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Tesla
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Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:12 pm

Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Background: My recent European trip was planned at the very last minute. By that point, most attractive business class fares were long gone, but I was able to get a good price on Air Canada, an airline I'd admittedly been wanting to fly. My outbound routing, EWR-YYZ-FRA, would allow me to try Air Canada regional business class service on the E175, connecting to the B777-300ER featuring Air Canada's newest business class seats. My return routing, FRA-YOW-EWR, would allow me to try Air Canada's B767-300ER, featuring their older, original flat-bed seats, connecting to the CRJ-200 regional jet to Newark, a welcome IRROPS change away from the originally-booked UA E145. Despite the late booking, I was very happy with this Air Canada itinerary. I had wanted to fly Air Canada for quite some time, and this trip would get me on two regional jets, and more importantly, two different longhaul business class cabins.

Please enjoy the following four reports on all my Air Canada flights, and I look forward to your comments.
 
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Tesla
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Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:12 pm

EWR-YYZ
Air Canada AC7655 operated by Air Canada Express - Sky Regional
Departure: 13:05 (actual 12:55)
Arrival: 14:39 (actual 14:19)
Actual Block Time: 1h24
Actual Flight Time: 1h4
Seat: 3A Business Class
Embraer E175

I arrived to EWR Terminal A, where I enjoyed an in-person check-in with no line. I was issued cardstock boarding passes, and my baggage was checked through to Frankfurt. The agent advised that I wouldn't need to worry about my baggage until arrival in Frankfurt. In Toronto, I would only be clearing Canadian passport control, not customs. I was also informed I get lounge access both in Newark and Toronto.

Air Canada participates in TSA Precheck, for which there was no line. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was immediately after security before heading down the corridor to the gate area. The lounge offered a nice view of the Air Canada area of gates. I was in the lounge by 10:35. Boarding was set for 12:35, and departure for 13:05.

My first time trying Air Canada, I would be starting off on the E175, which I believe offer individual IFE screens. I'd be connecting to a B777-300ER with Air Canada's newest business class seats. It would be a very short overnight flight, the likes of which I usually try to avoid, but I was happy to be trying Air Canada today. I had been thinking of trying them for quite a while, and it finally worked out for my trip today. I already thought it was very nice how they include lounge access, unlike US-based carriers flying to Canada.

My aircraft, C-FEKH, arrived to EWR Gate A12 at 12:15. C-FEKH is an Embraer E175 in operation since 2005.

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At the gate in EWR:

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After watching my Air Canada E175 arrive, I took a quick restroom break. Upon my return, as passengers were deboarding, two gentlemen had already formed the boarding line. I joined them in the queue. Boarding began early at 12:30. I headed down the jetbridge to find my seat, 3A.

Seat 3A:

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Air Canada E175s have four rows of 1-2 business class. Each seat had individual screens as I had thought, plus adjustable headrests and electrical outlets - overall an incredible offering for the short flights operated by these planes. Settling in, I found typical E175 business class legroom, and an overall comfortable cloth seat. Business class boarded full, 12/12.

Welcome Screen:

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Legroom Shot:

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Safety Card:

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The captain's welcome message advised a flight time of 1h5 at 24,000 ft, with not many planes queuing here for departure. We should expect some bumps on climbout. The weather in Toronto was 20 degrees C, 68 degrees F. The purser repeated the message in French. The door closed at 12:47, followed by the purser's welcome message, again in English and French. I love flying international airlines to listen to all the different languages. After the conclusion of her announcement, she distributed small water bottles to business class.

The view from 3A:

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Pushback was early at 12:55. The safety video played on the screens in English and French. We followed an AA B737-800 to Runway 22R for takeoff at 13:10. I felt pretty good power for a regional jet, with a short roll into a steeper-than-expected climb to the south. Next came a u-turn to the right to point towards Toronto, and the promised rough air.

Canadian immigration forms were handed out. I was not totally sure if I needed it, because last time I flew into Toronto from the US, I was able to use a kiosk. Today I was thinking of trying the Canborder app to speed immigration, but it looked like it was only usable at Toronto T3, not T1 where I was headed. The curtains were shut to the galley ahead, and to coach behind. I examined the "onboard bistro" buy-on-board card, which listed the beer choices as Coors Light, Heineken, Molson Canadian, Goose IPA, and Mill Street Organic Lager, my first choice, and very surprised to see a Toronto craft beer on offer. Unfortunately the flight attendant informed me it was only available back in coach, and only for purchase - just the Coors light, Heineken and Molson Canadian were complimentary. Quite disappointed and surprised, having never heard such a thing before, I decided to go with the Molson Canadian, hoping the Mill Street would be available free on my next flight. Hot towels began service, and my beer was served in Air Canada glassware.

