Introduction: Star Alliance To South Africa
Review: Four Points By Sheraton Vancouver Airport
Review: Air Canada Domestic Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 787 Vancouver To Toronto
Review: Air Canada International Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 787 Toronto To Frankfurt
Review: South African Airways Business Class A340 Frankfurt To Johannesburg
Review: South African Airways Domestic Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A319 Johannesburg To Cape Town
Review: Westin Cape Town
Review: South African Airways Lounge Cape Town Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A340 Cape Town To Johannesburg
Review: South African Airways International Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: Mashonzha Lounge Johannesburg Airport
Review: South African Airways Business Class A330 Johannesburg To London
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Air Canada Business Class 777 London Heathrow To Toronto
Review: Air Canada Domestic Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto Airport
Review: Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
Air Canada 876
Toronto (YYZ) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Thursday, May 19
Arrive: 11:10AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 4K (Business Class)
I boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by the service director and pointed to the far aisle, where my seat was located. My previous flight was operated by a Boeing 787-8 featuring just 20 business class seats, while this flight was operated by a Boeing 787-9, featuring 30 business class seats. The seats were still all in a single cabin, but thanks to the bigger space between doors one and two, there were simply an extra two and a half rows worth of seats.
As on the 787-8, the 787-9 has reverse herringbone seats, and I had selected seat 4K.
There were a couple of pillows waiting at my seat, along with a plush blanket. Air Canada has fantastic pillows and blankets.
As before, the entertainment screen was positioned in front of me, immediately above the tray table, which could be pulled out during the meal service.
To the right of my seat were the entertainment controls, headphone jack, and power outlets.
Already waiting at my seat was a bottle of water, amenity kit, and in-ear headphones.
The amenity kit featured the basics, including eyeshades, earplugs, socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a mint, along with some lip balm and lotion.
The business class cabin filled up pretty quickly, and the crew was great in hanging coats and greeting passengers as they boarded.
Once most of the business class cabin was settled in, the flight attendant working my aisle came by to introduce herself and present me with the menus for the flight. She explained that in addition to the dinner menu, there was a breakfast “card,” which would be collected shortly before takeoff. It’s a great concept, since you can basically already order what you want to eat before landing, to allow you to maximize your sleep onboard.
Shortly thereafter the crew came around with newspapers, followed by pre-departure beverages, including the choice between water, orange juice, and champagne. I selected the champagne. Unlike on my domestic flight, drinks were served in proper glassware, rather than cups.
As I sat there during boarding I couldn’t help but think that Air Canada would really benefit from some boarding music. Not that it makes the difference between a good flight and a bad flight, but I find memorable and soothing boarding music, like on Etihad or Oman Air, to really set the tone for a flight.
At 9:30PM the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard “one of Air Canada’s brand new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.” He also informed us of our flight time of 7hr2min, which he anticipated would put us into Frankfurt on-time.
The door closed at 9:40PM with a full business class cabin, and a couple of minutes after that we began our pushback, right next to a Lufthansa A330 (by the way, I love the night pictures that the Sony RX100 takes, which are so much clearer than what I’ve been able to capture with other cameras).
The safety video played as we taxied out, at which point the (Scottish) service director came around to take dinner orders, and also to collect breakfast cards.
Our taxi to the runway was fairly quick, and at 9:55PM we were airborne.
After takeoff I browsed the entertainment selection. On my previous flight I hadn’t realized just how extensive the selection was, because under TV shows I never even checked the HBO options.
So I watched Whitney Cummings’ first HBO special, “I’m Your Girlfriend,” which was crass and hilarious.
The seatbelt sign was turned off 10 minutes after takeoff. About five minutes after the seatbelt sign was turned off, the crew came around with warm towels.
At that point the dinner service began, or perhaps more accurately the “late evening express supper” service. The menu read as follows:
The wine and beverage list read as follows:
Air Canada’s supper service is extremely efficient. On one hand I like the option of having a more drawn out menu while also having the option of an express option, but on a short transatlantic flight there’s something to be said for everything being served quickly, and the lights then immediately being shut off.
