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Flying Business Class on Air Canada


Air plane wing over mountain view

Back in December 2022, when I was flying back home from Virginia, I had the chance to experience business class on Air Canada for the first time.


let me tell you all about the experience of flying business class, the food, the service, and, of course, the price.


 

Price

$506.28 USD (~$667.54 CAD)


It took two flights for me to get home; one from Virginia to Washington, then Washington to Toronto.

I booked my flights less than a month in advance, so it was rather last minute. By this time, business class was all that was left for my second flight home and luckily for me, it was discounted. The cost for both my flights ended up being $506.28 USD.


To some, that might seem cheap for 2 flights, but Richmond and Washington are less than an hour away from each other by plane, so it makes sense why such a short flight would cost less. For this flight, I flew economy.


For my second flight, Washing to Toronto, business class was all the was left, so it was discounted. An Air Canada business class flight from Washington to Toronto usually costs well over $500 USD on its own, especially during the holiday month of December. So, I lucked out on the price for sure.



As well, on top of the already discounted ticket price, my business class flight was delayed for longer than 3 hours. I was meant to have a 5 hour layover, but with the delay, it turned into about 8 hours. Air Canada's policy for flights delayed between 3-6 hours is a $400 refund to passengers who apply for it.


That means, in the end, my flights cost me less than $200 USD all together. This was not something I had planned or was expecting, but it definitely made the long layover and delay in Washington better.


Food


When booking my ticket, I had an option to order a complimentary meal and I chose the vegetarian meal (non-diary) option. I wasn't sure what this was going to consist of and I was concerned it might have gluten in it, but to my surprise I could eat everything that was given to me.


Business class vegan meal

I'll be honest though, the food was not good. It was a cold plate of assorted half cooked, if not raw, vegetables and quinoa. The non-vegan/vegetarian option was some fruit and cheese, which would've likely been better if I could eat it.


Even though the food wasn't good, I was still quite happy to actually be able to eat something more substantial than almonds on a flight. With all my allergies and dietary restrictions, eating on a plane is next to impossible, but it wasn't an issue in business class.



I got apple juice, but could've had complimentary alcohol too (though I don't drink). My apple juice came in a glass cup instead of a plastic one, I had an actual cloth napkin instead of a little paper one, and it contained real metal cutlery. All this came out on a lined tray.


Business class passengers were also given a complimentary bottle of water before we even took off. It wasn't those tiny bottles of water either, it was a good sized bottle.


These are things that are so normal at home, but feel so bougie on a plane.


Service


You know when you fly economy and the flight attendant comes down the aisle with snacks and drinks, then, what feels like 10 seconds later, they come back down the aisle with a garbage bag in hand?


Ever felt pressured to chug your coffee so you don't get stuck with the garbage for the rest of the flight? This is not an issue in business class.


Similar to a restaurant, when you're eating, the flight attendant waits until you're finished before coming to collect your garbage. I wasn't rushed to finish my meal, they didn't come to my seat with a garbage bag, but rather took my tray away when I was done.


There was also no limit to how many complimentary drinks I could have, and they weren't rationed (not getting a full can) or poured in front of me.


Just before taking off, a flight attendant came into business class just to close the curtain that separated us from economy. This was such a new experience for me.


The simple act of closing a curtain had such a profound effect and spoke volumes. It created this hierarchy on the plane.



Since it was my first time on the other side of the curtain, I simultaneously felt leveled up, but also out of place. I felt cut off from my familiar, but it was also kind of nice to feel that way, since the unfamiliar was bougie.


I can definitely understand how easy people become addicted to this lifestyle and why so many yearn for it.


My Seat


The seat I booked was a single-seater, meaning I had no one sitting next to me and both an aisle and window seat.

Business class leg room

Whenever I book flights, I always book the aisle seat that way I don't have to awkwardly ask a stranger to get up so I can use the washroom or stretch. I would rather have a stranger ask me to move.


But this time, I got to enjoy both the view of a window seat and the freedom of an aisle seat.


I'm quite short at 5'5" (165cm), so in economy class I'm not super uncomfortable, but the extra legroom in business class was heavenly! I hadn't shoved all my carry-on things under the seat in front of me and still had legroom! It was awesome!



You know when you're eating or trying to work on a plane, but the person in front of you reclines their chair, so now your tray table is halfway up your nose? This doesn't happen in business class.


Business class tray table

My tray table was not attached to the seat in front of me, but rather neatly tucked away in the arm rest of my chair.


The table had 2 modes. When folded up, you had a smaller side table, but when fully folded out, you had a larger table.


I also loved that I didn't bump my table every time I crossed my legs as I actually had room underneath my table to do.


My cup holder was also not apart of my table, but rather a part of my arm rest. Meaning, I didn't need to have my table out when I was drinking if I didn't want to. I could happily watch a movie without restriction.


Business class outlets and screen

My seat also came with a screen and an outlet. I'm used to having an outlet under the seat with just a USB port that I have to share with my seat neighbhour.


In business class however, I had an outlet with a USB port and a type B port. It wasn't under the seat and I didn't have to share this outlet with anyone. (I was watching the most recent Downtown Abbey movie, but didn't get to finish it.)


It's these little attentions to detail that add up to change the experience completely.



I would love to fly business class again sometime! It's such a cool feeling being able to give yourself the finer things in life and enjoy them to the fullest.


 

Have you ever flown business class? If not, I definitely recommend giving it a try at least once.

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