get on that driver's bus who was doing the return Northern trip to where I had got on earlier. So I waited and he came back and I frantically searched the bus where I had lost the sunglasses, to see if they had been left on the seat. They were gone and now I'm only hoping somebody returns it to the "Lost and Found", considering they can only use it should their eyes be as bad as mine.

I was so pooped by then I just had to sit down and relax my mind. . I got into a nearby coffee shop and as I was ordering the Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR to Sydney, Australia passed by and I was quite upset I missed it. Anyway I have my eyes set on being on that bird sometime next year using my FF points to travel the route! Fortunately Aeroplan (Air Canada's FF programme) is linked with American Express, so the more I use my credit card the more I rack up on the points. Sweet!!). It was almost 8:30pm now and I decided to wait to see the Emirates A380 take off in about an hour. Fortunately it left on time and around 10pm I was heading back home after a very great day of spotting but unfortunately a sad one where I lost my expensive prescription sunglasses on the bus!!

The Emirates A380 departing for Dubai, some 6 hours after it landed earlier in the afternoon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How much more real can it get!

This video created with Flight Simulator was posted on another forum. So I decided to post it here and dedicate it to the Emirates flight attendants, that blog regularly to tell us about their lives! This goes without saying the blogs of other flight attendants are just as interesting and a joy to read. However since this is a FS2004 video regarding an Emirates A330-200 this is to you guys out there, Sodwee (Ben), Melissa, Carine, Clauderic, Matt, Marlon and Toby. Oh what the heck this one is dedicated as well to Traytable, The flying Pinto, GirlonTour, The flying Camba (QR) and Nikita (EY) and many others out there living their dreams!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Airports I've been through, and Airlines I've travelled with!!

I did this post for another website and I thought I'd share it here. As you know I never really could become an FA however, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled with quite a few airlines and transited through many different airports. Here is my travel history so far :). I have been flying progressively every year on one long haul flight since 1994! From flights over the Atlantic, to over the Pacific, to over the South China sea, to over the Alps, to over the Arabian Sea I've been there. Never been though to South America or Africa but would be great to fly between the two with my favourite carrier, Malaysia Airlines between Buenos Aires and Cape Town and also get to travel over the South Atlantic! Ah, one can dream can they not! LOL

I nearly booked a flight on KLM for December to Dubai (onward to Karachi with either Malaysia Airlines or Emirates), but with a Credit card nearly maxed out and the recession looming, I did not go ahead with it. Or else by December KLM would have been added to the list below. If I don't land up flying this year (I have some FF points to use), it will be the second time since 1994 that I have not flown, the first time since then was in 2004 the year my parents came for a visit to Canada.

Click on the underlined links to go to the airport or airline websites!! (Remember to right click on the link and select "Open link in new tab" or you may not return to my page LOL!!

(Tch) = Technical stop
(Tr) = Transit stop
(Dis) = Disembarked

Karachi - Where it all began :)
Travelled from/to Karachi up to 1996
Travelled from/to Toronto since 1996

Mumbai (Dis)-1981 - IC & PK
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA)

Singapore (Tr)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-2000 SQ, (Tr)-2000 SQ
Welcome to Changi Airport

Sydney - (Dis)-1988 SQ, (Dis)-1994 BA , Dis-(2001) NZ, Dis-(2008) QF
Sydney Airport

Bangkok - (Tr)-1994 TG, (Dis)-1994
Don Muang Airport (DMK) Details - Thailand

Colombo - (Dis)-1995 UL
Welcome to Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.

Dubai - (Tch)-1996 SR , (Tch)-1998 SR*, (Tch)-1999 EK, (Tch)-2002 MH, (Dis)-2006 EK, (Dis)-2007 LH
Dubai International Airport

Zurich - (Tr)-1996 SR* , (Tr)-1998 SR*
Zurich Airport

Toronto - (Dis)-1996 (Moved to Canada)
Greater Toronto Airports Authority - Home

New York - (Dis)-1996 KU, (Tr)-2003(EWR)MH, (Tr)-2006 EK
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - Kennedy Airport

London - (Tch)-1996 KU, (Tr)-1999 EK,
BAA Heathrow: Welcome to Heathrow Airport | Parking | Terminal 5

Kuwait - (Tr)-1996 KU, (Tr)- 1997 KU,
Kuwait International Airport

Chicago - (Tr)-1997 AA/KU,
Chicago Airport System ®

Amsterdam - (Tch)-KU,
Homepage - Schiphol

- (Tr)-1998 AC/SR*
Welcome to Montréal-Trudeau

- (Tr)-2000 NW
Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport - home

Los Angeles - (Dis)-2000 NW, (Tr)-2000 AC/SQ,(Tr)-2001 AC/NZ, (Tr)-2002 AC/MH, (Tr)-2008 AC/QF
LAX - Los Angeles International Airport. Flights, Parking, Airlines

Tokyo - (Tch)-2000 SQ

Vancouver - (Tr)-2000 SQ/AC
YVR - Vancouver International Airport

Taipei - (Tch)-2002 MH
Taipei SongShan Airport-Home

Kuala Lumpur
- (Dis)-2001 MH, (Dis)-2002 MH,
Welcome to KL International Airport

- (Tch)-2005 EY
The Brussels Airport Website

Abu Dhabi - (Tr)-2005 EY
Welcome To Abu Dhabi International Airport

Frankfurt - (Tr)-2007 LH
Frankfurt Airport City | Homepage

*SR indicates Swissair

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The joys of summer :)

Saturday June 6th, 2009

The spotting continues as Sat was another incredible warm sunny day, and with arrivals on Rwy 24R who could resist. I got a bit fed up with the parade of the Air Canada A320s, A319 and Embraers and the West Jet Boeing 737s of every imaginable kind, I just hoped to get some good aircraft which I did. The Etihad is a really gorgeous colour scheme and beats the Emirates colours any day! I was lucky to get that Air Jamaica as the new colour scheme is pretty bland.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chasing the Airbus A380!

Was able to get off early on a Friday and head to Pearson. Rwy 24 was the active one for landings so I got off there. And they decide to send the EK A380 to Rwy 23

So I headed to Rwy 23 and had some decent arrivals

No idea what this green bug is?

A delivery truck stopped right in front of me and blocked me!! I was lucky to at least get this as it passed

It's funny there was this guy who was right by the fence, who security came up to and began to question him. I had the camera in my hand but she didn't see it. She then asked the guy to follow her, and when they passed me and had their backs to me I clicked this one. It turned out she just didn't want him to be right up close to the fence. I later spoke to him after the security guard had left and he told me he was new, first time today so I warned him to stand where I do which causes no problems..yet!!

Took a break and then decided to go to the other side, to get the light from the setting sun on the jets. Was quite happy with this one.

This pic was taken at 9:05pm. It was still dusk. Taken from the usual location which I headed back to.

I waited for the A380 to depart at 2140, which she did from Rwy 23. However my camera does not take good photos in the day to begin with, so at night it was a challenge. There were tons of people lined up against the fence around 40. (Ms.Security should have turned up at that time. She would have freaked out) There were lots of ooh and aahs when it finally taxied close by before performing a rolling take off. And then when it lifted off, there was this gush of wind that shook the fence and made all of us blink when the dust kicked into our eyes. It was the jet blast from the A380. Everyone said it was from the A380. Have stood many times there but never experienced even a mild jet blast with the other jets. And oh it was so quiet!!

Here are crappy pics but to give you an idea

Head on with the beast as it made it's way to Rwy 23.

Passing by the fence!! It just taxied by so quickly!

Beginning the take off roll