Boarding - Air Canada A330 Signature Class
After passing through a deserted airport, here I am boarding my Air Canada flight to Vancouver.
I booked this flight with the Aeroplan 50% miles back sale. Suffice to say that I travel in business class (Air Canada Signature Class) for the price of coach: 12,500 miles instead of 25,000!
Being in Zone 1, I embark quickly. 2 gateways have been deployed:
- one for the Signature Class
- the other one for Premium Economy and Coach
The aircraft is an Airbus A330 – 20 years old – registered C-GFUR. This is the first Airbus A330 in the fleet that has been reconfigured with the new Signature Class. This is in order to match the rest of the Boeing fleet (B777 and B787).
So we find on board a well-known atmosphere :
The configuration is in 1-2-1. This means that all passengers have direct access to the aisle.
Seat - Air Canada A330 Signature Class
For this flight, I chose a window seat: 4K.
Once seated, you realize that these new seats offer good privacy.
For passengers travelling together, I recommend to choose the middle seats.
And note that Air Canada has heard the criticisms about the fixed-divider on the B787 / B777:
On board the A330, you can open and close the divider: nice addition when travelling in couple!
On each seatm you’ll find a large plastic bag containing pillow and duvet, reserved for the Signature Class.
This is an updated version of the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond, similar to the one you’ll find on the Boeing 787 / 777.
Changes have been made compared to the Boeing 787 / 777: for example, we lose control of firmness (but this one often turns out to be failing). The massage function is retained.
A jacket holder is on the back of the previous seat.
As the Airbus A330 is narrower than the Boeings, the space is a little smaller, but still very acceptable.
Seat Details - Air Canada A330 Signature Class
Air Canada has done a great job of harmonizing its various cabins aboard its fleet. Here are some details about this Signature Class seat:
Storage lockers are located along the windows. There is a power supply as well as USB-A sockets and, a first for me, USB-C.
Improvements also on the side of the tablet: once stored, it stays at a higher level, which bothers less when you are lying down (especially when lying to the side).
We also appreciate the sober shades chosen.
In terms of the entertainment system, this is the latest version: the screen is touch-sensitive and everything works perfectly. You won’t be bored with the diversity of content on offer, it’s a trademark of Air Canada.
Wi-Fi is available on board this A330 (provided by Gogo Inflight). For Visa Infinite Privilege credit cards holders – such as the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card,you have some annual credits. I will use one for this flight (otherwise the cost is $12.25 for an hour or $21.50 for the entire flight). And the speed is pretty fast.
Unfortunately, on board Air Canada, it is not possible to use the Boingo access offered to Mastercard World Elite cards such as the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
Air Canada CleanCare+
To encourage its customers to travel with confidence in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Canada has launched CleanCare+.
Air Canada has established several measures on board, as part of Air Canada CleanCare+ program:
- All high-touch areas are sanitized with a hospital-grade disinfectant before every flight
- Each time an aircraft overnights it receives a thorough cleaning
- Mandatory face coverings
- Adjusted on board service
At each seat:
- Disinfection of tray tables before each boarding
- Pre-packaged water and meals
- Complimentary Customer Care kits with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
I must admit I haven’t seen such a clean plane for a while! Admittedly, the cabin is quite new, but not a crumb was lying around.
During the service, flight attendants were protected from head to toe.
The toilets are regularly disinfected and there are CleanCare+ elements inside.
Meal - Air Canada Signature Class
Shortly after take-off, it’s lunchtime. The trolley is used to distribute both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as lunch boxes.
Air Canada has had to adapt its meal service aboard the Signature Class. Montreal Chef Antonio Park is now at work.
For this flight, here is the contents of the lunch box (and the famous milesopedia coaster that I dusted):
Many airlines have reduced their on-board offerings during COVID-19. Air Canada has adapted it rather well to the situation with these lunch boxes.
About 1 hour before landing, a snack is served. Ecology is not a priority in these days of COVID-19.
Conclusion - Air Canada A330 Signature Class
This was my first flight in a while and the beginning of COVID-19. What could be better than doing it aboard this Air Canada Signature Class, and flying over Western Canada.
The A330s are used primarily for transcontinental flights from Montreal and Toronto and are expected to gradually join the Transatlantic fleet (Air Canada has begun to send them to London).
However, if you are travelling alone, I recommend you to choose a Boeing 777 or 787: legroom is less limited than in this A330. On the other hand, if you’re 2 travelling together, we appreciate the possibility of being able to chat in the A330 thanks to the removable divider!
After several hours of rediscovering the joys of flying – but with some discomfort because of the mandatory mask at all times – reality catches up with us when we see the planes nailed to the Vancouver tarmac.