Molson Canadian:

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The flight attendant was back with an offer of a meal, yes a meal on only a 1h flight. Yes please! Oddly only four of the twelve passengers were offered meals, those who happened to be seated in the solo 'A' seats. Then a tray of packaged roasted, salted almonds was offered to the entire cabin, so I took that as well. Maybe only paid passengers get meals, not passengers on free upgrades? I don't know why else everyone wouldn't get a meal. In any case I appreciated the meal. It was actually quite tasty, and perfect for a short flight like this. And way better than on a US domestic airline who would have skipped the meal, and stuck with only the packet of almonds.

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I very much enjoyed my light lunch, together with the almonds, and then my tray was cleared with the offer of another drink, which I accepted. It was served as we were approaching the Canadian border over Niagara Falls.

Our route:

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I finished my beer in time for a bumpy descent into Toronto. Our landing was at 14:14, and we are parked at the gate by 14:19.

This had been a very enjoyable short flight. The service was to a very high standard, unheard of in the States on flights of this length. It was unfortunate that my craft beer wasn't available complimentary, and I was unsure why everyone didn't get a meal, but all in all, I was satisfied with this flight, given the nice light lunch, IFE and a comfortable seat. I would be happy to choose Air Canada Express again for a short flight to a high standard.

My international transit ended up being extremely easy. A quick passport scan in a kiosk along the walking route provided an "International Transit" receipt, which was all that was needed to walk the rest of the way to my next gate, E75, in the longhaul area of gates. Also in this area of gates, the new Air Canada Signature Suite, a beautiful contemporary international lounge, with a great atmosphere, a full self-serve hot buffet, full bar, and even complimentary three course fine dining on offer in the dining room. I arrived by 14:35, making it not only a quick and easy connection through Toronto, but also providing plenty of time to enjoy the lounge, since my next flight's boarding wasn't until 15:55 for departure at 16:45. I enjoyed the buffet food, which was truly delicious, as well as a couple Canadian-brewed beers. Truly one of the top lounges I've had the privilege to visit.
 
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Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:13 pm

YYZ-FRA
Air Canada AC872
Departure: 16:45 (actual 16:58)
Arrival: 06:20+1 (actual 06:41+1)
Actual Block Time: 7h43
Actual Flight Time: 7h17
Seat: 5D Signature Business Class - Executive Pod
Boeing 777-300ER

As I headed to the Air Canada Signature Suite lounge, I passed my gate E75 to see my waiting B777-300ER, C-FITU, already there being prepared to fly to Frankfurt. C-FITU entered service with Air Canada in 2007. My 2h6 scheduled layover, made a little longer by an early arrival from Newark, was not nearly long enough to enjoy the lounge. Before I knew it, boarding time was already approaching. I liked the Signature Suite lounge so much that I considered late boarding, but in the end stuck to my usual practice of heading to the gate early to be among the first to board. I hoped I'd have the opportunity to pass through the Air Canada Signature Suite lounge again.

At the gate in YYZ:

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I headed to the gate ten minutes before scheduled boarding to find separate queues for Zones 1, 2, and 3 to 6, with a decent number of people already waiting, and hard to tell who was in which queue.

Boarding began on-time with Zone 1. Two jet bridges were in use. I headed to L2, made a left turn to the forward business cabin to find my seat 5D. Air Canada B777-300ERs have a modern 1-2-1 configuration of reverse herringbone seats, and my seat was in the center section. My late booking had resulted in no window seats being available, but with all seats offering direct aisle access, it was not a bother to take the center aisle.

Seat 5D:

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I found a very modern seat. The seat came stocked with a large pillow, blanket, amenity kit, headphones, bottled water, and even a mattress pad. There were overhead vents, which I made use of, as it was pretty warm in the cabin. There was a very large, high-resolution touchscreen, plus a second small touchscreen for seat controls: to adjust the firmness of each part of the seat, to control recline, and even to adjust the ambient lights. It was a spacious seat, with pretty large armrests on either side, with the aisle side armrest in its lowered position to allow more sleeping space. There was a very large table to my right, part of which opened to reveal a small storage compartment with the IFE remote, headphone port, USB jack and electrical outlet. There was of course a divider screen between the two center seats, which was already in place. I had a personal overhead compartment, as there was pretty much one compartment per passenger. As I settled into my excellent seat, newspapers were offered by a passing flight attendant. Reclining my seat to get comfortable before we push back, I discovered just how large the footwell was, one of the largest I've seen. I'd expect this seat to be quite a good bed, with the super-sized footwell, and the mattress pad, too.

