Date of travel:
July 18-19, 2016
Charlotte – Toronto – Bogota
CRJ-200 / B767-300
20,000 United miles + $28 taxes
AirCanada from Charlotte to Toronto
12 hour layover in Toronto
AirCanada from Toronto to Bogota
United Airlines has an excellent mileage program. It is easy to book reward flights on MileagePlus, and the mile redemption is generally reasonable for the route. In our case, we are not conveniently located to a United hub airport, so routing is always a challenge. We had acquired 50,000 United miles through a good promotion on their branded Chase credit card, but it took us a long time to put the miles to use.
For our trip in July 2016, it was difficult to find award seats in Economy, likely due to the high volume of traffic for summer travel.
Travel Tip: Be flexible! Traveling cheap very often doesn’t mean traveling convenient!
In our case, redeeming an award flight through MileagePlus meant flying on AirCanada (United Airlines partner on Star Alliance) from Charlotte to Toronto, with a 12 hour overnight layover, then from Toronto to Bogota. But we paid $28, so who’s complaining?
Charlotte to Toronto was a quick hop on a CRJ-200. The flight was delayed due to crazy ground traffic in Charlotte.
Once the aircraft made it to the gate, AirCanada did a great job with efficient and fast boarding. Interestingly, the incoming flight from Toronto had pre-cleared US Customs, so the passengers disembarked quickly.
Review of AirCanada flight 962
Toronto to Bogota on July 19, 2016:
Plane was full to capacity, but boarding was efficient and timely.
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Charging outlets & USB ports were available at most seats. Some did not have an outlet and some had a broken USB port. At my seat, the charging outlet was not working and the USB port was sporadic. In-flight entertainment seemed to work well.
The screen at my seat wouldn’t load the flight map, which was disappointing, but everybody else around me seemed to be working fine.
Food & beverage service:
Breakfast was served soon after the seat belt sign was turned off. The flight attendants came by with coffee/juice two more times shortly after. Omelet, a roll, and fruit were quite tasty for an economy meal.
Flight attendants offered a drink of water about halfway through the 5-1/2 hour flight. An hour before landing in Bogota, they came again with coffee/juice and pretzels.
- Several flight attendants spoke English, Spanish, and French fluently. Impressive!
- Shout out to the flight attendant who gave us 4 extra bags of pretzels!
- Kudos to the baggage handlers who didn’t break the 32″ TV we brought from the US to Colombia for our friends!