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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 3:46 pm    Post subject: icon_bad 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

Have you flown places?

When was the first time you flew somewhere?

How often do you fly?

Which parts about flying (and the accompanying rituals) do you like? Which parts do you dislike?

Window or aisle?

Do you think about the plane going down very much? Does turbulence scare you? Do you look to see if the flight attendants are calm? Do you desperately remind yourself that statistics are massively on your side?

Do you ever look out the window and think “it’s pretty crazy that I’m flying” but in a good way?

Which airlines do you prefer or avoid? Why?

Which airports do you like or dislike? Why?

Big planes or small planes?

Have you flown first class?

Does all the security make you feel safer?

BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever piloted a plane yourself?

Also, whatever else you want to say about flying.
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OfflineCalbrena
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Oh god. Not today, too much to type on a broken keyboard.

Maybe on Sunday, or next week.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Yes. First time was ... to Texas for a wedding of a college friend. Not that often. I don't really have the time to go ob trips for vacations and I don't need to fly tobhead up to NJ at holidays. I take a train for that. Um....there's precious little I like about flying. I only like getting to my destination. I hate the cramped seating, the lines and whole procedure of security, the nees to get to the airpprt early but then wait a ton. The whole experience is an exercise in discomfort. Aisle. In theory the idea of looking out the window is nice, but in practice I prefer to be able to get to the bathroom with the least amount of difficulty. If I think about the plane going down at all it's only in the context of being nervous about what I'll have to do if it happens. Turbulence doesn't bother me. I tend to flight British Airways for international. Heathrow's pretty good as airports go. Most aren't too great. Big planes. No. No. And no.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: icon_bad Re: 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

Have you flown places?
Yep!

When was the first time you flew somewhere?
When we took a trip to Florida in 1992.

How often do you fly?
Every year or two?

Which parts about flying (and the accompanying rituals) do you like? Which parts do you dislike?
The only part I like is the view out the window. I dislike the crampedness on the plane and the wasted time at the airport and the low-level fear of disaster, though the stress tends to make me constipated which is probably just as well while I’m on the plane.

Window or aisle?
Window. Like I said, the view is pretty much my one positive.

Do you think about the plane going down very much? Does turbulence scare you? Do you look to see if the flight attendants are calm? Do you desperately remind yourself that statistics are massively on your side?
Yes it comes to mind often enough and turbulence doesn’t help (it reminds me I’m in the air). The statistics are somewhat comforting in that I’m probably more likely to die of a random heart attack or aneurysm on the plane than a crash, but the thought of those last minutes of terror as it goes down are pretty awful.

Do you ever look out the window and think “it’s pretty crazy that I’m flying” but in a good way?
Yup.

Which airlines do you prefer or avoid? Why?
I don’t fly quite enough to have strong preferences here. KLM was nice though. I liked their food and service. (By airline standards.)

Which airports do you like or dislike? Why?
Tegel was stupid. Both Vancouver and Montreal are decent—fairly easy to navigate, not hideous, and not too absurdly large. Chicago was a zoo. Heathrow was efficient but too large.

Big planes or small planes?
I feel safer in big planes but sometimes I do actually enjoy the stronger feeling of actually flying you get in a smaller plane.

Have you flown first class?
No sirree.

Does all the security make you feel safer?
I guess somewhat. Seems like major overkill though and despite that, still full of holes.

BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever piloted a plane yourself?
Nope!
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 12:18 am    Post subject: icon_bad Re: 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

Have you flown places?
Yes

When was the first time you flew somewhere?
Going to Iceland in summer 1992.

How often do you fly?
About 2-3 per year? Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Which parts about flying (and the accompanying rituals) do you like? Which parts do you dislike?
I don't like it much, unless I have access to an airline lounge with nice food.
Pro-tip: there are airports in which you can purchase lounge access passes, so it's useful if you have a long stopover.


Window or aisle?
Aisle, especially if I'm sitting next to a random stranger.

Do you think about the plane going down very much? Does turbulence scare you? Do you look to see if the flight attendants are calm? Do you desperately remind yourself that statistics are massively on your side?
Not really, although I don't like turbulences.

Do you ever look out the window and think “it’s pretty crazy that I’m flying” but in a good way?
Not really. I rarely look out the window unless I'm flying above a specific cool place, e.g. flying over Death Valley, etc.

