Monday, May 16, 2011

Vancouver Maple Leaf Lounge

Our flight on this little Air Canada Jazz Dash-8 consists of only about 30 minutes in the air, as we pass over our house (or close to it) flying SEA-YVR. Still, it manages to be 40 minutes late.


YVR Immigration and Customs are as quiet as they could be with no wait whatsoever, so we decide to carry on with our cheap rental car from Alamo, just to get away from the airport for awhile. We drive over to Richmond, walk through an Asian super market, and then enjoy a lunch of Malaysian-style noodles at a pleasant restaurant in the Aberdeen Centre. After all of that excitement we drive back to the airport and return the car with eight kilometers on it.

The CATSA screening is fine - all we have to go through today is the magnetometer - but the long-dead LED flashlight that serves as the base of Brian's key chain causes an employee to spend five minutes rooting through Brian's computer bag. She finally tells us what she's looking for (apparently it looks a little like a folded pen-knife in the X-Ray - horrors!) and we point it out (no pun intended) to her.

We're now sitting in a lovely Maple Leaf Lounge that we can't recall ever visiting before. It has an abundance of seating and a lovely view.


Like most non U.S. airline lounges, it features an impressive assortment of self-serve beverages.


We still have a long day and night ahead of us though, so we'll try to pace ourselves a little bit.

We've bought our way into Executive First for a few hundred bucks, probably our cheapest opportunity to experience it and compare it to UA's Business Class on a fairly long-haul flight. We've flown in this configuration once last year, but that was a short-haul flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires.

Considering we'll be flying back in UA C to LAX and then onward to SYD on the following day, it'll be a good chance to focus on comparing the two products as we work our way through jet lag and more than 17,000 miles of flying over the next four days or so.

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