Air Canada has won plenty of awards for service in North America and I believe they are all well earned. The business class product is marketed with the word “first” embedded in the title, however it is not a true example of First Class like the other airlines offer (Emirates or British Airways). The Air Canada forward cabin is quite simply a solid, good value, Business class service.
I am personally not a very big fan of the herringbone configuration of business class services used by many airlines around the world. It gives you a sense that you are a sardine and wedged along other passengers in the isle. It is not the worst thing to travel like this when you are a single traveller, however when you are travelling with someone else, it is difficult to have a conversation with them or to share a meal next to them. The Herringbone seat configuration can also seem a little claustrophobic. This is especially felt when you are flying on board the Boeing 767. On the Boeing 777 you will feel much more room and comfort. This is because the aircraft itself is so large. I have flown the airbus A340, Boeing 777, and Boeing 767 with a flat bed service on Air Canada and have compiled a general critique of the service for all my blog viewers.
The lighting on board is one of the great highlights of the experience as well as the food and bed. I was struck with how modern and cool the themes of lights were as they gradually went from a warm orange colour to purple and then to a very dark blue.
It almost sets the mood into a night club or funky lounge environment.
The bed is comfortable and the pillows are plump and fluffy ensuring a very good night sleep. I usually use this service to Australia and Europe and sit in the very forward compartment. Occasionally when flying from Toronto to Vancouver I have been lucky to have the flat bed business cabin on the domestic flight. This is because the flight from Toronto to Vancouver usually heads onwards to Sydney Australia. If you are flying domestic business class on Air canada from Toronto to Vancouver be sure to get the 777 as you will be in added luxury and comfort.
The dinner service is excellent for a North american Airline. For starters I usually go for the salmon or other fresh fish dish. Once again the food is comparable to other International and domestic airlines in North america. I have usually tried the steak or the rack of lamb.The rack of lamb is absolutely superb and a decent red wine from the Okanogan valley is served with your meal. Domestic business flights do not offer champagne however the International flights will. The Lamb was as good as any restaurant I have visited on the ground. Incredibly juicy and tender. A very small portion though.
For dessert I often will try the ice-cream and the fruit accompaniment. This is always a pleaser because its very fresh and light and served with a big smile.
Overall Air Canada deserves to be the best North American airline for a business class service. It is not First Class, however I do not think it has the demand for that level of product anyway. It would simply cost too much for Air Canada to start serving $300 bottles of champagne and offering massages in the airport for its First customers. Mind you Canada appears to be rich enough … we may want that level of service sooner than later.