Did Air Canada’s Business Class live up to the hype and marketing? In short – no.
But keep reading to find out why I’d still fly it again.
The Air Canada Business Class pods are regarded as some of the best as far as layout and design, the popular configuration exists on a number of aircraft from other airlines and is the same as the upcoming Boeing Dreamliners from WestJet.
Air Canada marketing materials and even other reviews online generally give praise to the cabin and its seat and overall the whole experience. Touting a lie-flat seat and dining by Canadian chef David Hawksworth. With ground amenities such as Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge access, priority boarding and at select airports (Toronto) car service to your gate, a first for a North American airline.
The media portrays a casual and relaxed cabin with supple materials and cozy seats.
I’m not particularly fond of eating on planes, it’s not that I don’t like the food, I think it tastes fine, after all, they have to put so much salt on it how could it not taste somewhat okay.
I do still try to eat as much on the ground as I can so that I don’t feel bloated in the air. So for me the lavish meals curated by David Hawskworth were a bit lost, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the meal and the service and in fact, the best part was that eating took such a great deal of time, those multiple courses made the flight feel shorter and more bearable. The time consumed by dining was the part I appreciated more than the elaborate meal itself, but in this case, I guess you need one to have the other.
The seat, oh the seat. While lie-flat was not as comfortable as I had hoped. Now maybe my expectations were wrong, this wasn’t Lufthansa First Class, which looks (I’ve never been on Lufthansa First Class) much more comfortable due to its sheer size. I had trouble laying flat as parts of the seat were less firm than others despite my fussing with the adjustable firmness, I just couldn’t get comfortable.
I found the best position to be slightly propped up in a relaxed seated position and was able to get some shut-eye this way. I didn’t use the mattress pad either, it was thin and didn’t seem to actaully add any padding, but rather a sanitary layer between the seat itself and your body. Meh.
The Amenity Kit
I was really excited about this and it was perhaps the biggest let-down of the entire experience. I am super happy to get ahold of one of the Want Les Essentiels zipper bags and intend to use as a travel accessory for this and that. The contents of the kit were somewhat lacklustre. The truth is it is the Vitruvi contents I was saddened by. The lip balm and hand cream are in my opinion cheap and not worth being in this kit. While I appreciate Canada including things from Canadian brands, it would have been nice if they could have actually been made in Canada too and not been of such a mediocre quality.
I’d do it again if the price was right and the trip was long enough. In this case, I got a Premium Economy ticket on points and was able to Bid-Upgrade to business for only $850, a rare occurrence I’m sure. Given that the flight was nearly 9 hours long it was certainly worth the extra space, embellishments and service both on the ground and in the air. It did leave me wanting something more though, or less I’m not sure. Less of some things and more of others. In the end, the elaborate dining experiences mean you spend more time consuming food, and that distracts you from the fact that you’re stuck in a seat 40,000 feet in the air, and that’s good.
Ultimately, I arrived better rested than I ever have on a flight of this duration but didn’t really get any more sleep than I normally would in Premium Economy. I was simply more comfortable overall and more able to relax.