That’s exactly what Air Canada does on late night flights to Europe. About 30 minutes after takeoff the crew rolled carts through the aisle with drinks and the dinner service.
Everything was served on one tray, including a salad, main course, cheese course, fresh fruit, bread, and chocolates.
There was a side salad consisting of cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette, which was fine, though on the small side.
For the main course I had the cod loin, which was exceptional. It was flavorful, and I enjoyed the grain medley and vegetables which were served with it.
The cheese course was quite nice as well.
And the fresh fruit was good for what it was.
Then there were a box of chocolates, which I saved for a later time.
Once the meal was done, the crew came around with coffee & tea. I had a cup of coffee.
Less than an hour after takeoff the cabin lights were dimmed. Like I said, usually I’m not a fan of airlines only offering an abbreviated service, but for a short transatlantic flight I see merit to it, so that noise and light are kept to a minimum.
I will say the crew was once again very good. They were efficient, graceful, and jovial.
After dinner I headed to the lavatory behind the cabin. While there are two lavatories behind business class, one is reserved for premium economy. The lavatory was fairly nice, and it’s kind of cool that there’s a window in there.
An hour after takeoff we were just north of Boston, and I was ready to sleep.
I managed to get a solid 3-4 hours of sleep, which was much better than I usually do on a short transatlantic flight. I woke up just off the coast of Ireland, with under two hours to go until our arrival in Frankfurt.
At this point the cabin was still mostly dark, as many passengers were sleeping (though a surprising number were also awake and watching TV).
When one of the flight attendants saw I was awake she came by with a snack basket to see if I wanted anything, and said breakfast service would start soon.
I watched another sitcom, and about 75 minutes before landing the cabin lights were turned up in anticipation of breakfast. The menu read as follows:
Service was performed off a cart, with the crew having prepped each tray with what each passenger had ordered, except for the hot dishes, which were brought around afterwards.
I had ordered the fresh fruit, a yogurt, a muffin, and coffee.
A few minutes later I was also served an omelet. The omelet was light and fluffy, and I loved the red pepper relish it came with.
After breakfast I continued to browse the entertainment selection, and ended up watching “The Travel Show: Japan” starring Rajan Datar. I love Japanese culture, and especially enjoyed this episode. If you have time to watch the part about the Japanese village filled with scarecrows, I highly recommend it. It’s both heartwarming and sort of sad.
About 40 minutes before landing we began our descent, and about 20 minutes after that the captain came on the PA to provide us with updated arrival information, informing us we’d be landing at 10:55AM. As usual, views of the German countryside on approach were gorgeous.
We ended up flying past the airport and then making a 180 degree turn to land into the west, and had some great views of the field while doing that.
On final approach we had some nice views of the Frankfurt skyline as well.
We touched down at Frankfurt Airport on runway 25R at 10:55AM.
From there we had a fairly long taxi to our arrival stand, as is the norm in Frankfurt.
Despite a high speed taxi, it took us about 15 minutes to get to our arrival stand. I didn’t mind one bit, given that I love the traffic at Frankfurt Airport. I love Lufthansa, so any chance to gaze at their planes is an opportunity I’ll take advantage of.
At 11:10AM we pulled into a remote stand between two United 777s.
Within a couple of minutes the doors were opened, and we were loaded onto the waiting buses.
While I hate remote stands, I do like getting up close and personal with heavies, especially a plane as gorgeous as the 787.
Our drive to the terminal took about 10 minutes, and we drove past a Singapore A380, Qatar 787, etc.
Air Canada 787 business class bottom line
This was another great flight on Air Canada. Air Canada’s 787s are gorgeous, with great entertainment, pillows, and blankets.
The crew on this flight was friendly and attentive, as was the case on the previous flight.
While the meal service on this flight wasn’t elaborate, it was extremely efficient, which is quite useful on a quick transatlantic flight.
Overall I’d say Air Canada offers one of the best business class products across the Atlantic. Now if only they’d install wifi throughout their longhaul fleet…