This post is also available in: FR
I have to tell you right away: I was very pleasantly surprised by this Air Canada flight in Business. Usually, when traveling to Europe with Aeroplan miles, we use Swiss for its beautiful business class, but also the absence of carrier surcharges. Or you can choose the convenience of direct flights with Air Transat or even Air Canada Rouge.
However, for this unexpected trip, I opted for a direct return flight from Paris: only Air Canada offers this option via Aeroplan miles, and it’s an expensive one: $395 on top of the 55,000 Aeroplan miles required for this one-way flight in business class. But I have to admit: this is one of the few times I’m willing to pay carrier surcharges.
Paris – Montreal on Air Canada in Business Class with Aeroplan
It all starts with an arrival at the airport by High Speed Train (TGV) from Nantes: a TGV station is conveniently located in the heart of terminal 2 of Roissy Charles-de-Gaule Airport.
Roissy CDG being one of the largest European airports, the flight display boards are huge.
Terminal 2 contains many halls. I have to go to Concourse F and pass by the Sheraton Hotel (which is a good option to use your starpoints in case of a stopover: you are in the heart of the airport!)
The corridors are long, fortunately the conveyor belts help to move.
The police and the army are omnipresent within the framework of the Vigipirate operation. The entrances to the airport are controlled by private security teams.
To get to my door (A40), I will have to go through customs and security. Fortunately, my business class seat guarantees me priority access to the “Access #1” line. 3 people ensure the controls at this line…
Once the security is over, I’m in the area from where my flight will take off. I like the colorful atmosphere of this terminal:
There are 30 minutes left before boarding.
I decided to go to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge which is located at the end of the terminal.
To my surprise, it was deserted (while the Air Canada flight I was going to take was full with 450 passengers).
This living room was recently renovated and finally has windows (before, no daylight came in).
And the offer is quite good in drinks and food.
The choice of alcohol is also very good.
The living room is really big and well spread out.
There are a few individual spaces to isolate yourself for work.
The toilets are in the colors of the Company, rather “classy”.
Newspapers and magazines are available.
After half an hour in the lounge, it’s time for me to board. I boarded in zone 1 and something appreciable, a dedicated gangway (the left door on the photo below) allows passengers to reach directly the business class. Having seat 1A, my seat is the first one to be accessible!
Being among the first to board, I take the opportunity to take some quick pictures of the different cabins.
First of all, the business class (seats in 1 – 2 – 1, i.e. 4 people per row):
Then the Premium Economy class, just behind the business class (seats in 2 – 4 – 2, i.e. 8 people per row)
And finally, the Economy class (3-4-3 seats, i.e. 10 people per row):
This configuration is known as“Hi-Density“. More and more airlines are using the “3-4-3” configuration in their B777’s where traditionally 3 seats were provided in the middle and not 4. All this is done at the expense of the passenger’s comfort… and of the flight attendants: the corridors are very narrow, and there are many more people to serve.
Let’s go back to business class for a more detailed look at the cabin:
And a glimpse of the 1A chair:
A very good pillow and a thick comforter is provided.
Being the first seat in the cabin gives you a sense of exclusivity: you simply don’t see the other passengers.
There is plenty of storage and the controls are convenient for both the TV and the seat. A USB port and an electrical outlet are of course present.
The chair’s controls can be used, for example, to activate the massage function or to improve lumbar comfort.
The kit provided by Air Canada has been the same for many years. We find socks, earplugs, mask, toothbrush, creams…
The shelf in front of you can be adjusted to 3 heights and can be unfolded. However, it cannot be stored on its side, which could be inconvenient for people who are used to sleeping on their side. Here are two pictures to illustrate this (lying on the back and then on the side: there is not much room left for the comforter).
Two other views on the chair:
I decide to open the portholes for the departure.
Next to us is parked an aircraft that we can’t see in Montreal, in a special livery:
A short taxi to reach the runway. An Emirates A380 will be in front of us.
And we’re off!
Shortly after take-off, the in-flight service will start. Here is the menu of the day:
And the parade of dishes: aperitif, foie gras, salmon filet, cheese, dessert (passion fruit and caramel pie).
The service was excellent and attentive. However, there is one criticism: it took a long time. More than a third of the flight was completed once the service was completed:
I then decide to take a nap and put my chair in bed mode. The lights will then be turned off.
When I woke up two hours later, I found a cabin with dim lighting. The leds are the most beautiful effect in real.
45 minutes before landing a snack will be served.
Shortly after, we fly over Montreal.
Only one gangway will be installed – unlike in Paris – and it will be located behind the business class. Flight attendants give priority to business class passengers.
But there, a big surprise awaits us as soon as we arrive in the airport corridor:
The queue was particularly exceptional: more than 1h30 waiting to pass the Canadian customs! And there, no right pass or queue cutter. Only connecting passengers – or Nexus cardholders – can be given priority.
A big black spot for the Montreal-Trudeau Airport this Monday evening. So much so that radio shows will be talking about it the very next day! This picture even attracted a lot of comments on the facebook page of the Montreal Spotter.
It seems that the simultaneous arrival of many long-distance flights (some of which were late and therefore scheduled earlier in the afternoon) was the cause of this huge traffic jam. In any case, it is urgent for the Airport to take the necessary measures to face these peaks – not necessarily so exceptional… – so as not to scare away the tourists!
This flight in this new Air Canada business class was perfect for me. I would also like to congratulate the young team, led by the chief of cabin Karim D.: the flight attendants were always smiling and very attentive. I haven’t necessarily always had this experience in the past. A very good point for Air Canada!
I was not disappointed to have paid a few hundred dollars to test this new business class.
Anecdote: the stewardesses wondered before the flight if a celebrity was on board in seat 1A. The proof is in this photo of their manifest posted in front of the business class:
Sorry, that wasn’t Roch, just JM 😉
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