Welcome Screen:

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Screen for Seat Controls:

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Legroom & Footwell View:

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Safety Card:

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Storage Compartment with IFE Remote, Electrical Outlet, Headphone Jack, and USB Port:

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This high-J configuration of the B777-300ER had 26 seats between doors 1 and 2, and a further 14 seats aft of door 2. All of the forward cabin boarded full. My flight attendant was back shortly to offer a pre-departure beverage, either orange juice, sparkling water, or sparkling wine, and I selected his last sparkling wine to celebrate an excellent experience so far with Air Canada, and to toast what I expect to be an excellent longhaul flight to Frankfurt. I was enjoying the ambiance of my B777-300ER, I really like a nice widebody flight, in this case only four seats across! It was a very spacious and airy cabin, and what a spacious seat! Top of the line.

Pre-departure beverage:

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The view from 5D:

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A second flight attendant came by with menus and breakfast cards, to request to be awoken for breakfast along with your breakfast choice. These were in English, French, and German, too. I filled out my breakfast card requesting the breakfast service, with sliced seasonal fruit, multi-grain bread, and the Parsley Omelette with chicken sausage, cottage cheese, roasted red skin potatoes, and red pepper relish, promised to be served 75 minutes before arrival. For my dinner service, I ordered the Grilled AAA Beef Tenderloin, with Cabernet pepper sauce, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Beers on offer were Heineken, Coors Light, and Molson Canadian. I had honestly expected the Mill Street not to be offered on the longhaul flight. For some reason longhaul flights often have fewer beer choices. Too bad I hadn't gotten it on the regional jet. I also noticed a signature cocktail on offer, not the maple one I was expecting, but rather a whiskey, gin and cranberry one. Several passengers were requesting the "express dining service" where the appetizer, salad, cheese, and fruit are served all at once after takeoff.

The captain came out to personally welcome everyone onboard, and then I checked out the IFE, which was enabled on the ground. I found lots of good movies available on the high-quality screen. I queued up a few movies to watch in-flight. The moving map was projecting only 7h3 to get to Frankfurt, with a 40-minute early arrival. I suppose I should mention that a 3,900 mile flight is pretty short for an overnight flight. It wasn't my shortest ever, but it was close, and my shortest in a couple of years. Plus we were departing at only 16:45, pretty early to go to sleep. I was pretty tired due to minimal sleep the last three nights, but I wasn't sure how much I'd try to sleep tonight. I might try to sleep a couple hours, or I might just try to stay up.

Next up was the captain's welcome message. He said we were currently dealing with some cabin baggage issues, but we should be departing shortly. Due to this delay and also the winds, he was expecting a late arrival at 06:50 - about 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Pushback was at 16:58. The safety video played with with English and French narration, and German subtitles. It was tough to see out the windows on either side due to the center pair of seats being staggered back slightly from the window seats.

Takeoff was at 17:12, with better pushback into the seat than I remembered on a B777, but feeling a bit odd due to not being able to see outside, plus the seat situated at an angle, so I felt pushback to the side into the seat. It was a quick takeoff roll.

After takeoff:

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I immediately began my first movie, Batman Begins. I needed to fast-forward through five commercials to actually start the movie. I reclined into a very comfortable lounge position, and raised the aisle side armrest, too. The cabin was already smelling quite good right after takeoff. Service began with hot towels, then the tables of the "express diners" were immediately set. The cabin service director went to each passenger to welcome them aboard. Before I knew it, trays were already being served to the express diners. I was interested to see how much time would be saved by express dining vs. regular service. Drink service began. I requested champagne, which was served with nuts.

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My appetizer (Seared scallops, eggplant caponata and pearl couscous) and salad (Mixed greens, grape tomatoes and vinaigrette) were served, together with a new drink, a Molson Canadian. I just have to have the available Canadian beer on my longhaul Air Canada flight. Since 1786, seven generations of our family have continued to make beer the Molson way. We brew today, to inspire tomorrow. The bread basket had white, wheat, or garlic bread. I started with garlic bread (very good) and wheat (also quite good). The scallop appetizer was pretty good, but could have been more flavorful. The salad came with Vinaigrette Olive Balsamique.

