Air Canada Business Class A321/A320

Class: Air Canada Business class
Aircraft: A321 & A320
Flight: AC121 & AC556
Route: YYZ – YVR / YVR – LAX
Date: January 11, 2019 | 5:29pm – 7:03pm
January 14, 2019 | 3:56pm – 6:23pm
Actual Flight time: 4 hours 34 minutes
2 hours 27 minutes
Booking: Aeroplan: Hong Kong & Asia

For this flight report, I will be combining 2 flight segments of my Hong Kong and Japan trip into one report.  Although these segments technically on two different aircraft types, the A321 and the A320; in reality the seats, service and offerings are identical.  In addition, as these are regional flights, the flight times are short and there really isn’t much to talk about.

Ground Experience

I didn’t get to try out the Toronto lounges  as I was going to the airport after work so I was in a hurry (in any case I’ve tried them out multiple times before and there isn’t anything to write home about).

In Vancouver however, I tried out both the Premium Plaza and the Maple Leaf Lounge on the Transborder USA side of the Terminal.

The first 3 pictures are of the Premium Plaza, and the lounge itself isn’t very big.  The food however, was actually quite decent – with roasted vegetables, teriyaki chicken and some linguine.  Maple Leaf lounge doesn’t have hot food as usual, but the lounge itself is huge, with many spacious seating areas.

Bottom line, if you want a bite to eat, go to Premium Plaza, but if you just want a drink and a space to relax in, head to Maple Leaf Lounge.

The Flight

Air Canada Business Class boarding pass

Originally my flight from Toronto to Vancouver was a 777-300 with lie flat seats, but a few months ago the route was switched to a A321 aircraft.  The LAX flight for a period of time was flying the new 737 MAX 8, and I was quite excited to try the new Boeing seats, even though reviews says the seats doesn’t have much space or padding.  But nope, that was changed to a A320 as well; so I got stuck with possibly 2 of the worst aircraft possible on these longish regional routes.

The seats are just a slightly bigger version of your standard economy seats. There is no difference in the seats on a A321 or A320.  There was also no amenity kits given but you get a very basic (and flat) pillow for a daytime flight.  I didn’t see a AC outlet on the seats but there is a USB port in the front.

Leg room was decent – but take note that in the seat 1A (second picture), the partition is right in front of you that blocks your feet from extending.  In the seat 2A there are some holes that you can use to stretch your legs out more.  I would avoid the first row if you are in these seats.

Food and Drinks

The first menu is on the Toronto-Vancouver flight (I guess as it is a longer flight you get more choices for the main course), the second is from Vancouver to LA.  The drinks menu is exactly the same on both flights.

On the Toronto flight, I ordered the Seared Salmon.  Oh man, was it disappointing – the entire dish was extremely dry and overcooked.  The fish was dry and tasteless, I could only eat half of it.  The rice so dry it was crunchy and would get stuck to your teeth when chewing, to me it was borderline inedible.  I tried to eat as much as I don’t like to waste food or appear rude, but I think I managed less than half of the dish.  The salad was average and the cookie was good at least.

Air Canada business class food

Having learnt my lesson on the earlier flight, I opted for the western option on my second flight to LA, hoping Air Canada does Canadian food better.  Everything was served in one course as the flight was a couple hours shorter.  The pasta was edible but I wouldn’t say good by any stretch of the imagination.  The cheesecake was delicious however.

Service and Conclusion

I was offered to hang my jacket upon landing and service seemed friendly during the brief interactions I had with flight attendants.  On these short flights, after take off they are busy preparing food then clearing food after passengers are done, so you don’t really see them too much wondering around the cabin.

Bottom line, I certainly won’t pay any extra money to sit in these seats over the economy seats in the back of the plane.  The food was mediocre – you are probably better off spending $10-20 at an airport food court to fill your stomach.  Still, service was decent and if you are on a Business reward ticket where you don’t have to pay extra points to sit up front, this is a definite seat upgrade over economy (or better yet, try to schedule your flight on a wide body aircraft such as the 777 or 787).