Review: Air Canada Business Class CRJ-9: Ottawa – Halifax


This post is one chapter on our trip to Atlantic Canada on Air Canada. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air Canada Business Class, Canadair Regional Jet 900, Ottawa – Halifax

I used Air Canada e-upgrades to upgrade on this route from a paid economy fare. On the day I was traveling, there certainly weren’t many business travelers flying and the cabin was wide open with up to 9 seats available for sale. With up to 5 non stop flights per day, it seemed that there was plenty of capacity on this route.

Air Canada
AC 8632 – Business Class (R)
YOW – YHZ (Ottawa Cartier International Airport – Halifax Stanfield International Airport)
Nov 8, 2019
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (scheduled)
Booked: CRJ-900
Flown: CRJ-900

At around T-45, I headed down to Gate 25. Gate 25 was the among the furthest most gates away from the main access points.

On my way down, I happened to see one of the Canada North B737’s parked off the terminal. They fly several times a week from Ottawa to Iqaluit after Air Canada exited the Nunavut Territory market several years ago.

On Board Air Canada’s Short Haul Business Class:

I boarded with Group 1. It’s tight fittings on the CRJ-900’s with a 1-2 configuration up front. Similar to the Embraer’s, there only space for a full size rolling suitcase on the right hand side of the overhead bins. Thanks to having two suits in my garment bag, my bag was a little fatter than it should have been and I was unable to get my Tumi into the overhead bin. With no sky check service, I was aiming for under the seat storage when the cabin attendant pro-actively offered the front locker near door L1 for storage.

No pre-departure beverage was offered, but there was a bottle of Naya water at the seat.

There was a snowy take off over Ottawa suburbs under bright sun.

The flight offers a thinned down version of the slow Air Canada entertainment system. At least it is on demand, but there are not many shows available to watch.

The Meal: A Breakfast Omelette

The usual Air Canada parsley omelet with sausage and red potatoes offered. It was exactly the same breakfast offering I had on Vancouver – Calgary in Business earlier in the week. This breakfast, or slight variations of it, have stayed the same for almost 10 years

The flight was a short one. As we approached, it seemed like we were landing into the middle of nowhere. It seemed like a grassy field.

Before I knew it, we were out into the quiet Halifax airport. Like Ottawa, there was a complete absence of people around, despite this being a minor hub for Air Canada’s operations.

Air Canada Short Haul Business Class summarized:

The upfront ride on a Bombardier CRJ won’t ever be mistaken for a wide body service. It’s a much slimmed down version of a narrow body jet. Despite this, it’s better to be up front on any flight than in the back.


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