Which airlines do you prefer or avoid? Why?
Singapore airlines is the best I've ever flown. Otherwise, I kinda like KLM. Air France is alright but they're always on strike. In the US, I tend to prefer Delta, when it makes sense to fly with them.

I avoid flying BA on long haul flights because I've had a crap quality of service on such flights, and broken seats/screen/etc. BA is fine for short flights though,
e.g. flying from Nice to London, Bordeaux to London, London to Amsterdam, etc. Mostly if it's possible to avoid Heathrow and land in London City airport instead.

Oh, and I now avoid United like the plague. No need to explain, right?


Which airports do you like or dislike? Why?
Schiphol is the best in Europe imho, Singapore and HK airports are my favorite ever. I don't like Heathrow and Roissy Charles de Gaulle, I much prefer Orly and London City Airport.

In the US, so far one of my favs has been Minneapolis airport (Delta terminal anyway). I hate LAX and JFK is pretty rubbish. La Guardia is alright for an old airport, as long as you're flying from the Delta terminal. I don't like NYC airports though, and most US airports I've been to are pretty bad...
Most probably because they're old though, so not very well designed.


Big planes or small planes?
big, unless they're packed with crying babies.

Have you flown first class?
I got upgraded once. It was pretty nice considering it was on an extremely long flight.

Does all the security make you feel safer?
Nope, because studies show that the extra security measures are pretty much useless. Statistically though the odds of something bad happening are pretty small though, so I'm not worried when flying.

BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever piloted a plane yourself?
Nope, I've met several professional pilots though.

Also, whatever else you want to say about flying.
Not sure what to add. The lounge pass trick is good to know.
Maybe one thing: on short haul flights (at least in Europe) it's sometimes cheaper/pretty much the same cost to fly in Business class with a real airline than flying in Economy class with a budget/"low-cost" airline. It depends on many factors though, but it's worth actually checking before booking anything.
It's also pretty nice to be able to have more carry-on luggages for free as it can mean saving a significant amount of time before/after the plane trip.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:05 am    Post subject: icon_bad Re: 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

smeared ink wrote:
Have you flown places?

When was the first time you flew somewhere?


My mom used to work for a major airline back in the 80s and 90s, so when we traveled, we would fly instead of drive. Mostly to DC, PA, and VA to visit family. I don't actually remember the first time I flew on a plane, but by the time I was 6 or 7, it was such a normal thing I never really thought much about it. I remember a lot of things as normal that are unheard of now. I remember when airlines didn't have explicit limits to carry-ons or baggage fees, when in-flight meals were the norm, when non-passengers could go through security and see friends and family off at their departure gate, when no one gave a shit if you had a knife, an ice pick, a hatchet, a straight razor, a pair of scissors, a chainsaw, 6 knitting needles, and a broken whiskey bottle in your carry-on luggage, etc.

Quote:
How often do you fly?


After my mom left her job with the airlines with it the flight perks, we might fly once a year. (except the last couple of years when my wife and I were applying to jobs all over the US)

Quote:
Which parts about flying (and the accompanying rituals) do you like? Which parts do you dislike?


Air travel is always done out of necessity. I hate just about everything involved in the process, from trying to find the cheapest travel days/times, to navigating hidden fees, overpriced fast food, to the absurd security theater, to the increasingly cramped quarters, to the inconsiderate strangers who seem oblivious to anyone around them. I even hate the safety demonstrations.

All things equal, if I had to choose between a 15 hour drive or a 3 hour flight, I would always choose (and have chosen) driving. When you factor in all the time you add into air travel (padding for security checkpoints, parking, riding shuttle to the terminal, layovers, etc.) the total time you spend "traveling" is only slightly less for the flight, with a lot more inconvenience for that time you might save.

Quote:
Window or aisle?


Aisle. I can sit at an angle so my legs aren't smashed up against the seat in front of me.

Quote:
Do you think about the plane going down very much? Does turbulence scare you? Do you look to see if the flight attendants are calm? Do you desperately remind yourself that statistics are massively on your side?


Turbulence makes me nauseous, but I don't ever think about plane crashes. The thing I think about more is flight delays/cancellations, getting trapped on the tarmac for multiple hours, or being physically assaulted by airline security goons.

