Review: Air Canada Executive Class A330, Toronto – Vancouver

After a long delay, we were back in Canada for a domestic flight home. Thanks to clever flight scheduling, our trip back was on one of Air Canada’s wide body jets with lie flat seats.

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 Business Class Airbus 330, Toronto – Vancouver

“Air Canada sometimes flies its long haul jets with fully lie flat seats on its domestic routes. If you’re lucky, you can score a trans-continental domestic flight with lie flat seats. This is even better if you’re connecting off a long haul onto a domestic connection”

Upon arrival at the connection desk in YYZ, I learned that Ms World Traveler 73 had been confirmed in J for her connection, (using her own e-upgrade points from her original request) but I had no seat or reservation what so ever for my YYZ-YVR flight. We were traveling on separate and unlinked itins. In response to this, I checked all of our checked baggage in with my partner (3 checked pieces under her AC Elite status) to allow for a bit of flexibility, and proceeded to search for a flight with my carry on pack only.

Given the time, there were only 3 flights left leaving for Vancouver. I wasn’t keen on taking another day off from work – my boss was almost ready to kill me as it was. I spoke to several staff at the connections desk and at the MLL in YYZ in attempt to get J space, but was unable to get any deviation for a confirmed seat in J as all the R space had expired, sold, or used. I did see that two seats were available in paid fares on a later evening flight at 8:15 PM, but was not allowed access to it. I was given a seat in Y economy on this flight. 

I attempted to find one of the famed concierges, but couldn’t find anyone and ground agents, MLL agents, didn’t seem too interested in helping me out. They did act on my questions though… just not really to my satisfaction given that I had now missed a day of work and was behind schedule by about 30 hours. I felt like Tom Hanks from the Terminal, shell shocked from being up for so many hours and wandering around aimlessly getting nowhere. 

I eventually stood by at the gate of the next departing YYZ-YVR flight and was able to get a J seat 30 minutes before the door closed, pretty much begging and thanks to the mercy of a gate agent, I was able to get a spot in J. It was a humbling experience having to beg for upgrades normally given out as UDU on United after being in transit for 24 hrs based on an issue beyond my control. 

Air Canada  
AC 137 – Executive Class (R)
YYZ-YVR (Toronto – Pearson International Airport – Vancouver International Airport) 
September 8, 2011
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Booked: Airbus 330 
Flown: Airbus 330 
Air Canada Airbus A330
Air Canada Airbus 330 Executive First (Business Class) Seat
Air Canada A330 Aisle Seats

On the YYZ-YVR service, we were offered another welcome drink, although no champas since it’s not stocked domestically.

Mesculin Salad and grilled vegetables with balsamic olive oil dressing

Beef tenderloin with bourbon glaze, potatoes au gratin, seasoned carrots and broccoli

Turbot with lemon dill cream sauce, mixed rice and broccoli

Spinach and ricotta lasagna with rose cream sauce and roasted vegetables

Warm Breads with butter.

Oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate chip cookes baked fresh on board served with gourmet vanilla ice cream.

I was ultimately delayed 30 hours. My partner and I missed a day of work but we made it back. It was also apparent that no one was handling onward reservations, and left those with connections to fend for themselves in YYZ at 3 PM based on the remaining available inventory. Through some miracle, our bags made it back unmolested after being unattended in the LIMA Airport for 30 some odd hours.

In closing, had a fantastic trip, and saw lots of wonderful things. However, the organization of our flights seemed to be falling apart at the seams at every opportunity. From our 2 hour delayed connection at the start, to the IRROPS that delayed us 30 hours at the end, and no confirmed booking for myself on our last segment, it made me wonder how those without any preferential treatment would have ever made it home. 

I would recommend travel to Peru. Go for the sights, go for the food, go and enjoy yourselves. The skiing at Valle Nevado was a once in a lifetime experience. The wine area of Chile also begged further exploration… Thanks for reading.

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