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The entree was served. It was cooked well done, but the beef, potatoes and asparagus all had very good flavor, plus I was simply really in the mood for a steak.

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My tray was cleared, and it was time for an offer of cheese and a new drink. I decided to wait for the dessert, but to go with it, I ordered an Air Canada signature cocktail. Enjoy our original signature cocktail made with Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, gin and cranberry cocktail, garnished with lemon.

Cocktail with Batman Begins, and showing the privacy divider:

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The cocktail was very good. Choices for dessert included fruit or my choice of Opera Cake. I was served the cake with freshly added sauce. Finally an offer of liquour, but not tonight, as I was enjoying the cocktail instead. The opera cake was very good! Overall a very good, satisfying meal service. And a great flight so far.

Opera Cake:

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I'd estimate that the express dining option saved over an hour of time. However, during that hour, the cabin lights remained on, and window shades remained open. Combined with the early hour of the flight, it would still be a challenge to get good sleep, even with the express dining. The cabin lights were finally shut off at 19:35, and nearly all the window shades were closed. Batman Begins finished at 19:55. Truly a great movie. Having seen Batman Forever recently, I can conclusively say the Christian Bale Batman series was way better than, let's call it the classic series. There was 4h15 to go, with a projected arrival time of 06:12. We were due south of Greenland, and I was currently not tired in the slightest.

With just under halfway to go, I started The Fugitive with Harrison Ford, a thriller from 1993, again skipping through the of ads. A flight attendant came by shortly with glasses of water for those of us still awake. I admit I started yawning 30 minutes into the movie, but I stayed awake.

The movie finished at 22:15, with 2h to go, and still estimating 06:12. Breakfast was scheduled to be served 75 minutes before arrival, or in only 45 minutes from now. These crazy short overnight flights. I'm still not that tired, and with breakfast being served shortly, it looks like I'm staying up all night, just like my last super short overnight flight!

At 22:45, mood lighting was switched on to look like a sunrise, and flight attendants were already out waking people up and handing out hot towels. Breakfast was quickly served according to the breakfast card pre-orders. It was a pretty big breakfast for such a short flight, and quite good. My beverages were apple juice and a tea. I finished breakfast with only 1h to go.

Breakfast:

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Our route:

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The captain announced that we would be starting descent soon, and expect to arrive at about 06:30. The airport was under light showers, and he also expected turbulence on descent. With about 40 minutes to go, descent began, and flight attendants came to collect the headphones. The purser came around to ask everyone how their flight had been. Really great service from her, really made it a great flight. With about 20 minutes left, it was time for the cabin prep announcement - time to stop relaxing and put my seatback to its full upright position. With only minutes to go, I finally started feeling tired.

Landing was at 00:29, and we parked at the gate at 00:41, or 06:41 European time.

Bulkhead branding:

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I really liked Air Canada on both the regional jet, and now the premier longhaul flight. Truly top class, with great service and very modern seats, great IFE and really nice flight attendants. The only downside is the short duration of the flight! Maybe I'll someday get a longer segment, but in any case, I was already looking forward to my return flight on Air Canada's B767-300ER to try out their older generation seats.
 
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Tesla
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Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:13 pm

FRA-YOW
Air Canada AC839
Departure: 13:30 (actual 13:50)
Arrival: 15:45 (actual 15:47)
Actual Block Time: 7h57
Actual Flight Time: 7h42
Seat: 2K Signature Business Class - Classic Pod
Boeing 767-300ER

I found essentially no line at either check-in or security. I received Air Canada cardstock boarding passes to Ottawa, and onward to Newark on UA. I was advised that it would not be necessary to clear Canadian customs and immigration in order to transit Ottawa, the opposite of what I had thought. I was also advised that my aircraft today was at a bus gate. I completed EU exit immigration, and after a short line at the tax refund desk, I made it to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge by 12:10. Boarding was set for 12:50, and departure for 13:30.