Quote:
Do you ever look out the window and think “it’s pretty crazy that I’m flying” but in a good way?


Nope. Most of my time is spent clock-watching until the moment we land and I no longer have to smell the overwhelming BO of Mr. Hygiene Privilege next to me, or listen to old, overweight Michele Bachmann clones making casually racist observations about ethnic minorities.

Quote:
Which airlines do you prefer or avoid? Why?


My favorite is Southwest. It's easy to change or cancel flights, I know exactly what I'm going to be paying for each time, and I usually check in early enough that I can pick an aisle seat on the plane.

I hate flying Spirit or United, mainly because I had really shitty experiences on both airlines.

Quote:
Which airports do you like or dislike? Why?


I like the airports in Madison, WI and Hartford, CT because they are small enough that I can actually get from being dropped off to my flight gate within 15-30 minutes. The downside of Madison, though, was that there's ALWAYS a connecting flight in either Detroit, Chicago, or Minneapolis.

I really dislike La Guardia, O'Hare, and DCA. These places are like anxiety attack manifested in steel, glass, concrete, and panic-sweaty human flesh. JFK, Midway, and BWI are comparatively tolerable.

Quote:
Big planes or small planes?


Big planes. Bigger overhead space for larger luggage. I've had baggage handlers lose too many of my personal belongings to willingly check any of my luggage.

Quote:
Have you flown first class?


Once. It costs more than it's worth.

Quote:
Does all the security make you feel safer?


Nope. It irritates me that so much money is spent on what amounts to security theater. I remember flying a few months after September 11 happened, and everyone was clamoring to come up with the most draconian way to make white people feel safe. One of the guys in front of us in the security line got pulled off to the side for extra screening because he had a pair of nail clippers in his bag. Everyone else around me was tut-tutting the irate man, sanctimoniously saying to each other, "he should have known better, this is here to keep us safe!" and meanwhile, I was thinking "the only way nail clippers would hurt someone is if they accidentally clipped too far into the nail bed."

Quote:
BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever piloted a plane yourself?


The closest I've gotten is using the flight simulators they use in flight schools for people who want to fly single-engine propeller planes.


Last edited by Mitsurugi CP on Sat May 12, 2018 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:08 am    Post subject: icon_bad Re: 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

I don't know why this was posted twice.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 3:38 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Calbrena wrote:
big, unless they're packed with crying babies.


That was our flight back from Europe last weekend.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 1:04 pm    Post subject: icon_bad Re: 2G18 - 19: Air Travel Reply with quote Back to top

Cal, what do you like so much about the Delta terminals at the different airports?
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:05 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I've flown from La Guardia with both South West and Delta and the terminals were completely different. The South West one was small, old and shitty with no seating space, the Delta one was brand new, nice and modern (and involved less walking).

When I was in Minneapolis about 6 months ago it was when flying with Delta. I'm not sure if that terminal was special or not but it was a nice/modern/clean one. Also one in which there wasn't tons of walking involved between connecting flights, which was nice. I think that at the end of the day the extra cost of flying Delta can be worth it if the whole journey is less crappy. I mainly chose my flights based on the convenience of departure/arrival times though, or on the length of the total journey.

I'm going back to Minneapolis for work in June so I'll see if I like the airport as much this time. This reminds me I still need to book my flights + accommodation for that.

When given the choice, I prefer trains to planes as they're more efficient (especially in Europe or Asia, but event the East Coast has some decent options, albeit super expensive). I don't like car journeys though as they're not so comfortable. I also want to be able to do stuff during the trip, I don't want to have to stare at the road for hours.

Some companies I didn't mention at all in my previous post: Qatar Airways, which is lovely, and Eva Air, which is pretty convenient when flying from the US West Coast to Asia. Etihad isn't great compared to Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines but it's still decent, and Abu Dhabi airport is ok as a hub. The new Doha airport is ok too (more modern) but there isn't any really good place to get some rest.

Pro-tip if you ever want to fly to a smaller city in Europe, from the US or Asia: change in Schiphol if possible, otherwise Heathrow or Gatwick is always a better option than Roissy/Charles de Gaule airport. Connecting flights in Orly aren't great, although they're usually quicker than connections in CDG.

