Review: Air Canada Business Class E190, Winnipeg – Vancouver

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Our flight home was pretty much a copy of our flight out. While the Air Canada medium haul service is never super exciting, it is usually quite consistent and predictable. We were fortunate to have an economy class fare that was upgraded into Business Class with upgrade credits to land ourselves into Business Class.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Kenora, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada. This trip allowed us to earn through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy). 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 E190, Winnipeg – Vancouver

“Our Air Canada Business Class Embraer 190 flight home offered a comfortable but not memorable trip home

Like on our outbound, our round trip flights were purchased in an economy class “Flex” Fare and upgraded using E-Upgrades earned through the Air Canada Aeroplan program. The upgrades were cleared and confirmed in advance at the 10 day window thanks to the Air Canada Top Tier summer promotion, which allowed for a more immediate upgrade than the usual 4 day window.

Air Canada Embraer 190 on the Gate at YWG
Gate 11 – Winnipeg Airport

We left the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Winnipeg International Airport and headed on the short walk to the gate.

The flight today was completely full today and the gate agents were offering three $400 compensation vouchers for a bump to the 9 PM flight; which was 7 hours later. Usually I jump at these opportunities but after a full weekend of socializing and visiting, we were both pretty tired. We’d also returned the rental car and didn’t want to forgo our confirmed business class upgrades so we passed on taking the later flight. 

Air Canada 
YWG-YVR (Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport – Vancouver International Airport)
AC 297 – Business Class (R).
2:15 PM – 3:20 PM
August 11, 2014
Booked: Embruaer 190
Flown: Embruaer 190.
Seat 2F 

Boarding was announced with approximately 40 elites and business class passengers shuffling on board through the priority lane. It was a large number considering the plane only holds 73 passengers. 

On board Air Canada Embraer Business Class:

We settled into the familiar seat. We were in row 2 this time, which was much tighter than the bulkhead. It was perfectly okay for a 2 hour flight, but perhaps not much longer in my humble opinion. A combination of old and new pictures.

Air Canada Embraer 190 – Seat 2F

On board, we settled into the Embraer 190 Air Canada Business Class Product. We were in the bulkhead today, seats 1D/1F.  There are three rows of Business Class in the Embraer 190, in a 1-2 configuration up front, and a 2-2 configuration in the back in economy class.

Air Canada Embraer 190 Bulkhead Seats
Air Canada Embraer 190 Business Class Cabin
Air Canada Embraer 190 Cabin

The In Flight Entertainment Service:

The Air Canada Embraer 190 has built in video monitors with entertainment in the back of every seat in business class and economy class seats. While it is complimentary, it doesn’t have that many movies and you’d get through it in just two or three flights.

In Flight Seat Back Entertainment
Air Canada In Flight Entertainment

A Pre-Departure Beverage:

The usual Air Canada Pre Departure Beverage of water and orange juice in the plastic cup was offered. 

Pre-Departure Beverage of Orange Juice or Water

Paper Menus were distributed while waiting on the ground at Winnipeg.

Air Canada Business Class Menu
Business Class Supper Menu YWG-YVR

Meal orders were again taken by status, as it was on the flight out. 

We were underway pretty quickly for a “heavy” flight. As we got underway, we had some great flat prairie views on the climb to altitude. The landscape of the Canadian Prairies is much flatter than the regular Pacific Northwest Mountains that make up home. A beautiful green view on the climb out today. 

Winnipeg Views on the Climb to Altitude
Tonight’s Flight Route

A pre-supper beverage and almond service was offered. I had an engaging conversation with the flight attendant on the flight.

Q: What kind of wines do you have?
A: Red and White

I think I’ll stick with Gin and Tonic(s) today… It was served with mixed nuts in a small ramekin.

Cocktail Hour with a Gin and Tonic

The Meal Service: A Late Lunch

Our flight was departing through the afternoon, leaving at 2 PM and arriving at 3:30 PM Vancouver Time. Thankfully, it was not a main eating hour so many people opted not to eat. This translated into a larger choice of meals than what is usually offered when the pantry goes empty. I went with the salmon titled as Pan Fried Atlantic Salmon with ginger flavoured Thai Fish Sauce and seasonal rice and mixed vegetables. It was pretty overcooked, verging on dry, but still edible. 

Evening Snack: Presented on a Tray all at once
Pan Fried Atlantic Salmon with ginger flavoured Thai Fish Sauce and seasonal rice and mixed vegetables

Throughout dinner, a regular and continuous top up of wines were offered. 

I settled into the movie “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz. It was pretty entertaining. 

As always a nice ride into Vancouver with many mountains to daze the day away at for the last hour of the flight.

Rocky Mountain Views

We had a straight in descent into Vancouver International Airport towards Gate 43

Views of the Vancouver Skyline on the Approach to YVR

For once, the bags were out on the arrivals belt prior to our arrival. MsWT73 pronouncing “Finally – this is what priority bags are supposed to be like”. Well, don’t get too excited there. It’s a rarity in my experience, especially on those connecting flights.

The Bottom Line: Our Experience on Air Canada Embraer Medium Haul Business Class

The Air Canada business class experience offers a more “comfortable” experience than riding in the back. It doesn’t really compare to any foreign carriers and doesn’t seem to aspire to do so. Rather, it seems to be targeting the US carriers by offering a better lounge, food and “on board” experience. 

I hope you all enjoyed the report to small town Ontario. Thanks for following along. Happy contrails!


If you’ve flown Air Canada Business Class Domestically in Canada, what do you think about the experience?

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