After a too-short visit to the lounge, at 12:40 I decided to head to my gate, B62. My boarding pass was scanned for admission to gate area, and boarding into the bus was already underway, with the gate agent calling for anyone else in business class. I got through the mob to become the last person onto the first bus. It was a very hot day in Frankfurt, and it seemed like the bus didn't even have air conditioning. Despite no further people coming onto the first bus, there was still a bit of a wait in the heat before we departed. We drove around the airport to our waiting B767-300ER, C-GHOZ, on-stand between two Lufthansa Cityline CRJ-900s. I saw two Air Canada Dreamliners parked at jetbridge gates, but the old 767 was parked over here among the regional jets. C-GHOZ was delivered to Canadian Airlines in 1989. She then flew for Varig until she joined Air Canada in 2005. A pretty old plane, with an older interior, and even an older livery, too. Nevertheless, my top choice for my flight today!

On-Stand in FRA:

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Both the front and back doors were in use for boarding. I headed up the stairs and into the front door. It was enjoyable bus boarding due to minimal waiting time on the bus, but it was just way too hot. I arrived into the classic Air Canada business class cabin. I found it very stylish, with nice blue cloth seats. The aircraft had eight rows of 1-1-1 seating, with the 'A' seats exclusively on the first aisle. The 'F' and 'K' seats share the second aisle. My late booking of this trip resulted in no coveted 'A' seats being available, so I took my seat in 2K, a window seat on the second aisle, facing the 'F' seats in the center. My seat was stocked with a pillow, blanket, mattress pad, amenity kit, headphones, and a bottle of water. The mattress pad was really a high-class touch. And best of all, it was nice and cold onboard, a most welcome relief from the hot bus ride.

Seats 1-2K:

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Seat 2K:

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Air Canada B767-300ERs are equipped with AC's first generation flat-bed seats, now called the Classic Pod. These are arranged in a herringbone configuration, as opposed to the new reverse-herringbone Executive Pod I'd tried on the B777-300ER. Air Canada had made a great first impression on my outward journey, both in the brand new 777-300ER but also in the short regional flight E175. I was very happy to fly them home now, and even better, in a different type of seat. I was looking forward to trying the older seat on a nice, long trans-Atlantic crossing. It would also be my first time flying a B767-300ER trans-Atlantic. The 767 is a pretty common trans-Atlantic aircraft, so I was glad to finally try it myself today.

Settling in as the remainder of the guests from the first bus passed by, the seat was very comfortable and spacious, though not as spacious as the more modern seat I'd had on the way here. The screen and table were both stowed. Under the screen there was a cool blue accent light, and there were also ceiling accent lights, which were pretty cool and looked like the northern lights. To my right: the seat controls, IFE remote, power outlet, 3-prong headphone jack, and USB port. To my left: a water bottle holder and the armrest, which could be flipped up to access the magazines stored beneath. I reclined slightly as a flight attendant handed me today's menu. Eventually the second bus arrived and another short wave of passengers passed by. Bus boarding does result in a more relaxed pace of boarding.

Besides the older seats, this 30-year-old B767-300ER had an older interior in general, in particular, the old overhead compartments. The central bins couldn't seem to accommodate rollaboard bags, while the outer bins only fit them sideways, making for much less capacity than more modern planes, or even a 767 with newer interior appointments. It was not a problem for me as one of the first onboard, with minimal hand baggage, but I was curious how it would fill up as the rest of the business class passengers arrived. It turned out not to be an issue, as the load was only 18/24 today.

Welcome Screen & IFE Remote:

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Screen and tray table:

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Legroom & Ottoman View:

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Safety Card:

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A flight attendant arrived with a tray of pre-departure beverages. I selected sparkling wine to toast Air Canada once again, as I was quite looking forward to the flight. Newspapers were offered. The purser's welcome message advised that boarding was complete. Air Canada had won the 2019 award for best airline in North America, as voted by the passengers. We look forward to presenting the award-winning Canadian service on today's flight. The flight time would be 7h45, 8h10 gate-to-gate, flying at 36,000 ft. The weather in Ottawa was partly cloudy. The message was repeated in French. The captain's welcome message, a pleasure having you onboard the flight today to Ottawa. He advised a minor maintenence issue in the rear cargo hold to be addressed. Our scheduled departure time was 13:30, but he now expected to push back at 13:40-13:45. We'd have a short taxi though, and a quick flight time, so he still expected an on-time arrival into Ottawa. It should be a good flight today, expecting a little turbulence around Ireland, but smooth across the water, and maybe a little more turbulence near Labrador. The weather in Ottawa was not as nice as Frankfurt, with scattered clouds and a chance of thunderstorms near arrival. A similar announcement was made in German.