I have some good pro tips for layovers in Asia and airports in general over there, although I guess they're not that useful to you guys.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:23 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I flew Delta from Washington to Minneapolis for a connecting flight once. The airport seemed quite nice, but it was also very large. Seemed like I had quite a long walk to my connecting flight. Luckily I had enough time between flights.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Calbrena wrote:

I have some good pro tips for layovers in Asia and airports in general over there, although I guess they're not that useful to you guys.


When I eventually get my passport and accrue some vacation time, I'll probably be going to Vietnam every now and again with my wife to visit her family. And my brother is going to Japan again next summer, so I wouldn't mind any tips you're willing to share.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Lord Golbez wrote:
I flew Delta from Washington to Minneapolis for a connecting flight once. The airport seemed quite nice, but it was also very large. Seemed like I had quite a long walk to my connecting flight. Luckily I had enough time between flights.

I guess I must have been lucky last time then.

I've never been to Vietnam so I'm not sure my tips will apply to flying there. Although I seem to remember my Eva Air flight from Taipei to LA was full of people from a connecting flight originally from Vietnam? My guess is, if you get the choice, don't pick an airport in mainland China for a connection if you can't find a direct flight. Change in Taipei or in Japan it you want a nicer experience. Narita airport* is nicer than Taipei airport, although as Taipei airport is smaller it means you wouldn't spend much time walking from one gate to the other. It's also much quieter than any other Asian airport I've seen and probably offers some of the best options for people wanting to visit Okinawa.

As for tips regarding Japan, personally I much prefer Osaka to Tokyo (not talking about the airports though, I can't remember much about Osaka airport). I also think arriving in Osaka is less brutal when it comes to learning how to navigate the local public transportation system. Others here probably have better Japan tips though, and might disagree with me.

*At least I *think* I was flying from Narita rather than Haneda when I left Japan? I can't quite remember and could be wrong.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

All I remember about Osaka airport is it had a light rail system to get around.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I fly once or twice a year. But I'm now working in services and have customers all over the world, so that could change in a whim.

Air France and Quantas have been my favourite airlines thus far. Good service and tolerable food.

I have flown Air France to France and Armenia.
I have flown Quantas to go to NZ and Australia.

The worst: Insert USA Airline
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Have you flown places?

I have indeed.

When was the first time you flew somewhere?

March 2001, to Vancouver (via St Louis).

How often do you fly?

I have flown on 94 flights since 2001. I tend to do 3 or 4 return trips a year.

Which parts about flying (and the accompanying rituals) do you like? Which parts do you dislike?

I like the fact that I’m going somewhere exciting. I dislike pretty much everything else. The food is bad, the people are annoying, the seats are cramped, delays are too common and I’m unable to sleep.
To be fair, I enjoy business class travel with unlimited champagne etc (though it’s obviously expensive) and I like when I’m able to use wifi and charge devices etc.

Window or aisle?

Window. I like to loom out and I barely ever stand up. Did an 11-12 hour flight to Vancouver once and only got up to go to the toilet once, despite being awake the entire time.

Do you think about the plane going down very much? Does turbulence scare you? Do you look to see if the flight attendants are calm? Do you desperately remind yourself that statistics are massively on your side?

Turbulence is often the best part of a flight.

Do you ever look out the window and think “it’s pretty crazy that I’m flying” but in a good way?

I often take a crap picture.

Which airlines do you prefer or avoid? Why?

I usually go for BA because it’s a good midway point between affordable and good. I hated Monarch for all their delays and lies, but they went bust last year. Ryanair is okay for short, cheap flights.

Which airports do you like or dislike? Why?

I can’t say I like any airports. They tend to involve too much walking and waiting and you can never predict how busy and annoying security will be.

Big planes or small planes?

As long as I have a seat, I don’t care.

Have you flown first class?

BA Business Class a few times (to/from Spain)

Does all the security make you feel safer?

Not at all. It’s mostly for show. They waste too much effort on making sure people don’t carry on too much lipstick and deodorant, probably distracting from digging for actual potential security breaches. When I flew to Norway a few weeks back, I saw somebody getting his bag searched for a flagged-up suspicious item. It was a pencil case with a few markers in it. Sure feel safe that multiple people are working on stopping an artist from carrying felt tipped pens onto a plane.

