Newest Review: ... vouchers but even with that 8 hours was quite a long time to kill.The seats were pretty basic but at 5 7 I had plenty of room.The tv wa... more
3k all the way
Member Name: mccstu
Date: 14/08/01, updated on 14/08/01 (340 review reads)
Advantages: Price, Seating, Staff
Disadvantages: *Possible* Delays
Having worked between Canada and the UK, (and even marrying a Canadian), I’ve travelled back and forth on many occasions over the past few years. I can say that Canada 3000 are a good quality airline, easily outpacing Air Transat who seem to be their main competition among Canadian charters.
Canada 3k flights go from London Gatwick to various points across Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, usually with one stop along the way. These stops are more of a bounce than anything, as you are not required to change onto another flight, but instead remain seated as passengers depart and others join for the hop to the final destination.
Flights into Toronto usually stop in Montreal, those to Vancouver go most often via Calgary.
3k’s fleet consists of mostly new aircraft, usually the European Airbus rather than the various Boeings favoured by transatlantic competitors. The interiors are clean, and the seating arrangements in economy tend to be in the 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 formats, as opposed to the more usual 3-4-3. Even though the seats are quite small these seating patterns mean you are rarely cramped.
The food and drink on board is what you’d expect, neither better or worse than food on other chartered airlines, and there is no choice of meal, outside of the vegetarian option. The food is hot though, and even enjoyable on some flights! Along with the food comes service that is friendly, approachable and multi-lingual throughout.
The entertainment can be quit thin, as the radio station programmes seem to loop often, especially the comedy channel, and so you can find yourself searching for new listening before you’re halfway through your flight.
Often the films are not from the most popular or recent, and the screens can be quite difficult to see, depending on where you end up sitting. If you find yourself directly under a screen, then the next one down the cabin can be quite a distan
ce and make for awkward viewing. The sound quality is quite high though, with the Airbus’ relatively quiet engines meaning that you don’t have to deafen yourself to keep up with the dialogue.
Headphones are available from the cabin crew, and they can be used on the flight and elsewhere as they come with an adapter. They are quite low quality though, and when combined with their garish colours I can’t see much use for them in every day life.
There is a nominal fee for the headphones of $5 Canadian or £3, and I would suggest having Canadian funds available as this skewed exchange rate, (£3 is almost $7), continues on into the duty-free items available too.
The important part though is the flight and the timings… 3k usually leave Gatwick on time, without having to park on the runway awaiting a take-off slot for too long. However, whenever a flight touches down somewhere before its final destination you can expect delays, and so journey’s end usually seems to come around 20-40 minutes late.
When flying out of Vancouver I would strongly suggest you call the 3k desk at Vancouver airport around 5 hours before take off is due. The aeroplane earmarked to fly you to London is usually en route from Toronto or Calgary at this point, and can be subject to long delays, especially if Ontario is suffering severe weather.
On one occasion I had to wait six hours for a flight delayed for this reason, and even though Vancouver is one of North America’s nicer airports, entertainment is hard to find for this length of time!
These problems should not be seen as a major impediment to flying Canada 3000 though. Provided your expectations are set to a level suitable for charter airlines, you’ll find a pleasant comfortable flight, with friendly staff that’s excellent value for money.