Morning morphs into night as lights are dimmed and the seat-back show begins.
This daytime journey from Sydney to Vancouver on Air Canada flight AC34 is a weird one. With a 17-hour time difference between the two cities, we're scheduled to land in Canada at 7am, two-and-a-half hours before we left Australia. This means the cabin and the service is set up to trick us into thinking it's nighttime - lights are dimmed on the Boeing 777-200LR after an 11.30am dinner, and breakfast is served about 11pm Aussie east coast time.
CHECKING IN: After a hideous May check-in where I was stuck in a Qatar Airways queue for an hour, this one is a breeze ... there are self-service kiosks so the line-up is for bag drop (checked baggage allowance is 23 kilograms) and passport check, and I am on my way to customs less than 15 minutes after my arrival at the airport.
THE FLIGHT: The flight's scheduled to depart at 9.25am, but there's a gate change and a delay - we finally take off at 10.45am. It's a packed flight and the overhead bins are groaning with carry-on; you're allowed two pieces which must not exceed particular dimensions - 55cm by 40cm for one, 33cm by 43cm for the other - although the only weight requirement is that you must be able to get it into the overhead locker unassisted. It is also, at nearly 15 hours, a long flight, and I'm not sure we get enough food.
THE CLASS: I am in aisle seat 39G, six rows from the back in the 236-berth economy cabin which squeezes everyone into a 3-4-3 configuration. The seats have a pitch of 31 inches (78.7cm) and are 17 inches wide (43.2cm), which looks and feels narrow. The cabin temperature is perfect - just cool enough to give you the sleep-inducing desire to snuggle under the supplied blanket.
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FOOD & DRINKS: The first meal service is barely an hour after take-off, and the choice is a no-fuss "beef or chicken". I choose the chicken, but eventually cotton on that what I have actually been given is the beef. It is fairly unappetising. Thank goodness for dessert, a choc lava pudding. And the white wine, a blend, is French. About five hours later, a tasty chicken-wrap snack and sweet biscuits are delivered in the dark, and another six hours on breakfast is served - a fried egg with a small sausage and side of potatoes.
ENTERTAINMENT: Where the food falls flat, the seat-back entertainment rocks my tiny 17-inch-wide world. It's a vast selection and the best I can remember encountering on an airline. As well as 74 new movie releases, there are classics across decades and genres that I'd happily watch again - from Casablanca to The Breakfast Club to Bridesmaids.
THE SERVICE: Efficient and courteous.
IN A NUTSHELL: A full-service flight with few frills, apart from the entertainment. Buckle in for a long, long movie night.
Flight: Air Canada, flight AC34, Sydney to Vancouver
Frequency and duration: Daily; 14 hours and 35 minutes
Class and price: Economy, from about $1260 one way
The writer flew courtesy of Destination Canada.