Review: Air Canada Executive Class B767, Vancouver – Toronto

The first leg of a trip is always among the most exciting. In this leg, we set off in reasonable style with the solid Air Canada Executive Class product.


This post is one chapter in our trip to Peru and Chile via Air Canada Executive First (Business Class). This trip was booked using Air Canada e-upgrades to upgrade into Air Canada International Executive First class. 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 Executive Class, Boeing 767, Vancouver – Toronto

On our departure date, I woke up at 3:45 AM in the morning to find a flight notification on my phone that the plane had been delayed 1 hr 10 minutes. A bit of a groan was to be had here – we certainly would have appreciated the extra sleep. 

We went to the airport at the normal time. At 5:30 AM, there was no line at the Air Canada Executive Class check in at YVR Vancouver International Airport. Having been through here regularly as our home airport, I have always found it to be a bit dark and disappointing compared to other stands in the world. 

My bag weighed 57 lbs (full of ski clothes and ski boots) and was given a heavy tag. She forgot the priority tag although Ms World Traveller 73 got one and I didn’t raise a fuss about it. The service was quite genuine given the early morning hour. There was no line at security and no fast track at 5:45 AM. 

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver Domestic:

“The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic offered great morning light and a reasonable amount of space, along with light bites. Unlike many US Carriers, access is included in the cost of any business class ticket.”

There wasn’t much happening on the concourse. We went to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic lounge. Access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was granted thanks to the business class of service of our ticket. Again, the entrance here isn’t too grand; a discreet door behind faux granite. It has been refurbished in the last 2 years but isn’t too exciting. It seemed to have less on offer these days for breakfast. Toast, yoghurt and juice, coffee and espressos.

Air Canada  
AC 1132 – Executive Class (R)
YVR-YYZ (Vancouver International Airport – Toronto Pearson International Airport) 
August 19, 2011
7:30 AM – 2:50 PM
Booked: Boeing 767 
Flown: Boeing 767 

After our one hour delay, we left the windows of the lounge and headed to the gate. The aircraft was here and parked at the one of the swing gates in Vancouver which allows for international arrivals / departures if they so chose. It was parked next to a Boeing 777 on AC34, which served SYD-YVR-YYZ. 

“The Air Canada lie flat seats on their Boeing 767 product were comfortable, if not a little dated, way to cross the continent”

Thanks to the delay, there were stacks of people waiting around. With two AC flights to Toronto leaving within one hour of each other, there were several people in the wrong holding area waiting for AC34 in the AC 1132 area.  

The flight was delayed again for another 35 minutes to 9:15 AM, now 1 hr 45 mins off schedule. All the staff were very apologetic. I was seeing my lounge time in Toronto sadly evaporate before my eyes.  

On Board Air Canada Executive Class:

We finally boarded and were taken on board. This plane had the standard international executive pods. These seats are set up in a diagonal lie flat configuration. A lot has been said about the rough condition of the AC J pods but I didn’t notice any damage or scuffing. The plane was fully loaded in J with 24 out of 24 seated in a 1-1-1 configuration. We were seated in 1A and 2A, which was a little hard to talk to each other. My partner also found 1A quite noisy over the course of the flight with the galley and washroom right next door to it. 

A pre-take off drink was quickly served. Given amount of trip reports that I had read about first and business class, and the cost of executive class, I was a little surprised to see it served in a clear plastic cup. No alcohol was served, just a choice of juice or water. 

There were no menus provided. Instead we were given a verbal choice between an omelet and pancakes. Orders were taken by Top Tier status (hopstotching), then 1 A to 8 A then 1 F, K 2, FK etc. Orders were taken on ground. Meal service started 1 hr after takeoff. 

Meal Service “Breakfast”:

I was able to spy a menu in the galley later on in the flight and was able to get a copy:

Sliced seasonal fruit

Yogurt

Parsley omelet with chicken sausage, cottage cheese, roasted red skin potatoes and red pepper relish

Or

Pancakes with maple butter, chicken sausage, and cran-apple compote
Warm brads with butter and preserves

Freshly brewed Second Cup coffee or a selection of tea and herbal teas (served with milk, cream or lemon)

Oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate chip cookies baked fresh on board will be served with gourmet vanilla ice cream prior to landing. 

A cocktail snack and full selection of beverages are available at all times throughout your flight. 

When we reached cruising altitude, an on board passenger announcement from the Service Director indicated that the delay in aircraft was due to no water working on board. They had attempted to service it in Honolulu and Vancouver but were unsuccessful. Therefore they had no coffee or tea on board. I started laughing at the horrified looks of people around me in J. The flight attendant noticed my smile and told me not to worry- that they had coffee up in J. I believe they had made it using bottled water. 

I started to get a bit concerned about our connection during our approach for landing. We were a good two hours behind schedule by this time. The service director had announced that staff would be on hand to handle the missed connections and we didn’t appear to have made up any time. I was extra concerned as our YYZ-LIM flight only operated 4 times a week, and we had missed the flight today, we would have to wait another 3 days for the next one.  

We arrived on the apron at YYZ, where an announcement was made that our assigned gate was unavailable. Another 20 minute wait on the apron. I turned on my phone but hadn’t received any notice or flight notification about our connection.

We deplaned at 5:30 PM, with our connecting flight scheduled to depart at 5: 30 PM. I looked for these agents that were supposedly helping with the connections but the arrival gate podiums were completely empty. We started our brisk walk / jog on the sometimes broken travellators over to the international terminal. We stopped by the domestic Customer Service desk on our way to let them know that we were running for our flight, but they really appeared in different and were unaware of the situation. We didn’t waste any further time. I was looking for one of the famed AC concierges to help us out, but they were nowhere to be found. 

We made it over to the international terminal. The information on the departure boards at 5:45 PM still showed the flight as departing as 5:35 PM, but not as departed. I got a flight notification on my phone that the flight had been delayed to 6:00 PM. We didn’t have any time for duty free or the lounge sadly, just a quick snapshot of the sculpture there seen in a few Air Canada Commercials. I didn’t have time to walk through in slow motion like they do on the TV either… 

We arrived to the international gate and discovered a fully loaded aircraft. Is it a good thing not to have to fight with anyone standing in the boarding area to get on board? We squeaked on as the last 2 out of 4 persons who were also connecting from Vancouver on our flight.


2 Comments on “Review: Air Canada Executive Class B767, Vancouver – Toronto

  1. Uh.. Air Canada does not have first class. Might want to double check your things there.

    Like

    • Thanks for reading.

      You are correct. If you’re a long time flyer, you may remember that Air Canada branded it’s domestic flights as “Executive Class” and its international flights as “Executive First”, despite being sold as Business Class. This started in 2006 with it’s XM Makeover project for its B767, B777 and A330 fleet until it was rebranded as “Signature Class” in 2018.

      As a result, I’ve listed the flights as the airline branded them, at the time they were flown.

      Like

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