When I looked at my travel pictures from last summer, I realized I didn't post my flight reviews.
I had never flown with Air Canada before. I was looking for a one way ticket from Chicago to Barcelona for the first week of September and they had a decent premium economy fare for about 790. I was aware that Air Canada allows you to bid for an upgrade.
The grade increases.
Customers can bid for an upgrade to their premium cabins on Air Canada. I was able to get the upgrade offer on the booking confirmation screen.
Provide a payment method and confirm the process is simple. Air Canada's Aeroplan members can bid using their points.
I was offered to bid for upgrade on both my short- and long-haul flights. Each segment had a brief description of the upgrade benefits, and a button where you could choose how much you wanted to pay.
In my opinion, the bid offer was a bit pricey, so I passed on it.
For the YUL-BCN segment the bid offer was much more interesting though. The bid offer ranged from 610 to 1,260€. Now, adding 610€ to the 790€ I paid for my one way premium economy ticket would be a 1,400€ one way business class transatlantic ticket in high season, wich I think was reasonable given the prices available for those dates.
Before placing my bid I checked the cabin loads on ExpertFlyer. The business class cabin on my flight looked wide open (C9 D9 J9 Z9), so I felt confident placing the lowest, 610€ bid for that upgrade, also factoring in that I was bidding for an upgrade from premium economy to business, and not from an economy class fare. Two days before my flight I got confirmation that my upgrade bid had been accepted.
The flight is a short one.
I was upgraded to the short-haul flight as well. I guess Aeroplan elite member light was the reason the flight was over booked. I am a member of the Star Alliance, but not with Air Canada.
I was asked if I was ok being moved to 1A so that they could accommodate a family. The NOML note on my new boarding pass was shown to me by the agent.
The purser didn't know what to do. There was a salad and wine on the flight.
The maple leaf lynching is in Montreal.
I spent a bit of time in the Maple Leaf lounge after my flight from Montreal.
There is a restoration area in the front of the lounge. The seating area on the back is not very interesting.
There is a full salad buffet in the restoration area.
On the other side of the restoration area, there was a warm entree station. There were a number of options that day, including a chicken curry, pasta, smoked sandwich, and poutine. When in Rome? I ate it with some chicken curry as well. The food and wine tasted great.
The flight is long.
Air Canada ran a non-stop service between Montreal and Barcelona last summer with a reconfiguration of the A330-300 that featured 32 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and 241 economy seats.
Business class cabins have 8 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. The old business class product may still be used on some A330-300s. The seats are open and the cabin is very private.
The seats have a pitch of 70′′ and width of 21′′. A set of pillows, a blanket, a sanitary kit, and a noise-cancelling headphones set were placed on the seat at boarding.
There was a face mask and alcohol wipes in the kit.
Besides the usual suspects, the amenity kit also included mouthwash and a floss pick, which was a very nice touch. Products are by Vitruvi.
Air Canada has a logo on the headphoes.
There was a control panel, overhead light, reading light, and storage space on the seat. The power outlets are also compatible with the internet.
Each seat has a large, 21′′ screen for in-flight entertainment, as well as flight information.
The dinner service was very good. After taking off with a beverage and packaged salted nuts, the dinner service was done quickly and efficiently, perfect for those like me who prefer to sleep longer.
Bee, chicken, fish, and vegetarian entree options were on the menu.
There are three wines on the wine list: a champagne, a white and a CabSav.
There is a chocolate cake and a glass of port left.
The bed was very comfortable with the bedding set, so I can't say anything about the breakfast service.
Air Canada's business class on their new open suites was a nice experience. The upgrade was easy to get, the dining and beverage options were good and the delivery was on time. I would like to fly back with them someday.