Tuesday, 19 April 2011

On a fascinating choice about how to get to Australia

I was poking around the Internet last night, looking at various options for getting to and around Australia. Expedia showed an interesting price on a ticket from Montreal to Sydney via Air Canada so I went to the Air Canada website to get more details. As expected, there was no direct flights from Montreal to Sydney (quelle surprise). However, there was only one change of plane required. I poked a little further before I was taken aback during the flight selection process as there seemed to be a glitch with the second of two flights needed to get to Oz. Even though the flight number was the same (33), some of my options said it had no stops, but others said it had 1 stop. It took me a few minutes to figure out why: Air Canada flight 33 leaves from Toronto, lands in Vancouver where it takes on more fuel and passengers before making the trans-Pac hop to Oz. The Air Canada website was giving me the option of joining the flight in Toronto or in Vancouver and I hadn't noticed the difference in transfer points or times! ;-)

Having had the time to think about it, I think that given the price is the same, I would opt to change planes in Vancouver for a number of reasons. The best reason is that with an artful selection of flights, I could probably score enough to time to briefly see Margo, Chris and/or other West Coast relatives. Another reason would be to limit the amount of time spent in the same fricking aircraft. Flight times are liable to be more or less the same, but the amount of time spent in the trans-Pac hopper will be the less. I believe I have mentioned in past posts that I am not a happy flier for all my knowledge about and enthusiasm for aviation. This contradiction perplexes me, but I am much happier for knowing about it. Now that I think about it, an hour or two with relatives in Vancouver would probably be a very welcome release of stress. Yet another reason to select Vancouver as a transfer point.

This is, however, a hypothetical exercise at this point. I have yet to have my vacation choice approved, let alone decided where in Australia I will be biking. For all I know, the Air Canada fares to Sydney will skyrocket by the time I decide and I will end up flying with Quantas out of Los Angeles or San Francisco. I must also confess, I had kind of pictured myself flying in one of Quantas' Airbus 380 super-jumbos rather than an Air Canada Boeing 777. Come to think of it, 4 engines are more comforting on a trans-Pac flight than 2!

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