This trip was the return segment of a trip to London about 3 weeks prior. I had to go and pick up some relatives, and bring them back to Vancouver on buddy passes. So I picked an unusual eastbound transatlantic run on Kuwait Airways, which alternates between 777s and A340s on their New York-London-Kuwait journey.

The first segment was on a 767 which normally isn't flown between Winnipeg and Toronto. However, the day before, this 767 was used on a charity flight from Winnipeg to Orlando/Disneyworld, as a "Dreams Take Flight" trip. So this morning, it was being positioned back to Toronto. We departed from RWY 18 ontime, and climbed really quickly. A very light breakfast was served in Executive Class that morning. In Toronto, we landed early, on RWY 05.


Because Air Canada does not fly from Toronto to JFK, I had to grab a flight to La Guardia, and bus it over to JFK. Clearing customs was a breeze, and it's really nice not having to change terminals to get to the transborder area at YYZ. Our flight left late from Toronto because of late arrival on the aircraft from Chicago. We departed off RWY 06L, and cruised at FL290 for the short journey to New York.

When I landed at La Guardia, I did a little bit of spotting from the terminal, cause I had like 8 hours until the next flight... After a little bit of video spotting at LGA, I took the bus over the JFK.


I had a tonne of time to kill at JFK, so I rode the monorail around, about 1,000 times taking pics and vids, cause the view from the monorail is pretty damn good. It's always interesting to see the wide variety of international traffic at JFK. The airport has seen a huge increase in traffic in the last 5-7 years, with JetBlue responsible for much of JFK's growth, as well as Delta's JFK buildup.

I used to go to JFK often back when I lived in Washington, and the airport was a huge mess. It still is, but slowly is starting to look more revived. Back then... Terminal 1 was pretty much the newest facility, but now, American has a nice new terminal, JetBlue is building new facilities at Terminal 5, and International Terminal 4 has been completely redone. So JFK is starting to get its act together, but it still has a long way to go.


I checked in early for the Kuwait Airways flight, and was given an seat in the forward Economy Class cabin. The load factor was very low, and there was a mix of pax going to Kuwait and London, but most people were going onto Kuwait. In fact there was a full crew of North American Airlines onboard, who were all going to Kuwait to pick up and full load of military pax, and bring them back to the USA. They were all in the forward Economy section too.

We pushed back ontime, and as usual, spent nearly an hour waiting to takeoff. This is not unusual for evening departures out of Newark and JFK. And it's actually completely ridiculous when you think about how many planes are in line for departure, and how much fuel is being wasted, when hour-long taxis are almost standard.

We were finally underway from JFK, and climbing up to FL370 in the late evening hours. After meal service, I went to sleep. The PTV was old and small, but hey, I wasn't expecting their A340s to even have PTVs... so it was a bonus. The service was average... nothing spectacular, nothing below average, and because the flight was so empty, I had two seats to myself, and thus, slept well.


Our arrival into London was different than usual (no holding). Not sure how ATC did it... but for once, I landed at Heathrow without entering the hold. I cleared customs quickly, and obtained details about the hotel I'd be staying at near Heathrow... then went spotting.

This was one of the few days I have been at Heathrow went the runway 09s were in use (landing on the left, departing on the right). I decided to do a whole day of video spotting... so I went towards Hatton Cross to go shoot departures off 09R. So here's all the videos of the heavies departing off the Right.


The next day, I refused to pay the 4 pounds to grab the Hoppa bus from the hotel to the airport, so I decided to walk. I walked south towards Heathrow along a small road, and wasn't sure how long the walk would be... 5 mins to Bath Road... maybe 20mins? Well, I started running short on time, so I waited for a transit bus, and rode in it for all of about 2 mins (2 pounds later too), and got off at Bath Road, where I connected to a free bus to the Central Bus Terminal, then onwards to Terminal 3, where I met my relatives. We checked in, received seats at the kiosk, dropped off the bags, and went upstairs to the incredibly long line for security, which was moving along fast, actually.

The flight back to Vancouver was routine. I slept quite a bit, cause these days, if I am not watching a movie, and on the laptop on an airplane, I get bored, and fall asleep easily. We landed on 08L at Vancouver, and waited in another long line to clear customs. All bags made it, and the trip was complete.

I still had a week off, so I spent a day in Vancouver, then headed off to Dubai... trip report to follow.


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