Sunday, 30 January 2011

An Update on Flying Procedures

My flight back home was OK overall -- we had a very fast take off and despite starting off 20 minutes late, we arrived 25 minutes earlier.

The plane I was on had those clam shell seats where you can recline without disturbing the person behind you. However the seat wasn't that comfy and seemed like an opportunity for the airline to cram more people in the aircraft, particularly cattle class; there wasn't much leg room.

I had thought the airline was changing the seats because there was a strong outcry against these seats, particularly for long-haul flights. But Cathay Pacific didn't want the seats to go to waste and would exchange them for planes used for short-haul flights in the region.

Nevertheless, the entertainment on board was pretty good -- I couldn't help but catch up on my TV comedies by watching some 18 episodes of 30 Rock back to back.

Security-wise, although ground crew checked our passports before we boarded the plane, as soon as we arrived at Vancouver International Airport, immigration staff were at the sky bridge checking every passenger to make sure they matched their passports.

So despite arriving in Vancouver much earlier, we were held up by this process. It was probably due to the incident in October of the young Chinese man who had worn a mask to look like an elderly Caucasian man, and immediately turn back people who didn't have their proper papers and turn them back right away.

The security staff asked Chinese people not only where they were flying from but also if they had gone to other places.

It turned out a few people, airline ground crew, were arrested in Hong Kong in connection with the mask case, allegedly aiding this man to get into Canada.

Passing through immigration was relatively fast with several touch-screen terminals where you scan your passport in as well as your declaration form. However, getting luggage was a painful process, having to wait a long time for suitcases to come out...

It seems some of the airport's logistics have improved in some areas, while others are still lagging behind, hardly helping passengers exit the airport any faster.

1 comment:

  1. on the whole the immigration process at yvr airport is quite smooth and efficient except for a couple unexpected snafus.

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