Review: Air Canada A319, Newark – Vancouver

The last leg of our travels home was on an Airbus A319 from the East Coast of the United States back to Vancouver. Air Canada had, at one time, upgraded the aircraft from this route to a Boeing 787 with terrific executive pods in business class. We weren’t in that much luxury today and we flew on an Airbus 319 back home.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was booked and credited to Air Canada Aeroplan and Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy). For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air Canada A319, Newark Liberty International – Vancouver International Airport.

After re-clearing security, we located Gate A12. There was not much over here on the secure side as far as food so we were happy we picked up some firm bagels at the United Club.

Departure Gate A12
Air Canada A319 in the morning light at EWR
Air Canada
Economy Class
EWR – YVR (Newark Liberty International Airport – Vancouver International Airport)
AC549 – Economy Class (V)
8:00 AM – 10:04 AM
September 2, 2013
Booked: Airbus 319
Flown: Airbus 319

When it was time to board, there were more difficulties at the gate. As we started to board, the gate agent decided to enforce the Star Gold boarding zones. For some reason, the status did not get issued on the United BP’s issued at Liberia (despite showing on the way down and the cards showing Boarding Group 2). We had the usual big pause, holding up the line until we could fumble with our wallet to pop the cards out.

We settled into familiar economy product. The Airbus 319 configuration is 3-3 in economy. There were no upgrades available or left so we managed in row 12 bulkhead with a peek a boo view of business. 

The Views from 12 A/B/C

Spotting United 93’s Departure Gate:

On the way out, taxing to the departure runway, we managed to pass gate A17. Gate A17 was where United 93 took off, destined for San Franciso on September 11, 2011 before it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A sole American Flag flies above the gate, in memorium of the brave passengers and crew of this flight that departed from this location. I happened to be sitting on the correct side of the aircraft and managed to snap a quick photo. Today the gate was occupied with a Jet Blue flight headed to San Juan. 

On the way out, taxing to the departure runway, we managed to pass gate A17. Gate A17 was where United 93 took off, destined for San Franciso on September 11, 2011 before it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A sole American Flag flies above the gate, in memorium of the brave passengers and crew of this flight that departed from this location. I happened to be sitting on the correct side of the aircraft and managed to snap a quick photo. Today the gate was occupied with a Jet Blue flight headed to San Juan. 

Gate A17 – United 93’s departure gate on Sept 11, 2001

Of note, if you’re spotting this gate from the inside at EWR, the gate looks like any other and there are no markings or other historic notations. There are also reportedly American flags flying above Boston Logan’s gates B32 and C19. A bit touching to put this into a family trip report but it’s a bit of aviation history I’ve been wanting to see for a while and its totally worthy of recognition in my opinion. 

Gate A17 from the inside of Newark

Getting back to the flight, we had a straight forward return to Vancouver. I followed along on the in flight entertainment system map.

Flight Map EWR to YVR

We landed in YVR, and aside from waiting for the extra “non priority” bags, we had no issues with the flight back.

My thoughts about Costa Rica as a family trip:

We had a great holiday overall. I would highly recommend the Westin Playa Conchal as a family destination. The food was of better quality than we expected and the activities available made the stay enjoyable. Although we travelled during rainy season, we were able to get some sunny days (60%) during the trip. It was also unique to see all the animals in their environment. 

Thanks for reading – ‘Til next time. 


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