Pre-departure beverage:

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The view from 2K, showing the ceiling accent lights:

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Passengers in business class deployed the screens for the safety video. After the video, the IFE was finally enabled, so I began perusing the selection of movies. To be honest the system was just about the slowest to respond and load that I've ever had. Unfortunately I had to put the screen away for departure. Pushback came at 13:50. We quickly arrived to the runway for takeoff at 14:01. I heard engine power increasing, and feel the sensation of being pushed to my side at an angle, a sensation made possible by the angled herringbone seat configuration.

After takeoff I reclined to the relax position with my feet up on my footrest. I deployed my screen again to figure out what I wanted to watch. The system really was slow! I found several new releases to watch.

The cabin service director stopped by to introduce herself, enquire about how I like the seat, and ask if I'd be interested in duty free. Hot towels came next as I started Instant Family with Mark Wahlberg. A couple trays were then brought out for express diners. I needed to charge my phone, and I had the USB cable in my pocket, but my USB port wasn't working. Fortunately I had the adapter in the overhead bin. The purser was back with the drink cart and warm nuts. I started with a Molson Canadian.

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Appetizers (Smoked halibut, salmon, sweet potato and papaya salad with dill mustard mayonnaise) were served with bread, either garlic bread, pretzel rolls or multi-grain. The salad was the same as last time. I also got a fresh beer.

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Entrees were brought out one at a time. My choice was the fish, an Air Canada NutriCuisine selection: Pike perch fillet with basil and spinach sauce, vegetable couscous, carrots, zucchini and bell peppers. It was nicely plated, well-cooked and very tasty.

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As soon as I finished my entree, we hit some good turbulence, and the captain asked the flight attendants to be seated.

After it passed the flight attendants were back to offer a drink refill and to remove the dishes. But the tablecloth was left behind. Oh yeah, I had almost forgot that dessert was still coming. The next cart was stocked with cheese and port. Dessert choices were fresh seasonal fruit, or chocolate, maple walnut, and pistachio ice cream. I selected the ice cream, and was pleased to receive one scoop of each flavor.

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My movie finished at 16:30. I checked the moving map, and we were south of Iceland, about a third of the way there, with 5h to go. I started The Hummingbird Project. Flight attendants were making a final pass in case anyone needed anything else. The second dessert option of the mixed fruit had looked very good, so I asked if there was any left. There was, and it was quickly brought out.

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Reclining to get comfortable, I noticed the seat was lacking back support. But then I realized there was adjustable lumbar, so I adjusted it into place, and the seat became much more comfortable. I liked the seat, but if I'm honest, it was definitely a generation behind the new Air Canada seat, with less storage, less space, less privacy, and that really slow screen. But it was still a flat-bed seat with direct aisle access, making it still top of the line. Air Canada simply stepped it up another notch with the new generation seat.

Halfway through the second movie, flight attendants began making multiple passes offering water. The movie finished at 18:30, and I wouldn't recommend it. Not all stories need to be made into movies. With a little over 3h to go, the arrival snack, to be served 90 minutes prior to arrival, should be starting in about 1.5h. In the meantime I decided to recline into a bed and rest my eyes. I found a decent size bed, no complaints. Flat-bed seats, a seat which reclines into a bed, really a crazy idea.

I slept for about an hour, and woke up with about 2h left. I thought it was a perfect time for the Air Canada Signature Cocktail, which I requested, when the flight attendant, noticing me awake, asked if I'd like anything. The cocktail was freshly made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Crown Royal Canadian whiskey, cranberry juice cocktail, and a lemon garnish, and it was quite good. I began watching Brexit with Benedict Cumberbatch.

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With about 1h15 to go, tables were again being set. The light arrival meal service was starting. Today's arrival meal was Chilled plate featuring Tyrolean ham, salami, sausage, and summer pasta salad. It was served along with either a pretzel roll or multi-grain this time. And to drink, one final Canadian beer.

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This arrival meal was excellent, probably one of my favorite arrival meals. It was high quality with really great flavors. The pasta salad had a really great taste, and the coconut shavings on the fruit salad were a really nice touch.

The arrival meal was cleared, and the captain announced that we were 65 miles from Quebec. Ottawa weather was not too bad, with scattered clouds and a temperature of 27 degrees. Our arrival time should be 15:43, and it was presently 14:58. "I'd like to thank you all for choosing Air Canada."

A flight attendant made an announcement about Canadian immigration, pointing out that paper immigration forms have not been provided; instead, in Ottawa, all travelers can use kiosks.

Our route:

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With 30 minutes to go, we began descent, and headphones were collected. The purser came to personally thank everyone.

