FLYING a CLASSIC Boeing 737-200 Combi with Canadian North!

Good morning from Edmonton International Airport! My name is Alex, and welcome to this special
trip report. Today, I’m flying up to Yellowknife, Northwest
Territories with some good friends of mine, on board a Canadian North Boeing 737-200. Now, I already flew on Canadian North’s
737-200 for the first time last year, and had a fantastic trip. So, a few months ago, I was looking at some
flights, and found that the 737-200 was back operating a few flights on the Edmonton to
Yellowknife route, and honestly I could not pass up the chance to fly it again! Today’s flight was scheduled to depart at
7:45AM, but was delayed by just over two hours to 10AM instead. I checked in online, but needed a printed
boarding pass, and Canadian North’s customer service agents were all very welcoming. I also received a $9 meal voucher as compensation
for the delay, which was very surprising! No other airline in North America (that I
know of) would ever give out food vouchers for just a two hour delay, or anything less
than a complete cancellation… That’s part of the reason why I love flying
with Canadian North! After passing through security and making
my way to gate 12, here is today’s aircraft arriving from the hangar, Charlie Golf Oscar
Papa Whiskey, a 39-year-old 737-200 Combi. I flew this exact aircraft last year on the
same route, a flight that’s normally operated by a 737-300. An added bonus on today’s flight is that
the aircraft is operating with a full-passenger configuration! Most scheduled flights with the 737-200 usually
have some cargo up front, so this is pretty special! This also means we’ll be boarding using
a jet bridge, again, not a common sight at all in 2019, for a 737-200! Today, the aircraft will fly from Edmonton
to Yellowknife, where we’ll hop off, and then continue on from Yellowknife to Norman
Wells and Inuvik, before turning around to pick us up and fly back to Edmonton. Upon boarding, every passenger got a letter
from Canadian North, which I’ll go over once I get to my seat. For today’s 90 minute flight north, I’m
seated in 7A. The legroom here, as always, is wonderful!. I’m 6’8” so, for the average person,
this is a ton of space! That letter I mentioned earlier? It’s actually a 20% discount code that Canadian
North gave to every passenger on the flight as further compensation. Again, that is shockingly good customer service,
and I’m definitely going to make use of that discount! Seat 7A is located just forward of the wing,
with a nice view of the Pratt and Whitney JT8D powering this aircraft, but it’s not
necessarily the best seat as far as engine sound goes. That said, I’m sitting even further forward
on the return leg, so keep watching for that. Without further ado, here’s our departure
from Edmonton, taking off from runway 12. The in-flight service today included a complimentary
breakfast tray – this asparagus omelette with ham and cheese. I’ll say it again, the free hot breakfast
on this domestic Canadian flight? Mind-boggling, honestly! It may look pretty simple, but it smelled
delicious and was it ever tasty! Despite there being enough food for everyone,
there were actually a few people who didn’t want any. I have to assume they’re regular commuters
who aren’t as blown away by the fact that we’re getting a hot meal in economy class. In full passenger configuration, Canadian
North’s 737-200s seat just 112 people in 19 spacious rows. As you can see, the overhead bins are tiny,
although there is a storage compartment at the front for large carry-ons. I’ll show you the seatback pocket contents
on the return flight, but as we cross the 60th parallel over Great Slave Lake, here’s
our arrival into beautiful Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, landing on runway 34. Once again, a phenomenal flight with Canadian
North! A free hot meal, plenty of space, friendly
crew, it’s always a pleasure to fly with them, especially on an aircraft like this. I’ll save my overall thoughts for the return
flight, but for now, I have about 5 hours to spend here in sunny Yellowknife. Of course, any trip to Yellowknife wouldn’t
be complete without a tour of Buffalo Airways! As someone who watched Ice Pilots… religiously,
for lack of a better term, it’s always great to see their vintage aircraft in person! We also visited Air Tindi to get a look at
some of their Dash 7s, and they very generously let us take a look around, along with a bit
of airside plane spotting. That was followed by a visit to the Pilot’s
Monument and a literal mountain of fish and chips for dinner. It was a good day. Not long after, it was time to head to the
airport for the flight to Edmonton. Check-in was a breeze yet again, although
the customer service agents recommended we go through security as soon as we could. Last time I was here, there was quite a bit
of construction in the post-security area, so seating was a bit limited. Now, there are more seats and a nice little
place to buy some food and drink. However, with two Q400s leaving at the same
time as our flight, it feels just as crowded! For now, here’s our aircraft arriving from
Norman Wells. My seat for this hour and a half flight back
to Edmonton is 4A, with an even better engine view this time! Once again, wonderful legroom, and as you
can see, 4A is right next to the cargo door seal, and has two full windows that are much
closer together than normal. You can really see the difference from outside,
compared to the normal windows! But enough from me – please enjoy the sounds
of these JT8Ds as we depart Yellowknife, off of runway 16. On our way south, we were treated to yet ANOTHER
hot meal, which also came with a complimentary towel. This time, it was a piping hot roast beef
sandwich with cheese, and… again, absolutely delicious. Canadian North has no in-flight entertainment
on their 737-200s, for obvious reasons, but they do supply every passenger with a lengthy
literature package. Included is a pristine 737-200 safety card, a couple of suggestion forms, air sickness bags, Canadian North’s inflight magazine, and some Northern magazines for plenty of inflight reading. Now, just a few days after my trip last year,
Canadian North announced a merger with First Air, a competing Northern airline that serves
many of the same destinations. The federal government approved the merger
a few months ago, and many of their aircraft are slowly being repainted. So, next time I fly their 737-200, it is possible
that it’ll be in a different livery, and I do hope they keep up their impeccable level
of service. Sadly, all good things must come to an end,
and we started our descent into Edmonton, landing on runway 20. Even though this is more of an avgeek trip
report rather than reviewing an onboard product, Canadian North honestly blows me away! From complimentary hot meals to being compensated
for just a two hour delay… For an economy class flight in 2019, Canadian
North really is fantastic! They’re easily one of my favourite airlines,
and like I said earlier, I’m definitely going to make use of that discount. And of course, it’s always a pleasure to
fly the 737-200. Talking to the pilots afterwards, they said
that Canadian North doesn’t have any plans to retire these aircraft. It makes sense, given how valuable they are
in the North. For the time being, if you’re an aviation
enthusiast looking for a way to fly on a 737-200, I do believe that Canadian North might be
your best bet. Edmonton to Yellowknife is usually the cheapest
route, coming in at around 300 to 400 dollars Canadian, round trip. That said though, you only see them on this
route during the summertime, but they can be booked on flights further north out of
Yellowknife to places like Inuvik and Cambridge Bay. Those flights do cost quite a bit more, but
you can also redeem Aeroplan points with Canadian North, but only by talking to Aeroplan over
the phone. Once again, I had a fantastic time with Canadian
North, and I cannot wait to fly with them in the near future. So that concludes this year’s flight on
the classic Boeing 737-200! Thank you so much for watching this trip report. Please leave a thumbs up if you enjoyed the
video, subscribe if you’re new to the channel, and I’ll see you in the next one.

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