REVIEW: Air Canada Business Class (B77W)

On my recent overseas trip to Europe in July, I flew back to Canada on Air Canada’s Business Class product. Air Canada operates a daily flight from Paris (CDG) to Montreal (YUL) on the Boeing 777-300ER (77W) as AC871.

Flight

The 777-300ER (77W) is divided into 3 cabins: Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class. The 398-seater Economy cabin is laid out in a 3-4-3 configuration, 24-seater Premium Economy in a 2-4-2, and 28 lie-flat Business Class pods in a reverse-herringbone 1-2-1 layout. The 777s are all retrofitted with Air Canada’s newest Executive Pods just like the 787s.

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Air Canada Business Cabin with Executive Pods

Cabin and Seat

As I mentioned above, Air Canada’s Business Class seats are pod-style so each passenger gets their own private space. The reverse-herringbone layout allows free access to the aisle without bothering any neighbouring passengers. All seats are complete lie-flats with plenty of space for storage in the bucket cubby or the seat-cubby next to the aisle. The armrest can be lowered for even more space while lying down. In terms of privacy, you’re covered by the surrounding panels. Upon arriving to the seat, you’ll find a duvet, pillow, amenity kit, water, and noise-cancelling headphones.

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Air Canada’s Business Class Pod

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Executive Pod Control Panel

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Executive Pod Storage

Food and Beverage

After settling into your seat you are given the menu for the flight and served a choice of water, orange juice, or sparkling wine. Your menu will have different selections depending on your flight. For example, you may have the option of choosing an oriental style meal on the Asia-Pacific flights.

There are three options: the express light option, for those who want a quick bite to get to work or sleep, the dine anytime, for those who wish to eat when they choose, or the full service option. I decided on the full service option which is served shortly after take-off.

The menu comprises of the following: appetizer, salad, main course, and selection of cheese and dessert. A wine and beverages list is also on the menu.

On this particular flight, the choices were the following.

Appetizer: Duck foie gras, black pepper, onion jam, pickled red bell peppers, caramelized nuts and fruit, gingerbread.

Salad: Mixed greens, red and yellow peppers, Parmesan, balsamic vinaigrette.

Main Courses Choices:

  • Beef fillet, pepper cream sauce, potato au gratin, yellow and green zucchini, cherry tomato
  • Chicken, creamy thyme sauce, mashed potatoes, mushroom fricassée, tomato Provençale
  • Cod fillet, coconut green curry sauce, basmati parsley rice, sautéed carrots
  • Four cheese agnolotti pasta, tomato-olive sauce

 

Cheese and Dessert: Camembert, Beaufort, fleur de pin, crackers, fresh seasonal fruit, raspberry tart.

There is also a snack package available in the galley which consists of: chips, nuts, fruit, energy bars, and chocolate.

90 minutes prior to landing, you are served another light meal.

Light meal: chilled plate featuring tomato mozzarella salad, smoked duck, pesto. Fresh orange segments. Chocolate.

The wine list also had an interesting mix of choices, personally selected by Air Canada’s Sommelier, Véronique Rivest, who is internationally renowned, to match the flavours and pairings of the inflight cuisine.

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Appetizer, Main Course, Dessert

Wine List

Champagne:

  • Champagne Drappier, Carte d’Or Brut, Reims, France

 

White Wines:

  • Vineland Estates Dry Riesling, Niagara Escarpment, Canada
  • Quinta de Daes Reserva, Dao, Portugal

 

Red Wines:

  • Pittnauer Pitti, Burgenland, Austria
  • Barbarians Gualtallary Malbec, Valle du Uco, Argentina

 

Port:

  • Dow’s Port, Portugal
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Menu on AC 871

In-Flight Entertainment

Air Canada’s IFE is loaded with hundred of hours of content and games with a wide variety of genres. Passengers can even see the duty free and wine list from the IFE. The new IFE allows passengers to start the movie exactly where they want by dragging the pointer. A new feature only available on the 787 Dreamliner allows passengers to control the brightness of the window shades. Overall, the IFE is very responsive and provides endless hours of entertainment.

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Air Canada In-Flight Entertainment

Overall Experience

Air Canada’s refreshed Executive Pod is the shining star of the airline’s suite of premium products. All aspects of the product from seating material to cabin dimming were carefully selected. The service level, food and bed comfort are very high quality. One of my favourite nuances about the Dreamliner are the dimming lights that change slowly as you travel through time zones. You barely notice that the cabin has gone dark until it’s time to sleep. A combination of the lie-flat bed and Boeing’s better air filtration system allowing for increased humidity, will have passengers waking up in their destinations with less jet lag and ready to hit the ground running.

Disclaimer: At the time of authoring, William Chan was an employee of Air Canada.

All images by William Chan.

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