Air Canada, Business Class
THE FLIGHT: Flight AC 889 departed London Heathrow at 12.35pm, with scheduled arrival into Ottawa, Canada’s capital, scheduled for 3.15pm local. It was operated by a B767-300 and although a little late departing, arrived on time.
THE CHECK-IN: Check-in was in Terminal 2. Two and a half hours prior to departure Zone A was busy, but passengers were processed quickly via check-in kiosks and traditional desks. Staff were friendly and the paperwork and bag drop were painless.
THE SEAT: The aircraft operating my flight appeared brand spanking new and my seat, 7F, in business class was immaculate. The pod-like seats are configured in three single rows with each pod angled diagonally to the aisles. Mine was a centre seat and was roomy and well designed. There was adequate, easily accessible storage space, a magazine rack, reading and overhead lighting, plus a coat hook. The table was a good wide size but a little tricky to open once the seat was reclined. The labelling of the seven seat button controls was confusing, but the functions all worked smoothly to convert the seat to a good flat bed. The crisp white linen duvet and pillow added to the comfort. A good size TV stowed efficiently and offered a fair range of entertainment options.
THE SERVICE: This was something of a service master class! The crew were friendly, engaging, efficient and helpful but best of all they actually seemed to be enjoying their job. My seafood starter and salmon fillet were excellent, and there was a choice of cheeses, ice cream or fresh fruit for dessert. Snacks were available throughout the flight and a light meal of sandwiches and scones was served 90 minutes prior to arrival. There were two Canadian wines among the choices.
THE VERDICT: Possibly one of the best flights I’ve had for a long time. The combination of a fresh and efficiently functioning cabin and good comfy seat with top-class customer service showed just how it can be done. Pretty impressive given that there was just one vacant seat in the cabin.
THE DETAILS: Air Canada operates daily between Heathrow and Ottawa with a journey time of just under eight hours. Return business class fares are from £3,256. See aircanada.com.
Reviewed by Julie Baxter (2015)