Flying Across Canada

When flying across Canada, you might as well be travelling to another country.  Vancouver is three hours behind Quebec and the cost of a flight is only a couple hundred dollars cheaper than a Trans Pacific flight.  Canada only has two major carriers – Air Canada and WestJet – and a few smaller regional airlines.  I ended up flying Air Canada this time around on my Quebec City trip.  WestJet used to be my go-to airline in Canada, but Air Canada has improved their prices and service of late. For me, it’s whichever airline will give me the best price.  However, my Aeroplan points card has pushed me towards Air Canada more often lately.

On this trip, I decided to use my a mobile boarding pass for the first time.  In other words, I didn’t print out my boarding pass.  I used the iPhone PassBook app with an electronic pass complete with a scannable QR code.  I must admit that having a printed boarding pass offers a certain sense of security, but it was nice to go through security and check-in with one less item in hand.

There are no direct flights from Vancouver to Quebec City.  So I had to make a stopover in Ottawa.  I only had 35 minutes to transfer to my Quebec flight.  So basically off one flight and onto another.  However, I had to walk out onto the tarmac to get to my next flight.  I found this plane as I exited the terminal building.

Thankfully, that wasn’t my next flight.  However, in Central Canada, most of the flights between the major cities are primarily on smaller planes.  My flight from Ottawa to Quebec City was on a Bombardier Dash 8-100‘s.  They are propeller planes as well, but more business-like. My flight, however, still required that we put all our carry-on luggage in the cargo hold.  The cabin wouldn’t accommodate everything.  I was in the front row and some of the cabin equipment was held in a compartment right in front of me.  The flight attendant had to get stuff from that compartment from time to time. Thankfully, it was less than a 2-hour flight to Quebec City from Ottawa.

My seat also had a great view of the propeller. It made for a nice iPhone video and photo, but it was so loud.  I was very happy once I was off the plane and away from that droning propeller.

I was very grateful that I had packed lightly and managed to pack everything into one carry-on. With a 35 minute transfer in Ottawa, I thought it would be tight.  I was right.  One other traveller from Vancouver checked luggage in and it didn’t make the transfer in Ottawa.  She had to wait until the next day for Air Canada to deliver her luggage to the hotel. It really pays off to pack light, if you can.

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