Review: Air Canada Business Class E175: Atlanta – Toronto

This post is one chapter on our trip to Atlanta, Georgia on United Airlines and 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 Embraer 175, Atlanta – Toronto

I got up very early around the 3:30 AM mark so that I could drive the 25 minutes to rental car center at the Atlanta airport. I had filled up the car to 2/8 full the day before. I didn’t find to many gas stations around the airport on google maps so I had pre-filled the vehicle. I dropped the car at the Hertz e-return. “Leave keys and go” as it said. There was not a soul around at 4:30 AM when I was through there. 

I made my way over to the rental car shuttle shared with all rental car vendors. My trip started to go a bit pear shaped at this point. Most people travelling between the Altanta Rental Car center and the airport building take an elevated train that runs on a set schedule. Those of us travelling to the international terminal are expected to take a bus. While it seems possible to take the train to the domestic terminal, then walk through some six concourses to get to the international terminal, this isn’t possible if you have checked baggage. It wasn’t clear to me whether TSA would even let you through from the domestic terminal over to the international terminal. Instead of trying to game the system of what appeared to be a longer route, I ended up waiting with 6 other people with sports equipment for the shuttle bus. I checked for a schedule but there was nothing posted. 

After about thirty minutes of waiting at around 5 AM, I started to get a little nervous since boarding was only 40 minutes away and the terminal was showing as 15 minutes drive away and I still had to get through security. I decided to call for an Uber which eventually arrived at 5:15 AM. I offered another passenger who had been waiting the 40 minutes with me a ride. He was an engineer who had been working on projects in Alabama and he was also on the Air Canada flight with me, trying to get back to Quebec. Unfortunately, our driver obviously didn’t take many people to the international terminal and despite using the GPS, got lost and I had to self direct him towards the international terminal using google maps from my own phone.

We arrived at the international terminal at about 5:35 AM. I told my fellow Canadian that I would see him at the gate as he had to check a large pelican case. Unfortunately, like other travelers that you bond with on the road, I never saw him again. I happened to see that the check in desks were deserted when I streaked through the terminal rushing for security. I had done online check in so headed straight for security screening. Thankfully, I got through quickly, even though no TSA Pre-Check was open at this hour. 

Air Canada
AC 7541 – Business Class (R)
ATL – YYZ (Hartsfield Jackson ATL International Airport – Toronto Pearson Terminal 1)
April 13, 2019
06:10 AM – 8:20 AM
Booked: Embraer 175
Flown: Embraer 175

My luck continued to entertain this morning. Somehow, despite having purchased the cheapest “Standard” fare with no seat assignment, I got an operational upgrade to Business. I don’t understand how or why as I was on a stripper standard fare. 

On Board Air Canada Short Haul Business Class:

Business Class on the Embraer is a 1 – 2 configuration. The overhead bin space was all gone as I was one of the last ones on. A recycled picture from an earlier flight on Embraer 190 aircraft …

Food and Beverage: The usual breakfast Omelette:

I had the usual Air Canada breakfast omelet that hasn’t changed in 15 years.

Followed by an Air Canada coffee, which didn’t do all to much to help the 3:30 AM wakeup. I stared at the moving map and didn’t bother to get into the entertainment.

It was a sunny day in Toronto Pearson when we arrived at the gate.

I headed for my two hour connection. I stopped by the Plaza Premium lounge, which I accessed courtesy of Priority Pass. It’s in pretty rough shape at the moment and is well overdue for a re-furbishment. My head wasn’t in the game that much thanks to the 3:30 AM departure; which was actually 12:30 AM pacific time, so I didn’t remember to take any Plaza Premium photographs.  

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