BONUS QUESTION: Have you ever piloted a plane yourself?

Only in videogames.

Also, whatever else you want to say about flying.

I managed to sleep on a flight for the first time this year. Got about 2 hours of broken sleep on the way back from Tokyo Shock
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Gonna do anything special for flight 100?
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I agree that BA business class for short flights within Europe is good, and not *that* expensive when booked at the right time. Apart from that, I've mostly had bad experiences with BA on long haul flights.

On many airlines, there are major differences between long haul and short haul flights and for long haul flights the quality varies depending where you're flying. E.g. I've heard BA is reasonable when it comes to London/NYC flights, whereas in my experience they were pretty bad (compared to other competitors operating similar flights anyway) when flying to the Middle East or Asia.
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Calbrena wrote:
I agree that BA business class for short flights within Europe is good, and not *that* expensive when booked at the right time. Apart from that, I've mostly had bad experiences with BA on long haul flights.


I booked early and went to Spain business class. Char sat in standard, having booked a few months later. He paid well over what I did, and I'm there in front of the peasant curtain, sipping champagne and eating food with real cutlery.

You're probably the authority on plane travel, so I won't argue with you, but our flights to New York and Japan on BA were pretty good. Norwegian has really dipped recently, service and customer care-wise though.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:24 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

You're not the first one telling me the BA flight to NYC was good so I believe you. This is why I said it's not the same depending on the actual destination, as for Japan I wouldn't know since I didn't use BA to go there. But for Middle East or to go to Hong Kong for example it's for sure not the best option at all, for example Qatar Airways offers a much better service. I miss being able to fly QA. :sadtea

And yes, business class on short haul/European flights with BA can actually be cheaper than normal flights. The one time I used BA in business to go from Bordeaux to London I had compared all other local options with Ryanair, Easyjet, etc., from multiple airports, and for a nearly last minute flight this was by far the most sensible option.

Another thing no one mentioned is, what's your favorite type of aircraft? I quite like Airbus A380 and I've noticed that on long haul flights being in a decent kind of aircraft is really important. For those who don't know, here is a useful site: https://flightaware.com/
Of course there are many similar sites, but if you're planning a long trip it's usually a good idea to make sure you fly on a comfy plane rather than one that's old and rubbish.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:26 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

This is a fun map: https://flightaware.com/miserymap/all/1526342400
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:36 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah. The main reason I use BA so much is its one of my cheapest options. Thay and since its home country speaks English I feel more comfortable taking it than other cheap options. Not that I expect flight attendants don't speak English on all airlines, but I prefer to avoid any unexpected difficulties. Also I know I can get a vegan meap on BA. Again, that's probably not so uncommon but I prefer to stick with what I know.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:50 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Meal options on QA are far superior to meal options on BA. I always asked for a specific meal on QA and it was always delicious.

It's one of the sekrets on many airlines actually: order a custom meal and you'll often be served faster, AND it will taste nicer, while usually being healthier too.
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OfflineLord Golbez
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Is QA cheap though? Yeah, I usually get my meal faster, but then I wait, because I feel bad eating first.
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OfflineCalbrena
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:59 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

One way flights on QA are cheaper than with other companies, which was what I needed the very first time I flew with QA in like 2006 and several times since then. Return flights aren't the cheapest ones available though.
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Fei Ayanami
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:20 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I’m waiting to board a flight to Toronto. This will be the first time I’ve flown to Toronto (as a destination) and the first time I’ve used the regional airline Porter. It flies into the small Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto. I’ll let you know how it is!!
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OfflineCalbrena
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I'm flying to Minneapolis tomorrow. Delta.
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Fei Ayanami
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Flight was fine. Nothing special. Propeller plane.
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OfflineDamien
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

You gonna go to the Mall of America?
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Fei Ayanami
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:58 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Not me!
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OfflineWaWard
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:46 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Porters nice. I like the beer options.

I’ve never flown it to Toronto though. Only halifax and Chicago.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:22 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I did not get beer but also it was like 8am. Maybe tomorrow evening on the flight home.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

My flight home got cancelled but I managed to get on an earlier one. The small Billy Bishop airport in Toronto has complimentary snacks and drinks past security!! Shock
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