Review: Air Canada Signature Business Class B787-9, Toronto – Vancouver
Air Canada recently recognized that they are able to offer a very strong competitive advantage in the form of a fully flat business class seat over its usual narrow body recliner seats. Air Canada has branded this as Air Canada Signature Class, promising an elevated end to end experience. How would it stand up on a westward trans continental route ?
This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. 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.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Zanzibar, Tanzania and Islands of the Seychelles via Air Canada and Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Signature Business Class: Vancouver – Toronto
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Toronto International Terminal
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Toronto – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Dar Es Salaam
- The Hyatt Regency – The Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
- Precision Air: Dar Es Salaam – Zanzibar
- The Residence Zanzibar by Cenizaro, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Crossing the Island of Zanzibar, Tanzania
- The Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania
- The Decorative Doors of Stonetown, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Among the Horrors at the Slave Trade Market, Stonetown, Zanzibar
- Emerson Spice Tea House Restaurant, Stonetown, Zanzibar
- Cruising into Sunset on a Dhow Cruise, Zanzibar
- Precision Air: Zanzibar – Dar Es Salaam
- Kenya Airways: Dar Es Salaam – Nairobi
- Kenya Airways: Nairobi – Mahé, Seychelles
- Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove, Mahé, Seychelles
- The Beaches of Beau Vallon, Mahé, Seychelles
- Cat Cocos Ferry: Mahé – Praslin
- The Chateau des Feuilles, Praslin, Seychelles
- Tortoises at Anse Lazio and Vallée de Mai, Praslin Island, Seychelles
- The Beaches of Praslin Island, Seychelles
- Air Seychelles: Praslin – Mahé
- Salon Vallée de Mai Business Lounge, Mahé, Seychelles
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Mahé – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk
- Turkish Airlines E Tour, Istanbul, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Toronto
- Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport, Canada
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Toronto Domestic
- Air Canada Signature Business Class: Toronto – Vancouver
Review: Air Canada Signature Business Class B787-9, Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal One – Vancouver International Airport
We left the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Domestic lounge at about fifty minutes before the flight and wandered down the bright but institutional concourse at Toronto Pearson Terminal 1. It’s got a terrific amount of natural light but appears to be so absent of any soul or inspiration; let alone many interesting places to eat.
We arrived to Gate D43 at about forty five minutes before the flight. Boarding was also set for the same time, but when we arrived, they were already on Group #3. Having the rare “Group #1” Boarding Zone on our boarding cards, we were able to use the dedicated priority lane and snuck on quickly and went to go get settled on board.
AC 183 Business Class (I)
YYZ-YVR (Toronto Pearson International Airport Vancouver International Airport)
June 13, 2018
07:30 AM – 9:23 AM
Booked: Boeing 787-900
Flown: Boeing 787-900
On Board Air Canada Signature Class:
The Air Canada Boeing 787-900 Business Class is in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seats are the comfortable reverse herringbone configuration. It’s pretty awesome to fly a wide body state of the art aircraft across the country with a fully lie flat seat when most of the other flights are in the traditional recliner variety. Most of my domestic flights are on Airbus 320 series aircraft which are nowhere near as comfortable in the front or the back.
There are ample storage compartments and charging station for devices.
On the shelf by the seat was a small amenity kit, and a set of unbranded Air Canada logo noise cancelling headphones. The tiny amenity kit was also unbranded and contained the usual useless stuff. There was also a sleep set available on the seat, which I put into the overhead compartment.
Pre – Departure Services:
We were offered a choice of water, orange juice, sparkling wine, or mimosas to start the flight. I went with sparkling wine.
The Signature Service menus were presented while on the ground. The menu’s feature a new elegant dark cover as compared to their regular Air Canada Business Class offering.
The meal orders were taken on the ground prior to pushback.
The wines are now featured by sommelier Véronique Rivest. The previous sommelier, Ken Chase, seems to have been completely retired. The wines feature Canadian Niagara region wines, likely in a cost cutting move.
We taxied out to the runway, passing Terminal 3 and the Sheraton Hotel where we spent the night last night. It was a rainy day in the Toronto area.
We climbed out on runway 23 and were above the clouds quickly.
The Amenity Kit: A Small Signature Pouch
I checked out the amenity kit. It’s interesting and unusual that they are offering one for a domestic trans continental route. Although it appeared more expensive than the last plastic bag amenity kit I received from Air Canada, the contents were mostly junk as per the course with Air Canada. For whatever reason, this does not appear to be an area where Air Canada spends a lot of money.
The Meal: A Full Breakfast
The breakfast service started quickly after take off. It started with a tray of fruit, presented first on a tray.
Having had enough eggs to last a while on this trip, I went with the pancakes, maple butter, chicken sausage, cran-apple compote served with fresh fruit and yoghurt.
In Flight Entertainment: Advanced Video on Demand
I entertained myself with the in flight movie selection from the advanced video on demand system. The functionality has improved on this current generation’s model as compared to the older Air Canada models which were horrendously slow, clunky and prone to crashing.
I settled into watching Dunkirk which I hadn’t seen yet. It was beautifully filmed and I highly recommend it. Today’s movie time was paired with a red wine Domodimonti Il Messuia Rosso 2011 from Marche, Italy.
To compliment the latter part of the flight, there was also a simple snack basket put out for self serve munchies. By this time of this long trip, I was too lazy to get up to take a standing point of view photograph (laughing).
Arriving into Vancouver:
We arrived into Vancouver on an approach over the city. Our landing heading was for runway 32 R under wet and rainy Pacific Northwest skies.
We were off in the Vancouver International Airport domestic terminal before we knew it. We wandered down to the baggage claim to collect our luggage which had arrived without any issue.
My Thoughts on Air Canada Signature Business Class service:
Air Canada Signature Business Class Signature Service is easily the most comfortable way to get from Toronto to the West Coast. The ability to get a lie flat seat is a great perk. The pods are a much more comfortable way than the usual business class recliner seats. The other bonus is that Air Canada domestic flights usually have little to no fuel surcharges, making them a great award redemption.