Landing was at 21:43, and we parked at the gate at 21:47, or 15:47 Eastern Time.

Another AC B767-300ER at YOW:

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As I had suspected, all passengers needed to clear Canadian customs and immigration, unlike what the Frankfurt check-in agent had said. Ottawa is not set up as a hub for international connections like Air Canada's main hub of Toronto. As one of the first off the only international arrival at the time, it was a very easy process using the kiosk. I also had to collect my checked bags. Waiting at the carousel, I noticed there was already quite a long line for immigration - everyone else from my flight.

My final flight, YOW-EWR was to be on a UA E145 operated by Expressjet. In Ottawa Airport you must head up to the departures level, where you first clear USA customs and immigration. Even though Air Canada had provided my onward boarding pass in Frankfurt, I decided to get a new boarding pass on official UA cardstock, so for that reason I stopped at the UA counter where I was promptly informed that the flight was cancelled due to New York weather earlier in the day. The agent provided me with rebooking on tomorrow's 06:05 flight, but was unable to offer a hotel, since the cancellation was due to weather. I asked for other options to get me home today, including connecting flights, but was told nothing else was available. I took the rebooking, sat down and got on the airport's free WiFi. I noticed there was a nonstop YOW-EWR Air Canada CRJ-200, operated by Jazz, departing only one hour after my cancelled UA flight, still for sale and thus available for my rebooking. I also found a connecting UA itinerary, YOW-IAD-EWR still for sale and thus available for my rebooking. I went back to the counter to request the nonstop Air Canada flight. The agent told me he hadn't rebooked me on that because it'll probably cancel, too. After convincing him I was fine with that possibility, he had to ask a coworker how to rebook someone on Air Canada, to which the coworker replied that he had not rebooked anyone on Air Canada that day. After the agent physically went to the Air Canada counter, I was sucessfully rebooked.

Let me say that first of all, I was sure glad I had stopped at the UA counter for a new boarding pass. Had I proceeded straight to the gate, I would have left Canada, entered the USA via preclearance, rechecked my bag, arrived at the gate, and at some point hopefully realized my flight had been canceled, at which point I would have somehow had to leave the USA, re-enter Canada, and try to get a rebooking without my checked bag! Secondly, I will say I am really unimpressed with IRROPS rebooking. I am fortunate to have a very good track record with very few IRROPS situations. I can understand not wanting to rebook on another airline, but when specifically asked, even for a connecting itinerary, and there are flights available, it is unacceptable to claim there is nothing available. And nobody else had been rebooked on the best possible option, a nonstop only 1h later! Finally, I later checked the UA flight status which stated the cancellation was due to crew staffing issues. Lying about the reason for cancellation to avoid providing a hotel, and not admitting there were flights available the same day, was really terrible.

Fortunately I ended up rebooked on Air Canada, who had really impressed me on my three flights so far. I was hopeful Air Canada would come through once more, and get me home! I was excited not only for that, but also for a new, unexpected chance to try a second Air Canada regional carrier, Jazz. Even though a CRJ is normally nothing to get excited about, I was interested to see the type of service on offer on such a flight.
 
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Tesla
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Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:14 pm

YOW-EWR
Air Canada AC8856 operated by Air Canada Express - Jazz
Departure: 18:55 (actual 19:57)
Arrival: 20:20 (actual 21:29)
Actual Block Time: 1h32
Actual Flight Time: 1h15
Seat: 10F Economy
CRJ-200

I headed to the Air Canada check-in. I checked my bags and was advised that I must proceed directly to USA preclearance customs and immigration, after which I will drop my checked bags. The Air Canada agent was also convinced of the imminent cancellation of the flight, or at the very least, a substantial delay. I was tracking my aircraft, though. It had just arrived on-time to Montreal from London. It was then scheduled to fly here, before taking me to Newark. All these agents repeatedly claiming their flight would soon be canceled was not what I'm used to. In my experience agents always claim everything is on-time, until delays start rolling in. In any case, my confidence in this flight was pretty low. I was done check-in at 16:30. Boarding was set for 18:25, and departure for 18:55. I delayed entering the USA for as long as possible, thinking in the event my flight did end up canceled, it would be a pain to already be in the USA and need to re-enter Canada for rebooking.

