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This Air Canada Business Class review was part of my journey back from Dubai. Originally booked in Premium Economy, I had the perfect opportunity to use Air Canada e-upgrade credits and upgrade to Business Class. For 11 e-upgrade credits, I was able to confirm an executive pod from Frankfurt to Montreal segment of my trip.
Flt AC 875 Frankfurt (FRA) – Montreal (YUL)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Duration: 8hr 18min
Seat: 9D (Business Class – Executive Pod)
AC 875 was boarding from gate B48 in terminal 1. With Zone 1 priority, I was anticipating a smooth boarding process. At the boarding area however, a sea of people were waiting to speak with the Air Canada staff at the gate. Coupled with a snaking line of passengers trying to get pre-immigration check completed, there was barely any room to avail the priority lanes. The staff member completing pre-immigration procedure confirmed that the flight was overbooked and would be delayed by a few minutes till they had sorted all seat assignments. Needless to say, there were a few operational upgrades being processed to accommodate for the overbooked flight. Once boarding began 30 minutes past scheduled time, it was a smooth process.
SEATS AND AMENITIES
The business class section has a total of 40 executive pods, split in two cabins with 1-2-1 configuration. I was seated in seat 9D which is sandwiched between the front cabin and the premium economy cabin of the flight.
The seat looked crisp new and had a pillow/blanket placed on it. The seat itself was very comfortable and offered the following features ( as listed on Air Canada’s website);
- 203.2 cm (6′ 7″) long in lie-flat mode
- 53 cm (21″) wide
- Adjustable pneumatic cushion allowing for customizable comfort
- Pneumatic, adjustable headrest with head and neck massage
- Lumbar support and massage function
Adjoining seat 9A, showcasing the storage unit with headphones, menu and a bottle of water placed on the tray.
The storage unit was very spacious and included headphones, Amenity kit, entertainment control, USB port, personal power supply and plugins (3 pin for AC headphone and one pin for personal headphones).
Just under the storage unit was a touch screen with built in controls for light, service and seat configurations.
The noise canceling headphones provided were no Bose, but were very comfortable and did the job.
The entertainment control in the business class cabin is very sleek and functional, fit in hand comfortably as a gaming control as well.
The Air Canada amenity kit is a handy collection of Escents Aromatherapy products (lip balm, hand lotion and a hydration cloth), a dental kit, ear buds, eye mask and a pair of socks.
Shortly upon boarding, the flight attendant came by and offered the welcome drink options along with a bowl of nuts. I obviously chose the champagne. I had never tried the Drappier before and was pleasantly surprised with its aromatic and smooth taste. Glasses 2 and 3 were smoother 😉 Boarding took a while to complete and the cabin crew diligently brought refills. Slightly hazy on when we finally pushed back from the gate, but it was sometime between the 3rd and the 4th round of drinks. **Reader Jasmin pointed out that AC does not serve champagne until wheels up and thinks it was likely prosecco, pre-departure. Given that I am not a champagne connoisseur, I would take Jasmin’s word on it. **
Boarding took a while to complete and the cabin crew diligently brought refills. Slightly hazy on when we finally pushed back from the gate, but it was sometime between the 3rd and the 4th drink.
The menu options were comprehensive and I had picked the only vegetarian option for my main course (Pasta filled with mushrooms). The meal service began with a salad and the appetizer meal. The appetizer included smoked salmon and Israeli couscous with caper berry and lime creme fraiche. The couscous was spectacular!
Unfortunately, my main course (mushroom filled pasta) tasted just as bad as it looked. Add to it the below average presentation and I decided to skip my main course for another serving of the bread roll and the champagne.
Given that I had skipped my main course, the cheese plate and the dessert service were the savior.
Again, the presentation of the dessert was disappointing but the ice creme tasted good.
Overall, the food service was underwhelming and I was ready for the best part of the flight – sleep! The lie-flat bed and the warm blanket created a perfect combination for my 6 hour sleep. I skipped the pre-arrival meal (sorry for the lack of pictures in that regard) for an uninterrupted sleep and arrived in Montreal refreshed.
I thoroughly enjoy Air Canada’s Business class product. However, I have noticed a trend of sub par food being served onboard and I hope they can really enhance that aspect. The flight also did not have wifi which is a big drawback for travellers looking to get work done in-flight. Where Air Canada really shines through is the friendly customer service and a solid hard product in the business class cabin. On this trip, I also had a chance to experience the Premium Economy cabin on Air Canada and the same pros and cons came through there too. Hope somebody from Air Canada is reading…