This was going to be the first leg on our trip to London. Despite the fact that the kids were completely hassle free on the flights to and from Hong Kong earlier this year, we were still pretty excited to have another trip without them on the planes. This was especially true because we decided to burn a few extra air miles and were flying first and business class! Because of the points we did, however, have to put up with a stop-over.
We arrived at YVR around 11am for our 2:30pm flight to Dallas Fort Worth. We knew that our business class ducats would allow us to bypass most of the check-in and security lines, but flights from Vancouver to the US require customs screening in Vancouver and that line is always unpredictable. Of course the airport was virtually empty now that we had our front-of-the-line passes. In fact, the line-up at the VIP check-in desk at American had 2 people in it while the economy check-in had none. With our bags tagged and checked we breezed through customs and security, although I was flagged to go through the scanner and opted instead for a pat-down that was thorough but not too thorough if you know what I mean. I’m thankful to have only ever run into one CATSA employee with a nasty attitude.
We killed the remaining time waiting for the plane by doing the usual buying of magazines, fluids and junky snacks for the trip although we would have rather spent that time in a lounge. If we were flying direct we probably would have had access to one in international but, ironically, there is no American affiliated lounge in the US departures area of YVR. We were finally called to board the plane about 20 minutes later than scheduled, which was slightly worrisome. We only had about an hour of layover in Dallas but we figured we might make up some time in the air. It was refreshing to bypass the usual crowd of people jockeying for a position near the gate to ensure themselves some overhead bin space. People really need to pack smaller carry-on bags!
The business class seats on the Boeing 737 were your traditional slightly wider + more leg room seats that you find on the smaller domestic planes. I was a bit disappointed to see that there were no personal entertainment systems so we would be stuck watching whatever happened to on the centrally fed screens that day. I was also surprised that the plane still had the old style power port that requires an adapter to plug into. As I sense all of the budget travellers out there crying me a river, I opted out of taking the cheap headphones and played cribbage on my phone for most of the flight while mindlessly munching on the bowl of nuts they gave me. Ah, the good life.
I took a brief break from playing on my phone to pick at what might possibly be the worst hot ham and cheese sandwich that I have ever tried to swallow. The ham and bread were fine, but the cheese tasted as though it came out of a squeeze tube. The olives in the salad were nice, though.
We got to Dallas about 10 minutes late and luckily did not have to change terminals for the international flight to London. Not wanting to let a good thing go to waste, we ventured up to the Admirals Club to freshen up. Upon checking in they give us two scratch-off cards for access to wifi as well as two drink tickets. Apparently they don’t do open bar. Once upstairs we didn’t really have much time to do much other than look around and take some nice pictures out of the huge windows overlooking the tarmac.
Knowing that we would be spending a lot of time here on the way home, we took a quick look around and head back down to catch our next flight on the Boeing 777!