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Very late running of Via's Canadian

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#21 jebr



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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:10 PM

Please tell me more about how "a calling card with a Canadian number to dial" works. I'm guessing that you call a Canadian number from your Canadian number on your CA$35 SIM, which counts against your 100 minutes within Canada, and once connected, you dial a US number, which counts against your calling card minutes. If so, how much was your calling card and how many minutes did it get you? What number would a person you call see on caller ID?




As far as you know, would a similar strategy work for European countries? Thanks.


That's pretty much exactly what I did. I did also sometimes call from my hotel room to save my 100 cell phone minutes; the one I had has a local number in most Canadian cities, so the call was free from my hotel.


I bought the Bizon card from CallingMart - it seemed to have the lowest rates and didn't have any connection fees or weird stuff like that. A $2 card got me between 50-100 minutes (maybe 150? I don't remember exactly) and they sell them in a $5 and $10 increment as well. I think it showed my Canadian number on the caller ID (whatever number I was originally calling from - so the Canadian cell phone or hotel number.)


A similar strategy would likely work for European countries, though the service on the cell phone would likely cost a lot less (Europe has a lot more competition in that sector than Canada or the US does.) I've never used it, but I've heard decent things about the "three UK" SIM cards on some of the cell phone forums I frequent. When I looked, that same card had numbers in Western Europe as well, but I've never tried using it as such.

#22 Lonestar648



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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:46 AM

Keep in mind when sending "data" (text or short email) your phone only needs a couple seconds to handshake, send the data, and acknowledge. This means spotty cover may pass data but be impossible to make a phone call. Voice requires continuous two-way duplex communication for the duration.

#23 willem



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Posted 23 February 2018 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for the confirmation and further info, jebr.


That's nothing I didn't know, Lonestar648, but I hadn't connected dots to reach the conclusion. Thanks.

#24 greatwestern


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Posted 13 July 2018 - 12:27 PM

Having started this thread back in January, thought I would update it with my actual experience when I took my trip in June:


1. Left Toronto 12 hours late having been put up overnight in a hotel near Pearson airport at Via's expense.


2. Arrived Edmonton 17 hours late where, anticipating more serious delays, I decided to bail out and (at my expense) just managed to catch the Friday 11:45 pm Greyhound to Vancouver (with change at Kamloops). Arrived Vancouver at 5 pm Saturday - I later ascertained that Via got in about 10 pm so I would have been ok staying on board.


3. Caught the 6:35 am Cascades service to Seattle the next morning which was delayed for an hour at Bellingham due to freight blocking the line because a coupling had failed. Despite this arrived in Seattle in plenty of time.


4. Left Seattle for Chicago on the Empire Builder on time but arrived Spokane over 3 hours late due to sanders failing on our loco with us then needing to "borrow" a freight loco to ensure we got up the grades.


5. No time made up on the journey towards Chicago resulting in my connection to the Capitol Ltd being missed. At Chicago I was offered hotel accommodation and coach booking on the next day's Capitol to Washington DC (due pm of the day of my flight home meaning I would then risk missing my flight back to Dublin and then on to the UK). I was then offered overnight (9:30 pm departure) in coach on the Lake shore Ltd. changing at Albany to New York Central, then from New York Penn to Washington DC. Took this option and eventually got to my hotel at 11:30 pm so plenty of time for my next day flight.


6. Took off from Dulles about 45 minutes behind schedule towards Dublin but with very strong tail winds we were due in ahead of schedule.


7. Nearly half way across the pond a medical emergency resulted in us turning round and landing at St Johns Newfoundland (I have nothing but praise for the aircrew and the passenger doctor). We refuelled and continued onto Dublin where I had now missed my connection to the UK, but I did get put on the next available flight.


8. Arrived at my home airport only to find my checked bag had not arrived. My bag was traced and returned to me 3 days later - it was damaged !!!!


All in all a pretty eventful (but not stress free) vacation, but I have gained a few new experiences such as over-night in coach on the train and on Greyhound bus.

Edited by greatwestern, 13 July 2018 - 02:12 PM.

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