01. Air Canada Express (Jazz) CRJ-900 economy class San Diego to Vancouver
02. SkyTeam lounge, YVR
03. Philippine Airlines 777-300ER business class Vancouver to New York (JFK)
04. Delta Air Lines 757-200 premium business class (Delta One) New York (JFK) to San Diego
It really pains me to say this, but this Air Canada CRJ-900 flight from San Diego to Vancouver was the flight I had been looking forward to my entire life. No, I don’t have an Air Canada fetish of any kind, and you know dang well that I hate CRJ’s more than anything else on this planet, but it was this flight that just so happened to be the one that crossed me over that monumental 1,000,000 mile mark.
And don’t even get me started on how it came to be that my 1,000,000th mile flight ended up being on CRJ. The honest truth is that I completely lost track of my flown mileage, and it wasn’t until I was updating my flight log a couple weeks before this trip when I realized what was about to happen. I did consider booking a special flight of some kind (right before this jaunt to Vancouver) that would’ve been more worthy of reaching such a significant milestone, but it seemed really self-indulgent considering that nobody but me would care anyway.
A CRJ-900 it is then. Thank God it wasn’t a CRJ-200 though, because then I definitely would’ve had to come up with an extremely indulgent Plan B to avoid a disaster such as that.
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Vancouver, BC (YVR)
Friday, September 14, 2018
Aircraft: CRJ-705ER (technically, it’s a -900)
Duration: 2 hours 41 minutes
Seat: 24A (economy class)
Don’t forget to check out the video! Thanks as always to Epidemic Sound for hooking me up with epic tracks for all my videos!
Dear Air Canada,
As much as I appreciate daily nonstop service between San Diego and Vancouver, I would like to enquire as to why you chose the ungodly hour of 7 AM for the morning departure. Please be advised that most human beings are still quite dysfunctional at this hour, and it would behoove you to extend the departure window forward at least two hours so that your passengers (and employees) can appreciate the experience in a more alert state of mind. Please feel free to call me at your convenience so that we can discuss this matter, as I’ve got some really good ideas for departure times that will make this flight a more attractive option.
Thank you and kind regards,
P.S. The decision to serve this route with a CRJ blows. But don’t worry – we can discuss this as well.
Well then, I guess there’s no point in telling you about how much that I wasn’t happy about such an early flight. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly why they chose this particular time slot, because it seems to arrive into Vancouver far too early for the majority of connections to anywhere in the world. Maybe it’s simply an aircraft availability issue? I really have no idea, but what I do know is that a 9 AM departure time (and not a minute earlier) makes a lot better sense for my particular needs, and that’s all that matters anyway. Ha!
If there’s one really nice thing about these early flight out of San Diego, it’s the fact that getting through security is relatively easy and quick and the airport itself is pretty slow compared to other times of the day. It took me no longer than 15 minutes to get through security and grab some breakfast before finding a quiet place to sit and relax before the flight.
As I was waiting for the flight to begin boarding, I noticed that the fog outside seemed to be rolling in thicker and thicker with each passing minute. I didn’t think anything of it other than “whoa that’s cool”, and it didn’t seem to be affecting any other departures so I had no cause for concern. But you know how it is with fog and airports…
Boarding started at exactly 6:35 AM and within just a few minutes I was deep in the innards of the aircraft type that I despise so much. OK, I guess that’s being a little bit overdramatic. Of course I hate the CRJ, but to be fair, the CRJ-900 is far better than the rinky-dink CRJ-200 (an aircraft that I still believe should be eradicated from the earth by all means possible).
Everything seemed to be going very well as we were pushing off the gate, and I was having fun trying to get some flashy pics of the sun burning through that beautiful fog. Meanwhile, the highly skilled SAN ground crew did a remarkable job (as always) of getting us turned around and pointed in the right direction.
But then came the announcement from a frustrated sounding pilot, which basically consisted of him telling us that the fog was wrecking havoc with the airport this morning and that we were going to be delayed. Arrivals were coming in on runway 9, while departures were going off on 27. Those of you who aren’t familiar with San Diego international airport, the normal flow of traffic is runway 27 for all the departures and all arrivals. It’s a one one-runway airport, and running it in both directions simultaneously is very inefficient.
This resulted in us being number 20 for take off this morning, which was especially painful since it didn’t account for all of the arriving aircraft as well. Long story short, it was going to be a while until we were able to take off. At least we didn’t have to go back to the gate, I guess. Immediately after the announcement, we started rolling towards the lineup for departures and just waited our place in line.
Despite how frustrated the pilot sounded in his announcement, our wait for departure didn’t seem like it took all that long, and although I didn’t time it, I’m guessing it only took about 25 minutes or so before we were in the air. I was expecting far worse, so all in all it wasn’t a big deal.
Air Canada jazz CRJ-900s are staffed by only one flight attendant, so service was a bit slow on today’s flight – although she seemed to be working very hard and as fast as possible. It was only scheduled to be 2.5 hours up to Vancouver this morning, so it wasn’t all that important to be served a snack IMHO. I think I would’ve survived. I think.
Knowing that this was my one millionth-mile flight, you’re darn sure that I knew exactly the point at which that was going to happen. Therefore, my nose was to the window and the in-flight map once we passed Lake Tahoe so that I could pinpoint and celebrate the precise moment when it happened.
Just as we were coming up on Bend Oregon, I sat back in my seat and raised my glass of water to the video screen in front of me, which was showing the exact spot where I would become a 1 million mile flier. Cheers!
I’m normally very comfortable with the fact that I’m an introverted person who likes to keep to himself most of the time, but I will admit that I was feeling the temptation to tap my neighbor on the shoulder and let her know the significance of what had just happened. She looked like she was dead asleep though, and I figured that waking her up to tell her something she couldn’t care less about wasn’t a wise decision. She didn’t look all that tough, but part of me was worried that she’d take a swing at me and I’d end up with a black eye to celebrate 1,000,000 miles with. Therefore, I celebrated the moment in silence all by myself.
This flight up to Vancouver went right back to being boring and dull as that special moment passed, and by the time we reached the USA / Canada border the skies had turned gloomy and gray – typical of what I was expecting for this time of year in the Pacific Northwest.
Flying more than 1,000,000 miles has been a goal of mine since I was 10 years old (at least), and it feels so good to have finally reached that milestone! I’m a bit disappointed that it took this many years to finally cross over that number, but the fact that I did it was enough to give me a satisfied grin as I checked that box off of my bucket list.
As luck would have it, it was actually the next segment which would have been worthy of being a proper 1,000,000th mile flight. I was so close to making this a very epic milestone, and if anything else, it’s made me realize that I’m going to be darn sure when and where I’m going to cross 2,000,000 miles. Of course I have no idea how it’s all going to play out right now, but I promise you that it’s not going to be on CRJ.