Here I am back from our trip to Tokyo, I start the story of my journey to the Japanese capital with the direct flight from Montreal.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Montreal
I let you discover in this article the details of the itinerary. Here we are on the day of departure, the flight leaves at 2pm which leaves time to prepare. This is a change from the flights to Europe that leave in the evening and that we take after a day of work or those to the United States that can be very early in the morning.
Around 10am we receive an email alert from Air Canada: our flight will be delayed by 3h30. I call the company’s customer service because I saw a flight leaving Pearson at the same time. Unfortunately, connecting flights from Montreal are full or too late. We decide to go to the airport anyway for the same time, you never know.
We checked in via the mobile app but we still go to the counter reserved for the customers of the Business class to have news. They confirm the delay and give us coupons worth $30 each to buy food in the terminal.
The new security posts are well made, their passage is fast. We find ourselves on the side “air” where the FIDS confirms us once again the delay.
We then head to the Air Canada international lounge. It is no longer presented as a solid show, but with use, we would like to see some improvements such as a more microbrewery-oriented beer offer (which is not lacking here in Quebec), bubbles (champagne or Proseco), something other than pretzels for the aperitif.
It is still a very pleasant living room, it is well lit and there are enough seats with different configurations to eat, read, rest or work.
There are few people at noon, we have a drink and we admire the tarmac where the French president is passing through Montreal on his way to the G7 in La Malbaie.
We decide to go for a walk in the terminal to “take the air” and use our vouchers in one of the restaurants. The offer has greatly expanded in recent years with expansion and renovations. We will finally go to the Auberge Saint-Gabriel where the service and the meal will be correct.
We return to make a small nap in the lounge which begins to fill with the flights towards Europe of the end of the afternoon. Seats in slightly better insulated booths are ideal for thinking about solutions for the world.
Flight AC5 Montreal-Tokyo
It’s time to get on board. Surprisingly, whether at the boarding gate, during the announcements on board by the flight attendants or the pilots, nobody will explain or apologize for the delay. All the more astonishing that we will arrive well with more than 3 hours of delay in Tokyo. Not a good point.
We arrive on board and are warmly welcomed by the flight director. We discover the new Signature offer for the Business cabin:
It is a pity that Air Canada does not offer pyjamas on such long flights, it is often hot in the cabins and it allows you not to sweat in your clothes during the flight.
We have already talked about the seat of the Dreamliner 787-9, the seat of the little brother 787-8 is not different. It is comfortable but I would like more storage space because once the headphones are put away it doesn’t leave much room for your stuff. We are located on the first row near the galley.
We take off on runway 24 left (24L).
The lunch service (which is actually more of a dinner with the delay) begins quietly. On a 12-hour flight, you can take your time. There are 4 flight attendants who take care of the business class. The staff is attentive, if not sometimes a little abrupt in their interactions.
I try the new Signature Service dishes that were designed by Chef David Hawksworth: shrimp and lobster salad, then a braised duck leg in red wine and the brown sugar tartlet. I was a little worried that it would be too rich but in the end it goes down well. The service is done at the cart but also at the headquarters. We accompany our meal with Laurent Perrier champagne.
After the meal, we go for a tour to visit the cabin. The windows of the Dreamliner are well known and give a very special atmosphere to the cabin.
It’s time to go to sleep with the new mattress topper, still from the Signature department. Unlike other companies, it is up to you to install it. I sleep a good 5 hours and I wake up when there are 4 hours of flight left to Narita. Between the two services, snacks are available.
2 hours before landing, the brunch breakfast is served. I take the Japanese option this time with the rice congee. Good surprise because I finished it, a rare thing because I usually don’t finish my second meal which is often less attractive than the main service.
We arrive at Narita where the arrivals are relatively empty, we will have to bring officers to the border posts to process our passports. The airport is relatively far from the city. We use our Apple Watch Series 3 which allows for a FeliCa virtual payment card, in our case with the provider Suica. Very practical, it allows to use public transport without touching any button, using a contactless communication mode.
Despite the delay, it was a very pleasant flight. Air Canada’s new Signature service adds a special touch and the flight attendants were on hand. Air Canada has a strong business class offering, an additional direct flight to Asia is a plus. We hope to see more flights to Asian and non-Asian cities from Montreal.