I recently had the opportunity to fly Air Canada Business Class on the Airbus 330. This aircraft does not have the usual Air Canada Business Class interiors for their long haul flights. Instead, they have the Singapore Airlines older generation medium haul business class product.
Booking Air Canada Business Class on the Airbus 330
I had booked this flight using a Priority Reward. Priority Rewards are 50% discount coupons extended to Air Canada frequent flyers for meeting spending thresholds with the airline. My priority reward was valid for flights within North America in Economy Class. I booked the Latitude fare for 19,850 miles (after the 50% discount) and C$48. I also used 4 E-Upgrade credits to confirm a Business Class upgrade in advance.
Arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport
I arrived with Uber and was dropped off at the Air Canada priority section 40 minutes prior to departure. This was five minutes after boarding had begun for my flight. I was relying on Nexus to go through security in an expedited manner to ensure I make my flight.
Without any checked bags, I proceeded straight to security using my Nexus membership. Despite being a long line for regular security, Nexus was empty and I was airside in about 5 minutes after being dropped off.
Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson
The Air Canada café has fresh orange juice available in the lounge. In the early morning hour of just after 6am, I quickly stopped by to get a glass in a to-go cup.
I noticed the Air Canada café has bagels cut in half. I quite liked that since it is easier to take half a bagel in comparison to one full bagel.
Air Canada Business Class on the Airbus 330
I was one of the last few passengers to make the flight with about 20 minutes prior to departure.
I put my bags in the overhead bin and appreciated the fact I was traveling on Singapore Airlines old Business Class.
This cabin configuration has a lot of nostalgia, as it was this business class where I successfully executed my first travel hack from Singapore to Shanghai, thirteen years ago.
At my seat was a duvet, mattress pad and a large pillow. I noticed the seat next to me, although it was blocked for seat assignment, also had the exact same amenities. At this time, I also took out a pair of hotel slippers for this short five hour journey to Vancouver.
Immediately, I put on the mattress pad on top of my seat. I was honestly surprised; I did not imagine I would get a mattress pad since Air Canada does not have many of these Airbus 330 flying around. It is very likely they had the same mattress pads as their regular Signature Cabin service since internationally, this cabin is sold as Premium Economy.
Unfortunately, this aircraft did not appear to have a flight map on their IFE screen. Typically, when the seat next to mine is empty, I would start the flight map on the seat next to mine and use my screen to watch movies and TV’s. However, with the flight map not available on this aircraft, I kept the screen next to mine completely off.
Once the boarding door was closed, I moved my duvet and pillow and placed it on the seat next to mine.
Asian Vegetarian Meal for Breakfast ex Toronto
I have had countless flights from Toronto with a special Asian Vegetarian meal ordered. Quite consistently, I have gotten the exact same menu, on most of my flights ex Toronto that served Breakfast.
I had a fruit plate, whole wheat bread, butter, jam and muesli (after being pointed out by a friend of mine) to start off breakfast.
After the fruit plate was cleared, I was served Paneer Paratha, Patra and Channa Masala.
If you had not ordered a special meal, this was the menu on the flight:
Although the regular Air Canada Signature Class cabin strictly has a better business class product for sleeping with full flat beds, I much prefer these seats for sleeping. The big difference for me is the amount of space I have for my feet. With the bulkhead seating, a duvet, mattress pad I had a great sleep for about 3 hours.
As passengers woke up from their sleep, the crew came around offering a snack basket. I opted for a kit-kat and watched A Small Light, about the Frank family during World War 2.
Arriving into Vancouver
Without access to the flight map, I really did not know when we would be landing in Vancouver. But soon enough, I heard the announcement to prepare the cabin for arrival.
Once we were at the gate, the cabin crew held back Economy passengers while all the Business Class passengers deplaned first.
Once in Vancouver, I headed straight to the office.
Over the years, I have grown to like the Air Canada service. Sure, they are no Singapore Airlines, but within the cultural environment they work in, the service of Air Canada is probably better than most if not all other airlines in North America on their Business Class cabin.