Air Canada B767-300ER BusinessBack to Forum
Anonymous3 Jul 2013
Check in & Security
I checked in online the day before my Air Canada flight from London Heathrow Terminal 3 to Toronto. This allowed me to select my seat (2A) and retrieve a mobile boarding card. I then changed my mind about my luggage so I had to visit check in at the airport to tell them that I was not checking a bag after all. However this was not a problem as there was no queue. I passed very quickly through fast track security until the point when both my bags were detained for a detailed search which took an extra 20 minutes.
I had arrived at the airport quite early intending to do some work in the lounge. The Star Alliance London Lounge was conducive to both working and relaxing. It also had everything I wanted (good selection of magazines, papers, drinks and food). My only complaint is that you have to use stairs to get to most of the lounge. This is not ideal, or particularly safe, when carrying hand luggage.
There was no boarding announcement in the lounge so I wandered to the gate 30 minutes before the 12:05 departure to find I was the last person boarding. Boarding was efficient (but it would be as I was the only person around) and I was quickly in my seat. Storage space in a 767 is not abundant but there was no problem storing my large carry on and laptop bag. I was offered a choice of drink on boarding. There was a very minimal amenity pack (containing only socks, shades and earplugs).
The seating is laid out in a 1-1-1 herringbone arrangement. This is very good for the single traveler as every seat gets aisle access and quite a lot of privacy. It would not be so good if you were travelling with company. The seat was very comfortable for sitting and sleeping (long enough even for my 6’4” frame). None of the seats seemed particularly better than any others other than the obvious advantage of window seats for a better view.
Food & Service
We were served warm nuts and a drink shortly after take off and, shortly after, a starter of smoked salmon, crab salad and prawn with couscous accompanied by a side salad with (in my view) a bit too much cheese. There was a reasonable selection of wines and I opted for a palatable sauvignon blanc. The main course arrived after the starter had been cleared. I opted for cod with rice and a tomato based sauce. There was also an option of lamb cutlets or chicken breast. The cod was OK but nothing special. It felt a bit like an economy class meal served (and heated) on real crockery. There was a cheese course with a very basic selection of cheeses served with port. Finally a tasty Portuguese style custard tart or fruit salad with tea or coffee.
There appeared to be only one person serving a lot of the time and getting a refill of wine was on request rather than offered. Before arrival we were served with a basic sandwich selection, a scone with clotted cream and a plate of orange segments.
The seat was hard wired with a very basic headset (not noise cancelling). Luckily I had my own noise cancelling cans. The screen was fairly large. It was touch screen or could be operated using a small joystick in a wired remote control. The joystick was fiddly because the same button controlled movement and selection. There was a reasonable, if not inspirational, choice of films and TV including (notably) Breaking Bad which I declined to watch as it was season 5 and, as a Brit deprived to date of this great series, I am only just starting season 2 from Lovefilm.
We arrived slightly ahead of schedule. Immigration was a breeze even though I was pulled over for extra processing as a business traveler. My colleague’s bag arrived fairly promptly and we were on our way 40 minutes after landing.
A stress free journey and comfortable plane. Fairly basic food offering and lack of decent headphones let the offering down somewhat. If I had a choice on this route (which I don’t really because of corporate deals) I would consider Air Canada (but probably ultimately choose BA, not because of a better core offer, but because my Gold status would get me a better offering).3 Jul 2013