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 857
London (LHR) – Toronto (YYZ)
Thursday, May 26
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 11K (Business Class)
My previous Air Canada flights were operated by 787s, so I was excited to see how the 777 compared. I boarded through the forward door, and was pointed to the far aisle, since I was seated on the right side of the plane.
Air Canada’s 777-300ER business class on this configuration consists of a total of 40 seats, spread across two cabins.
The forward business class cabin has a total of 26 seats, spread across seven rows (the first six rows have four seats per row, while the last row has just two seats on the window sides).
Then there was the mini cabin behind that, where I was seated. This cabin consisted of a total of 14 seats (the first row had just two seats in the center, while the other three rows had four seats each).
Generally I far prefer being in the mini-cabin, since it’s quieter and there’s less traffic during the flight, though everyone in economy does walk past your seat during boarding.
I quickly popped my head into Air Canada’s intimate premium economy cabin, which featured just three rows. The seats there are in a 2-4-2 configuration (compared to 3-4-3 in economy, which is a tight fit). Premium economy looked like a solid product.
I had assigned myself seat 11K, which was the window seat in the last row of business class.
The seat was the same design as on the 787, though there were some minor differences, probably due to the 777 having a wider cabin.
For example, the compartment which housed the entertainment controls, power outlets, and headphone jack, was significantly larger than on the 787.
On top of that, the counter space next to the seat seemed to be a bit larger. I’d note that I had extra space on top of that, since I was in the last row, meaning there was no seat behind me.
Already waiting at my seat on boarding was a bottle of water, amenity kit, and earbuds.
As was the case on the 787, there was an adjustable armrest on the aisle side of the seat.
Beneath that was a small storage compartment, which could hold a bottle of water.
Also waiting at my seat were a pillow and blanket set.
About 10 minutes after settling in, one of the friendly flight attendants came by to offer me a choice of orange juice, water, or sparkling wine. I selected a water.
About five minutes later menus were distributed.
While still on the ground I changed into something more comfortable. The business class cabin had a total of three lavatories, including two between business class cabins, and one at the very front. The lavatories were a pretty standard size, and didn’t have especially nice finishes.
At around 11:50AM, Captain Norm came on the PA to add his welcome aboard, informing us of our flight time of 6hr55min, and that we’d be taking off into the west and cruising at 34,000 feet.
After his announcement the flight attendants came around business class to take lunch orders.
Boarding was pretty efficient, and by 12PM the door was closed, with a total of six empty seats in business class. We pushed back within about five minutes, at which point the safety video screened.
We were parked next to a Thai A380.
As soon as we pushed we had a view of an Ethiopian 777.
It took us a few minutes to start up the engines, and from there it was a quick 10 minute taxi to the runway. We taxied past the Virgin Atlantic hangar, and then got in the takeoff queue behind four British Airways planes.
There was a Malaysia A380 which was taxiing immediately behind us.
By 12:20PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 27R.
It was a beautiful day to fly, and we had a smooth climb out, with great views of the area surrounding Heathrow.
10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off.
I browsed the inflight entertainment, starting with the airshow, which had all kinds of cool perspectives from which you could view the route.
Then I browsed the TV & movie selection.
I eventually decided to watch “Trainwreck,” starring Amy Schumer. I love Amy Schumer, and thought the movie was hilarious.
An hour after takeoff flight attendants distributed real headsets, and then shortly after that the meal service slowly began. The lunch menu read as follows:
And the beverage list read as follows:
First everyone was offered a hot towel.
Then drinks were served — rather than using a cart, the crew served off trays, which I appreciated. I just ordered a glass of still water, which was served with cashews.
I was offered a refill on nuts.
It was a full 90 minutes after takeoff before the starter course was served, which consisted of bresaola beef and a side salad.
The starter was good, in particular with the pesto and red pepper salsa.
The salad was tasty as well, and I appreciated that it wasn’t romaine lettuce.
I had a wheat roll with the starter.
For the main course I ordered the poached cod fillet, which was quite good. The highlight, however, were the sides — the couscous pearls, green beans, and tomato caper olive salsa were exceptional.
Next up a cheese course was served, which was basic but good.
I ordered a cappuccino with the cheese course, which was good as well. It was served with a small Lindt chocolate.
Lastly I was served dessert, which consisted of three small scoops of ice cream. I thought the presentation was nice, and the ice cream tasted very good.
Overall the meal was enjoyable, and the crew was top notch. They were friendly, engaging, and extremely attentive.
There was just one small problem. The meal service took forever. The airshow has an indicator which shows the progress of your flight. Here’s what it looked like when my tray was finally cleared:
The lunch service was finished three hours after takeoff, which was almost halfway through the flight. It’s not that the crew was lazy or anything, as they were hustling the whole flight. Rather they seemed to be somewhat understaffed, and I also think Air Canada’s service is too drawn out. This was in stark contrast to my outbound flight from Toronto to Frankfurt, where everything was served on one tray, and dinner was done an hour after takeoff.
After lunch I decided to watch a few sitcoms, including some episodes of “The Middle” I hadn’t seen before.
I then watched a Canadian show called “Income Property,” where a real estate expert basically helps people buy properties which are a good investment for the purposes of generating rental income. However, my mind was blown by the math. For example, the couple wanted to buy a rental property to put several daughters through school, and the net profit basically ended up being a couple of hundred dollars per month per property. I doubt that will generate enough income in the next few years to put your daughters through school! Anyway…
Before I knew it we were approaching North America, and just 1hr45min from arriving in Toronto.
About 1hr15min before landing the pre-arrival snack was served.
The pre-arrival snack menu read as follows:
I wasn’t actually that hungry, given that lunch wrapped up just a couple of hours prior. I still took the snack, just so I could snap some pictures and try it.
The snack was tasty, from the finger sandwiches, to the oranges, to the scones.
Air Canada business class snack — three types of sandwiches
About 30 minutes before landing the captain came on the PA to provide updated arrival information, informing us we should be arriving a bit early.
As we descended I watched an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” I hadn’t seen before.
Our descent was smooth initially, though in a rather abrupt way the captain announced “flight attendants take your seats immediately.” So the flight attendants took their seats for the rest of the descent, and had us self police for seatbelts, electronic devices, etc. Oddly there was virtually no turbulence.
We touched down at Toronto Airport at 2:25PM.
From there it was a 10 minute taxi to the gate, where we arrived a few minutes early.
We pulled in next to an Air Canada 787.
Air Canada 777 Business Class bottom line
Air Canada’s 777 business class features a great hard product, much like the airline’s 787s. It’s amazing how quickly Air Canada is transforming their business class product, as all 787s feature these seats, and almost all 777s have been reconfigured with these seats as well.
The service and food on this sector were very good. The crew was friendly and attentive, so I have nothing but good things to say about them. However, Air Canada really needs to do something about making their service more efficient, as it shouldn’t take three hours to serve a relatively basic (but tasty) meal.
Overall Air Canada offers a great business class product, and I found the service to be consistently excellent across all my flights. Here’s to hoping they install wifi on these planes soon!