I finally decided to go airside to the Ottawa USA preclearance area of gates by 18:10. My aircraft had pushed back from Montreal on time, but then had a 30-minute delay on the ground. I didn't care at all about a delay as long as Air Canada, in this case operated by Jazz, got me home. Plus I understand that these tiny regional jets are the most likely to be delayed. Just then I heard an announcement that AC8048 to Boston had been cancelled due to poor weather in Boston. That made me even more nervous that my flight would be canceled. At least my aircraft was now flying towards Ottawa. My departure time was revised to 19:30.

My aircraft arrived to Ottawa in the domestic-Canada area of gates. It was then towed over to the USA preclearance area of gates. My CRJ-200 was C-FIJA, delivered in 2004 and flying for Jazz her whole career.

C-FIJA, being towed from the YOW domestic-Canada area of gates, to the USA preclearance area of gates for my flight:

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Boarding began at 19:35. I headed down the jetway, past most of the people who had boarded in front of me, but were waiting to check their rollaboard bags. I made my way back to 10F, a window seat right over the wing.

Seats 10DF:

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Bulkhead Branding:

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The seats appeared old and beat up, but offered good cushioning. I found limited shoulder and head space, as I had expected, but overall a better, and more comfortable seat than I had expected. I took a quick restroom break at the rear of the cabin before anyone else made it onboard. What a tiny lav! My seatmate arrived later. Due in no small part to, and not at all a surprise because of, the UA cancellation, our load was 100%. I was glad I had managed the rebooking when it was still available.

Legroom Shot:

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Safety Card:

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The captain welcomed us onboard, and apologized for the late departure. As soon as we receive the final cargo numbers we will be allowed to shut the door and proceed to Runway 32. He expected turbulence after takeoff.

Views from 10F:

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The sole flight attendant shut the door and made her welcome announcement. She said we should expect a flight time of 1 hour~1 minute at 24,000 ft. "Bluetooth headsets are prohibited on this aircraft." She performed the safety demo, and pushback occured at 19:57. Instead of using a taxiway, we headed right down the runway and made a u-turn to position for takeoff. After holding for several minutes, takeoff came at 20:07. It was a pretty tame takeoff as expected, but sitting so low to the ground made it seem high speed. We flew right past downtown Ottawa.

After takeoff the flight attendant announced a beverage service, with alcoholic beverages available for purchase with any major credit card. She proceeded to shut the curtain to the galley.

Service included a packet of pretzels. I asked about the Mill Street Organic Lager, the craft beer from my first AC flight on the E175, but all she had was Heineken, Coors Light, and Molson Canadian. Just as well, since it felt like we were already starting descent. Having flown past downtown Ottawa on takeoff, we flew past downtown Newark on landing.

Landing was at 21:22. We arrived at Terminal A, Gate 11 at 21:29.

This had been a routine, unremarkable CRJ flight. The seat was actually decently comfortable, and I had liked the nice snack and service with a smile. And, most importantly, Air Canada got me home, I imagine much to the surprise of the Ottawa AC check-in agent and the contract UA agent, both convinced of the imminent cancellation.

In conclusion, I think Air Canada is now one of my favorites, and I'll definitely consider them again in the future. They offer a great business class hard product. The new seats are among the best. The classic seats were pretty good, too. Offering 100% direct aisle access across the longhaul fleet, and ample IFE, just impressive seats overall. Then you have the genuinely friendly, caring flight attendants providing very personal service with a smile and a great attitude. The inflight food services were also very good. And even the short regional flights, with full international service and even individual screens! The transfer in Toronto was extremely simple, and then there's the brand-new, excellent lounge in the Toronto hub. All in all, a really great airline providing a great product and service. After these four flights, Air Canada is one of my top airlines.
 
DFWFlyer121
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:05 am

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:38 pm

Amazingly detailed report! Thanks for sharing!
 
PI4EVR
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:38 pm

An excellent report. Well written, detailed and crisp clear pictures. A very enjoyable read and one I would suspect Air Canada would like to see as well.
Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
 
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NC1844V
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:49 am

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:59 pm

Well written report. Nice pictures as well.

Thank you for sharing
Steven
 
767747
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:05 am

Thanks for your report, and it looks like you had good flights with Air Canada. I'm interested by the different service that some of your cabin from EWR-YYZ got; I've never heard of that before.

Looking forward to your next report!
I love to fly!
 
Bobloblaw
Posts: 2406
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Re: Air Canada CRJ ✈ E175 ✈ B767-300ER ✈ B777-300ER J

Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:24 am

Great report and never trust the stupid staff when they rebook you in IROPs all they care about is getting rid of you.

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