Before my Alaskan cruise, I needed to book a flight from the Los Angeles area to Vancouver. Air Canada had the best price for business class (domestic first) at around $300 per ticket so I decided to fly them. I had never flown on Air Canada before, and it certainly didn’t assuage my concerns when they went viral for making passengers sit in vomit. Thankfully, no issue of that nature occurred on my flight.
Air Canada 559
Los Angeles (LAX) to Vancouver (YVR)
Aircraft: Boeing 737 MAX 8
Overstaying our Lounge Visit and Boarding:
Boarding commenced 35 minutes before our scheduled departure time. We may have spent a wee bit too long at the Maple Leaf Lounge, which we were able to access with our business class tickets, so we arrived when group 3 was boarding already. If you’d like to check out my review of the Maple Leaf Lounge, you can do so here.
Thankfully, there was a separate line for Groups 1 and 2 (Group 1 is business class), so we boarded immediately.
The overhead bins were spacious and were able to fit my carry-on sideways, which is on the larger side. Waiting at the seats were mini water bottles which I appreciated.
The boarding door closed 10 minutes before our scheduled departure and at this point, the flight attendant came across the cabin to pass out headphones. The headphones were standard disposable ones so nothing fancy but it got the job done.
Next, the captain let us know that this was a full flight. The captain announced that our flight would be 2 hours and 18 minutes in the air. The scheduled duration of this flight was 3 hours and 1 minute.
Then, the flight attendants passed out paper menus for the dinner selection. I was surprised that there was no pre-departure beverage offered.
We left the gate about 5 minutes past our scheduled departure time and took off 30 minutes later.
The Air Canada Business Class on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 has a boutique business class cabin that resembles a domestic first cabin on US carriers.
There are just 4 rows in a 2-2 configuration for a total of 16 seats. Seat Guru states that the seat pitch is 38 inches while the seat is 21 inches wide. Our specific aircraft was delivered to Air Canada in 2022, so the plane still felt quite new. I liked the modern design of the seat and it would suffice for a sub 3-hour flight.
While I enjoyed the new-looking cabin, part of me felt like the seat was a bit stiff. Newer “slim” seats aren’t normally as comfortable as the old plush recliners offered in typical business/first cabins, and this one falls into that category as well.
The tray table comes out of the smaller armrest, and has a snack mode as well as a full tablet mode.
Towards the larger center armrest, you have buttons to control the legrest as well as the seat recline. On the armrest, there is some storage as well as the USB and power port. Plus, there is an additional headphone jack here on top of the one located on the seatback screen. There is also a small drink tray that pops out of the center armrest.
Also, there is a coat hook next to the seat back screen.
Takeoff Tip: The helpful service director helped to explain that the headphone jack located in the armrest is better than the one on the IFE screen as that one will disrupt you while eating. Good tip!
The seatback in-flight entertainment screen is quite large and crisp. The touchscreen was very responsive as well. There is a good selection of movies, TV shows, music, games, and a nice flight map feature.
I ended up watching part of Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania (probably the worst Ant-Man IMO). One annoying aspect was that it would randomly pause and go back to the main menu every 25 minutes or so. Not a big deal since there’s a button where you can resume from where you left off, but kind of annoying.
Surprisingly since this plane was delivered to Air Canada just in 2022, there was no Wi-Fi available. According to Air Canada’s website as of September 2023, the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are the only planes in the fleet not to offer Wi-Fi. This is a bummer, but thankfully the flight was only 3 hours long.
There were two attendants in the first-class cabin for just 16 of us.
Shortly after reaching cruising altitude, the service director came over to take our dinner orders. And we were handed hot towels.
The menu was quite limited, with only 2 main course options. There was the Chicken Tagine and a Vegetarian Paella. There were no choices for the appetizer and dessert and the option was a Heritage Mix Salad and Carrot Cake.
We were first served our beverage and warm nuts.
The meal itself didn’t come out until an hour after takeoff which seemed a tad bit long govern the short flight duration.
All courses were plated on one tray, and they came around with a hot bread basket. The bread was my favorite part of the meal. The salad was okay and was quite plain with a tiny amount of shredded apples and pomegranate seeds. Olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar was in a cute little bottle on the side.
As for the chicken main, it was probably in the lower echelon of airplane food I’ve had. Some of the pieces were fine, while others had a weird texture. My dad had the vegetarian paella and said it wasn’t too bad.
The carrot cake was decent, and a nice way to end the meal. The service director came by offering coffee and tea, so I opted for green tea to finish up my meal.
Given the quality of the entree, I do wish they provided a snack basket of some sort. But, I guess I can’t complain too much about a 3-hour flight.
Before you know it, the captain announced there was just 30 minutes left of the flight. We touched down about 15 minutes before our scheduled arrival and eventually got to our gate about 10 minutes early.
Overall, my first Air Canada Business Class flight on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was a suitable experience. The service was solid, the cabin felt new and fresh, and the lounge access at LAX made for a relaxing start to the journey. Aspects that could be improved upon were the non-existent WiFi and food offerings.
Have you flown in Air Canada Business Class on the new Boeing 737 MAX 8? What were your thoughts? Feel free to comment below!
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