January 10, 2018
Review: Air Canada Business Class 777-300 Montreal-Paris

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Booking

Air Canada was selling $1,000 roundtrip Business Class tickets from North America to select European cities in September 2017. These fares were too good to pass up so I booked a trip from Boston-Montreal-Paris.


Seats



Air Canada’s new 777s are laid out in a 1-2-1 seat configuration, providing every passenger with direct aisle access. I had the aisle seat 2K all to myself. While it was generally comfortable, it felt a bit narrow when fully reclined.



Each seat came with a bottle of water, a pair of Air Canada headphones (these weren’t Bose like what some other airlines provide in Business Class), a blanket, pillow, and an amenity kit. The seat has a retractable table you’ll notice in front of the TV monitor. You can move it closer and further from the seat but it doesn’t fold away into an armrest as it typical. This was a bit annoying as it took up space.



The armrest has a great storage compartment available. It was large enough to hold my iPad, book, earphones, and amenity kit but it couldn’t hold my 13” laptop. The left side has a power outlet and the right side has USB and headphone outlets. The touchscreen remote inside the compartment controls the in-flight-entertainment if you don’t feel like using the IFE’s touchscreen. Finally, the touchscreen at the base of the armrest controls the seat recline (the seat goes all the way flat).


In Flight Entertainment



The TV monitor was sharp and very responsive to touch commands and remote-control commands. There were plenty of movies and shows to keep me entertained for the trip across the pond. I ended up watching Home Alone and a few episodes of The Good Place. It was a great IFE overall.


Amenities & Wi-Fi



The Air Canada amenity kit is a small felt bag. It has the usual spread of items-an eye mask, lotions, toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, socks etc. The headphones were perfectly fine for the flight, but they don’t have the sound quality of Bose.


The airline is in the process of installing Wi-Fi on its fleet of 777s. Air Canada elites can even choose to access it for free as one of their perks. But, Wi-Fi had not been installed on this aircraft yet, which was a bummer. Wi-Fi is pretty much a necessity in 2017.


Dining

Food service was a bit slow. I get annoyed whenever food service is drawn out on an overnight flight. It’s not a big deal for a daytime flight, but when I’m on a seven-hour route to Europe I want to be done with dinner ASAP so I can sleep.


Air Canada does offer an “Express light option” for those who just want a small bite to eat. This is the appetizer, cheese, and fruit all presented together. Passengers can also request to have their entire meal later on in the flight, which is a nice touch.



Dinner started with nuts and drinks. I enjoyed a glass of red wine. Don’t ask me what type of wine it was as they all taste pretty much the same to me :p



The appetizer consisted of smoked salmon, a mixed green salad, and bread. I don’t like smoked salmon so I can’t comment about its taste, the salad and bread were fine though. We had the following four entrée options:


  • Beef tenderloin with peppercorn sauce, mashed potatoes, and asparagus
  • Chicken with wild mushrooms sauce, black pearl whole grain medley, and baby carrots
  • Sablefish with lime scented basmati rice, mushrooms, bok choy, and green curry sauce
  • Burrata de Pugli ravioli with sun dried tomato olive oil



I opted for the beef tenderloin dish. I enjoyed the flavor of the steak and pepper sauce. While the steak was well done (as is usually the case with airlines), it wasn’t quite as dry as Lufthansa does its steaks. The asparagus also wasn’t overcooked to death, which was great!



We had three options for dessert-cheese and crackers, fresh seasonal fruit, and dark chocolate fondant with hazelnut praline. I opted for the chocolate fondant-absolutely delicious!



Flight attendants passed out breakfast cards before takeoff. I selected what I wanted ahead of time and marked if I wanted them to wake me up 75 minutes before landing for breakfast. I had chosen the omelet, chicken sausage, and potato dish. They apparently ran out of omelets before getting to me.


I don’t really care about receiving scrambled eggs instead of an omelet, but it was annoying to not get what I wanted when I had the option of selecting this ahead of time. The scrambled eggs were also overcooked.


Service

Service was quite good overall. I interacted with several flight attendants who were all professional, friendly, and did their jobs well. They kept refilling my drinks throughout dinner and offered to take some pictures when they saw I was photographing everything. There was no exceptional ‘wow’ moment during the service though.


Overall Rating


Seats- 8.5/10

In Flight Entertainment- 9/10

Amenities- 4/5

Wi-Fi- 0/5

Dining- 6.5/10

Service- 8/10

Departure/Arrival Timeliness- 3/5


Cumulative Ranking: 7.1/10


I had a great flight overall. Would I fly Air Canada Business again? Sure I would, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to book the flight. The biggest room for improvement is the lack of Wi-Fi (which they’re working on) and the food. The food wasn’t bad or anything, it’s just not quite as good as what other similar airlines offer.

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